Kerry Sinanan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Kerry Sinanan, Ph.D.

Professional Info: Curriculum Vitae
Office: MB 2.476

Research and Teaching Interests

Black Atlantic Studies; Race, Slavery, and Gender in the Long Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries; Critical Race Theory; Jane Austen, Race and Empire; Anti-Racist and Decolonial Pedagogies.


I am Assistant Professor in Transatlantic Literature in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. I specialize in the literature and culture of the Black Atlantic, Caribbean slavery and race, and the global dimensions of Black resistance and abolition up to the present. My monograph, “Myths of Mastery: Traders, Planters and Colonial Agents, 1750-1834,” examines the writings in various genres by slave traders and slave owners from the mid-eighteenth century up to British emancipation (1834). It analyzes enslavers' attempts to construct an identity or self in their texts as they draw on a range of literary genres and contemporaneous discourses, tracing their self-justification as they made a living within the violence of slavery. I am under contract with Broadview Press to produce a new edition of The History of Mary Prince (1831), due 2023. My second monograph is entitled “Beauty and the Breast: Representations of Women, Motherhood and Breastfeeding in British Slavery 1650-1860”. Drawing on the writings of Christina Sharpe, Saidiya Hartman, Marisa Fuentes, and Jennifer L. Morgan, I assemble transatlantic sources across digital, historical, literary and visual archives to imagine the hidden histories of enslaved mothers. Such work requires a multidisciplinary approach that reads between and across archives. As an Anti-racist pedagogy practitioner I run regular teach-ins and workshops on undisciplining 18th and 19thc studies and on decolonial curriculum. I am Director of a new Black, Indigenous and Latina/x Studies Certificate in English. I am founder and co-convenor of the “Woman of Colour” Facebook page that collates and shares anti-racist pedagogy resources and events. In 2021 I received Rakow Grant for Glass Research from the Corning Museum of Glass to continue work on African indigeneity in glass beads and to chart how blackness is forged in opposition to a rhetoric of whiteness associated with glass as a luxury material in the transatlantic world. This project is called, Transparency and the Black Atlantic: Glass, and the Material Culture of Whiteness. I have also received research fellowships from the Beinecke Library, the James Ford Bell Library and, in 2017, was a Visiting Scholar at the Yale Center for British Art where she began a project on representations of enslaved mothers. I supervise PhD and MA Theses in Black, Caribbean and Indigenous studies and the global Atlantic world.



  Myths of Mastery: Traders, Planters and Colonial Agents, 1750-1860. The University of North Carolina Press. Under consideration.

  Austen After 200: New Reading Spaces. Eds. Kerry Sinanan, Annika Bautz and Daniel Cook. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. In press.

  The History of Mary Prince a West Indian Slave. Related by Herself. Edited with an Introduction, Kerry Sinanan. Broadview Press. Under Contract. (Expected 2023)

2010  Romanticism, Sincerity and Authenticity. Eds. Tim Milnes and Kerry Sinanan. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010: 1- 268.

Journal Special Editions

2021  Race and Racism in Austen Spaces. Special Cluster. Ed. Kerry Sinanan. ABO: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830. Winter 2021. Forthcoming.

2022  New Essays on The Woman of Colour (1808). Special Issue. Eds. Nicole Aljoe, Kerry Sinanan and Mariam Wassif. Eighteenth-Century Fiction. Winter 2022.

Refereed Articles

2022  ‘The Master’s House’. In The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. Spring 2022. Forthcoming.

2021  ‘Mary Prince’s Back’. In Race, Blackness and Romanticism. Special Issue. Ed. Patricia A. Matthew. Studies In Romanticism. Winter 2021. Forthcoming.

2021  ‘ “On the Hinge”: Equiano’s Nativity and Black Atlantic Identities’. In Teaching (the) Romantic /Romantic Teaching. Eds. David Ruderman and Kate Singer. Romantic Circles, Teaching Commons. Spring 2022. Forthcoming.

2021  ‘ “The Wealth of Worlds”: Gender, Race, and Property in The Woman of Colour (1808)’. In Studies in Religion and the Enlightenment 2 (2): 53-56.

2020   ‘The “Slave” as Cultural Artifact: The Case of Mary Prince’. In Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture. Vol. 49. Eds. Eve Tavor Bannet and Roxann Wheeler. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press: 69-87.

2020  ‘BLM 2020: Breathing, Resistance, and the War Against Enslavement’. In Age of Revolutions. June 10, 2020.

2020  ‘Maroon Resistance, White Violence, and Romanticism’s Envy of Black Freedom’. In, Romantic Circles Unbound, 20.1, Breath.

2014  ‘ “Most Delightfully Incongruous”: Desire, Plot and Realism in the novels of Barbara Pym’. In Women: a Cultural Review. Vol. 25, Issue 4, December 2014. Eds. Nick Turner and Frances White. London: Routledge: 395-412.

Refereed Book Chapters

2022  ‘Mothers of Enslavement’. In, Romantic Beasts: Mundane and Magical Animal Figures of Global Romanticism. Eds. Christopher Clason and Michael Demson. Bucknell University Press, 2022. Forthcoming.

2022  ‘Mr Darcy: Austen’s Imperial Man of Feeling’. In Austen After 200: Reading After the Bicentenaries. Eds. Kerry Sinanan, Annika Bautz and Daniel Cook. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021. In press.

  ‘Introduction’. In Austen After 200: Reading After the Bicentenaries. Eds. Annika Bautz, Daniel Cook, and Kerry Sinanan. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, In Press.

2020   ‘Lost mothers in the Caribbean Plantation and Black Maternal and Infant Mortality, Now’. In Caribbean Literature in Transition. Volume 1. 1800-1920. Eds. Evelyn O’Callaghan and Tim Watson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020: 390-406.

‘Slavery and Glass: Tropes of “Race” and Reflection’. In In Sparkling Company: A History of English Glass. Ed. Christopher Maxwell. Corning, New York: The Corning Museum, 2020: 69-85.

2013  ‘ “The Feelings of an Officer”: John Stedman in Suriname’. In The British Abroad Since the Eighteenth Century. Volume 2 Experiencing Imperialism. Eds. Martin Farr and Xavier Geugan. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013: 137-153.

2010  ‘Too Good to be True? Hannah More, Authenticity, Sincerity and Evangelical Abolitionism’. In Romanticism, Sincerity and Authenticity. Eds. Tim Milnes and Kerry Sinanan. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010: 137-161.

2010  ‘Introduction’. Kerry Sinanan and Tim Milnes. Romanticism, Sincerity and Authenticity. Eds. Tim Milnes and Kerry Sinanan. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010:1-31.

2007  ‘The Slave Narrative and the Literature of Abolition’. In The Cambridge Companion to the African American Slave Narrative. Ed. Audrey Fisch. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007: 61-80.

2001  ‘Trading Places: Slave Traders Enslaved’. In Colonial and Postcolonial Incarceration. Ed. Graeme Harper. London and New York: Continuum Press, 2001: 67-85.

Articles and Essays

2021  “Slavery and the Pellucid Rhetoric of Glass”. Proceedings from the Corning Museum of Glass 59th Annual Seminar on Glass.

2020  ‘Heterogeneous Blackness: Peter Brathwaite’s Eighteenth-Century Re-Portraits’. In The 18th-Century Common.

2014  ‘Austen, Love and Pain in the Novels of Barbara Pym’. In Green Leaves. The Journal of the Barbara Pym Society. Vol. XX, No 2, Autumn 2014: 8.

Multi-Media Publications and Events

2021   In Conversation with Honorée Fanonne Jeffers. University of Maryland Anti-Racism Series. 20 September.

2021  Clarissa and White Supremacy: Race, Gender, and Erasure. Seminar 11, Open Digital Seminar for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

2021  “Texas’ Denial of Systemic Racism Upholds White Power”. Opinion. Austin American Statesman. 13 October.

2021  Seeing Through Whiteness: A Roundtable on Mary Prince. BARS Digital Seminars.

2020  The Woman of Colour. Bonnets at Dawn Podcast. Series 4.5 Episode 2. Lauren Burke, Hannah Chapman, and Kerry Sinanan.

2020  Slavery, Race and Covid-19: Moore Institute COVID-19 Response Webinar. Enrico Dal Lago, Eric Foner and Koritha Mitchell, and Kerry Sinanan.

2019  Teaching Romanticism XXXIII: Teaching Jane Austen. Ed. Kerry Sinanan. Romantic Textualities. July 2019.

2019   ‘Teaching Mansfield Park: Contrapuntal Reading and the Challenge to White Supremacy’. In Teaching Romanticism XXXIII: Teaching Jane Austen. Kerry Sinanan. Romantic Textualities. July 2019.

2017  ‘Representations of Enslaved Mothers in the British Caribbean’. Podcast. Gilder Lehrman Centre for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, Yale University. 23 June.

2016  ‘A New Set of Caps’. For ‘Emma at 200’, 21 October 2016.

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