Noni's Research

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A literary scholar, Noni completed a joint bachelor's degree in History and Literature (postcolonial studies) and African American Studies at Harvard University. Having completed her Master of Arts degree, she is currently working towards her Ph.D. in the department of French and Romance Philology at Columbia University.

Research Interests:

20th and 21st Century French Caribbean Literature; Gender & Feminist Theory; Slavery in the Americas; (Cultural) Memory; Black Diaspora Studies, Postcolonial Studies; Enlightenment philosophies of race

Current Work:

Noni's research focuses on Francophone (and in particular French Caribbean) literature and art that treats slavery, its memorial resonances, and its gendered dimensions. Noni has worked on authors in the likes of Maryse Condé, Fabienne Kanor, and Edouard Glissant. Her dissertation project, "In Pursuit of Science's Fictions" turns to 17th and 18th century European Enlightenment experimentation on women of color to re-examine the development of the concept of the "human" in relation to the bourgeoning centrality of reproduction and the unfixed philosophies of race. She argues furthermore that contemporary science fiction (in literature, visual art, and performance) of the anglophone and francophone African diaspora aids us in working through these earlier "fictions" of science.

See Presentations for a list of conference papers and other literary and academic events.

See Author for a list of both published and upcoming fiction and nonfiction.

Extracurricular Interests:

  • French Caribbean Storytelling

  • African American Genealogical Research


Fellowships, Experience

Noni is currently the 2019 - 2020 grad assistant for the Center for the Study of Social Difference’s working group Transnational Black Feminisms. The project falls under one of two umbrella research themes called Women Creating Change. She also works as editorial assistant for Small Axe Journal and rapporteur for Columbia University’s Cultural Memory Seminar. She previously served as graduate fellow for Columbia's Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality.

In 2013, Noni became an associate with the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers. She also received the prestigious Michael C. Rockefeller fellowship from Harvard with which she travelled to Martinique, ran poetry, literature, and African American history workshops in middle schools in Ducos, Schoelcher, and Fort-de-France, Martinique. She also spent time here training with various storytellers, particular through the program VIRGUL', while presenting her writing at various festivals. She began learning and working with medicinal plants, a journey she looks forward to continuing during her visits to the islands.