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Nicole Aljoe

Professor of English and Africana Studies

Professor Aljoe’s research focuses on 18th and early 19th Century Black Atlantic and Caribbean literature with a specialization on the slave narrative and early novels. In addition to teaching in these areas, she has published articles on these topics in American Literary History, The Journal of Early American Literature, and African American Review. In her monograph Creole Testimonies: Slave Narratives from the British West Indies, 1709-1836 (Palgrave 2012) and in the co-edited collections Journeys of the Slave Narrative in the Early Americas (UVA Press, 11/2014) and, most recently, A Literary History of the Early Anglophone Caribbean: Islands in the Stream (Palgrave/Springer, April 2018), she explores the myriad ways in which subaltern voices appear in the archives. Currently, she is at work on two new projects that extend this research in productive ways: the first examines representations of Caribbean Women of Color produced in Europe and England between 1780 and 1840, and the second explores relationships between narratives of black lives and the rise of the novel in Europe and the Americas in the 18th century. She is also a member of the Mapping Black London Research Team and contributed to the development of the Unforgotten Lives exhibit, which explores the stories of African, Asian, Caribbean, and Indigenous Londoners who lived in the city between 1560 and 1860.


View CV

Digital Humanities Projects & Initiatives

Co-Director, Early Caribbean Digital Archive <> 2010+
Creation and development of an on-line, open-access digital archival of texts published in and about the Early Caribbean before 1900.

Director, The Early Black Boston Digital Almanac. <> 2016+ A peer-reviewed online collection of student and community digital projects about Boston’s Early African American communities before 1915. (Public Launch Spring 2021)

Co-convener. Just Teach One: Early African American Print. < http://www.common-> 2014-18.

Multi-media, multi-site digital pedagogy project sponsored by and the American Antiquarian Society.


A Literary History of the Early Anglophone Caribbean: Islands in the Stream. Co-editors Brycchan Carey (University of Northumberland, UK) and Thomas Krise (Pacific Lutheran University) Palgrave/Springer, April 2018.

Journeys of the Slave Narrative in the Early Americas. Co-editor, Ian Finseth (University of North Texas). University of Virginia Press, November 2014.

Creole Testimonies: Slave Narratives of The British West Indies, 1709-1838. New York: Palgrave- Macmillan, 2012.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

The Long Song of the Caribbean Colonial Archive: Reading ‘The Memoir of Florence Hall’” American Literary History. 32.4 (Winter 2020).

“Obeah and the Early Caribbean Digital Archive.” With Elizabeth M. Dillon, Benjamin Doyle, and Elizabeth Hopwood. Atlantic Studies: (Special Issue) Obeah: knowledge, power and writing in the early Atlantic World. Eds. Toni W. Jaudon and Kelly Wisecup. 12.2 258-66. Summer 2015.

“Aria for Ethiopia: The Operatic Aesthetic of Pauline Hopkins’s Novel Of One Blood.” African American Review. 45.3: 277-290. Fall 2012.

“’Going to Law’: Legal Discourse and Testimony in Early West Indian Slave Narratives.” Early American Literature. 46.2: 351-381. June 2011.

“Caribbean Slave Narratives: Creolization in Form and Genre.” Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal. 1.2:> Spring 2004.

Peer-reviewed book chapters

“Creole Testimonies in Caribbean Women’s Slave Narratives.” In. Early Caribbean Literature. Vol. Eds. Evelyn O’Callaghan and Tim Watson. Caribbean Literature in Transition Series Editor Allison Donnell. Cambridge University Press, December 2020

“’The Song of the Unfettered Slave’: African American Poets on West Indian Emancipation.” In African American Literature 1830-50. Ed. Ben Fagan. African American Literature in Transition Series Editor Joycelyn Moody. Cambridge University Press, January 2021.

“Transnational and Postcolonial Caribbean Life Writing.” Cambridge History of African American Autobiography. Ed. Joycelyn Moody. Cambridge University Press, February 2021.

“First Steps: Just Teach One—Early African American Print.’ With Eric Gardner and Molly O’ Hardy. In Teaching with Digital Humanities: Tools and Methods for Nineteenth-Century American Literature. Eds. Jessica DeSpain and Jennifer Travis. University of Illinois Press, 2018.

“Black Slave Narratives as Popular Culture” In Oxford History of Popular Print Culture, Vol. 5, U.S. Popular Print to 1860. Eds. Mary and Ron Zboray. Oxford UP 2018

“Caribbean Slave Narratives.” In The Oxford Handbook of African American Slave Narratives. Ed. John Ernest. New York: Oxford University Press, December 2013/January 2015 PBK.

“Teaching Caribbean Slave Narratives.” In Approaches to Teaching Anglophone Caribbean Literature. (Options for Teaching series) Ed. Supriya Nair. New York: MLA, November 2012.

“Zombie Testimony: Creole Religious Discourse in West Indian Slave Narratives.” In Assimilation and Subversion in Earlier American Literatures. Ed. Robyn DeRosa. Cambridge Scholars Press: Newcastle, UK, 2006.

Digital Publications

“The Narratives of Ashy and Sibell.” With Jerome Handler. The Oxford African American Studies Center. Ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Section Editor, Vincent Carretta. (Forthcoming Oxford Online).

“Caribbean Slave Narratives.” In Oxford Handbooks Online. <> 2014.

Book Reviews

Slavery & Class in the American South: A Generation of Slave Narrative Testimony, 1840-1865”. Journal of American History Volume 107, Issue 2, September 2020, Page 476

“The Politics and Possibilities of Early African American Print Cultures: Against a Sharp White Background: Infrastructures of African American Print, edited by Brigitte Fielder and Jonathan Senchyne.” Papers on Language and Literature (Forthcoming 2020).

Crossing the Line: Early Creole Novels and Anglophone Caribbean Culture in the Age of Emancipation.” Slavery & Abolition. 40.1: 216-18. February 2019.

Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive.” Signs. 44.2: 527-30, Winter 2019. “Enterprising W omen: Gender , Race, and P ower in the Revolutionary Atlantic. ” W omen’ s Writing 23. 4:

553-555, March 23, 2016.
Representing Mixed Race in Jamaica and England from the Abolition Era to the Present.” Eighteenth

Century Fiction. 25.4: 777-780, Summer 2013.
Creole Subjects in the Early Americas.” Legacy: Special issue; Early American Women Writers before

1840.” 28.2, Winter 2011.
Fr . Arturo Sando v al, T r ea tise on Sla v ery (1627). Edited and T ransla ted b y Nicole v on Germeten. ”

Africa and Black Diaspora: An International Journal. 2.2: 271-74, July 2009.

Other publications

Aljoe, Blake-Beard, Derano, Guthrie, Kenney, Muller, Rinehart, Sanford, and Vican. “Improving Institutional Commitment for the Success of Academic Women of Color Through Focused Conferences.” CoNNECD. American Society for Engineering Education, 2018. [Conference proceedings, Paper ID#24237] Collaborative essay about the formation and impact of the Women of Color in the Academy conference in Boston that I co-founded in 2017.

“West Indian Narratives of Slavery: Writing, Resistance and Abolition.” (Invited Contributor). Arts Journal. Guyana: University of West Indies Press. 3.1&2: 13-25, March 2007.

“Mary Prince,” “Phillis Wheatley,” “Frederick Douglass,” “Michelle Cliff,” and “Neo-Slave Narrative.” (Solicited entries). The Feminist Encyclopedia of African American Literature. Ed. Elizabeth Beaulieu. Greenwood Press: Santa Barbara, CA, 2006.

“Mary Prince,” “Mary Seacole,” “The Hart Sisters of Antigua,” and “The Slave Narrative.” (Solicited entries, peer review process) The Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History: The Black Experience in the Americas. Ed. Colin Palmer et al. 2nd Edition. MacMillan: New York, 2005.

“Tar Baby.” A Toni Morrison Encyclopedia. Ed. Elizabeth Beaulieu. Greenwood Press, Santa Barbara, 2002.


  • Education

    PhD, Tufts University
    BA, Vassar College

  • Contact

  • Address

    463 Holmes Hall or 225A Renaissance Park
    360 Huntington Avenue
    Boston, MA 02115

  • Office Hours

    Mondays 12:30-2:30 and by appointment

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Course catalog
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    Examines the literature and cultures of postcolonial nations in the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and elsewhere through the lens of gender. Designed to familiarize students with the relationships between cultural paradigms associated with gender and transnational experiences of colonialism. Focuses on the variety of artistic strategies employed by writers to communicate the impacts of gender and sexuality on contemporary postcolonial themes such as neocolonialism, nationalism, and diaspora.

  • Writing Boston

    ENGL 3375

    Explores how writing shapes the life of, and life in, the city. Considers how Boston is constructed in a range of discourses and disciplines. Offers students an opportunity to research and write about the city and participate in a community-based writing project.