Charles Sheeler, "Water" (1945), Image courtesy: Metropolitan Museum of Art

I direct the MA program in American Studies in the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University. I teach and advise student research on a wide variety of topics, mostly under the more "cultural" wing of American and African American Studies. 

My research centers on two main projects. The first of these is a book about Black Romanticism (forthcoming from Verso Books), which tells how the African American poets of the mid-nineteenth century conceived the end of slavery as a Romantic revolution. 

The second is entitled The Self-Help Vernacular, in which I argue that self-help developed between the antebellum period and the Depression as a way of managing inequities of racial capitalism.

Along this way, I've written more briefly on Edgar Allan Poe, the blues, Cesar Vallejo, and so on... Most of my published work is online, but if you find something here you want to read behind a paywall you can't breach, let me know. I'm happy to send pdfs if you don't have access. I'm reachable via email.