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College of Arts and Humanities

Angela Naimou

Angela Naimou

Associate Professor

Department of English
Office: 709 Strode

Ph.D. English, Cornell University; M.A. English, Cornell University; B.A. English, University of Michigan


Literatures of the Middle East and North Africa; Postcolonial and World Literatures; World Literature; American Literatures of Race, Ethnicity, and Migration

Research Interests
Literatures in English since 1900; Anti-colonial and Postcolonial Theory; Studies of Race, Diaspora, and Migration; Law and Literature; World Literature in Translation

Angela Naimou is Associate Professor of English at Clemson University and Editor of Humanity journal, on behalf of the editorial collective. She teaches and publishes widely on contemporary writing and its relations to literary form, the historical and legal imagination, and political freedom struggles. Her book, Salvage Work: U.S. and Caribbean Literatures amid the Debris of Legal Personhood (Fordham, 2015), examines how aesthetic practices of salvage reckon with the person as a legal fiction. It brings together close readings of literary texts with theories of law and historiography to show how the legal slave personality continues to operate in relation to other purportedly defunct or exceptional categories of legal personhood, including the sailor, the stateless person, the refugee, the migrant, and the fetus. Salvage Work won the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present book prize and received honorable mention for the William Sanders Scarborough Award by the Modern Language Association. Naimou is editor of the critical volume Diaspora and Literary Studies (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press). Her current book project is about twenty-first century literature by writers whose poetics and lived experiences with migration confront the workings of the global border regime, in particular the history of prevailing arrangements within international law for the Middle East, Americas, and Africa since 1919. She has served in several advisory or leadership roles in the profession, including for the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present and the Postcolonial Studies forum of the MLA. In addition to Humanity journal, she also has served in editorial roles for the journals Contemporary Literature and College Literature. At Clemson, she is developing a student-faculty initiative with Every Campus a Refuge on refugee resettlement and migration rights.


Selected Professional Works

Books (Published)

Salvage Work: U.S. and Caribbean Literatures amid the Debris of Legal Personhood (Fordham 2015)
Winner, ASAP Book Prize for best scholarly study of the arts of the present.
Honorable Mention, MLA William Sanders Scarborough Prize for outstanding scholarly study of African American literature or culture.

Books (In Production or Under Contract)

Diaspora and Literary Studies, critical volume in the Cambridge Critical Concepts series (in production, Cambridge UP).

Journal Articles & Book Chapters (Published)

“Law and Contemporary Global Fiction.” For Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature. Peer-reviewed digital encyclopedia entry (13,000 words), Oxford UP, 2022.

“Short Fiction, Flash Fiction, Microfiction” for Cambridge Companion to Twenty-First Century American Literature. Ed. Joshua Miller. Cambridge UP.

Mediterranean Returns: Elegy and Forced Migration,” in Writing Beyond the State: Post-Sovereign Approaches to Human Rights in Literary Studies. Edited by Alexandra S. Moore and Samantha Pinto. Palgrave (forthcoming in 2020)

“Moving Futures.” American Literary History 31.3 (2019): 502–518

Dossier on Contemporary Refugee Timespaces, Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development. 8.3 (Winter 2017).

"What a Very Strange Thing Legal Precedent Is: Talking to Angela Naimou." Interview with Andy Fitch for the Los Angeles Review of Books blog (Here) (Winter 2017).

“Double Vision: Refugee Crises and the Afterimages of Endless War.” College Literature. 43.1 (Winter 2016).

The Banalization of War, a special issue of College Literature. 43.1 (Winter 2016). Co-edited and co-authored introduction (“‘What the World Looks Like’: On Banality and Spectacle”) with Graham MacPhee.

Locating African American Literature, a themed issue of The South Carolina Review 46.2 (Spring 2014). Co-edited with Rhondda Thomas.

“Masking Fanon.” Human Rights and Cultural Forms, special issue of College Literature 40.3 (2013): 38-59.

“‘I Need Many Repetitions’: Rehearsing the Haitian Revolution in the Shadows of the Sugar Mill.” Callaloo 35.1 (2012), pp 173-192.

“‘Death in Life’: Conflation, Decolonization, and the Zombi(e) in Kathy Acker’s Empire of the Senseless.” Kathy Acker: Transnationalism and Transatlanticism. Eds. Polina Mackay and Kathryn Nicol. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009.

Journal Articles & Book Chapters (Accepted or Submitted)

“Iraq and the Work of the Frame.” For the Routledge Handbook of Refugee Narratives. Edited by Vinh Nguyen and Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi (in production, Routledge).

Reviews & Interviews

“An Interview with Viet Thanh Nguyen.” Co-interviewed with M. LeMahieu. Contemporary Literature 58.4 (Winter 2017): 438-461.

“Between Disgust and Regeneration: An Interview with Wangechi Mutu.” ASAP/Journal 1.3 (September 2016): 337–363. Co-conducted with Tiffany E. Barber.

College of Arts and Humanities
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