Visiting Scholars


Monique Allewaert

Monique Allewaert, a Whitney J. Oates Visiting Fellow in the Humanities Council and the Department of English (Spring 2018) is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Broadly, her research integrates literary analysis with political and environmental theory to contribute to an American studies that attends to the flows and structures of colonialism that shape the Western hemisphere. This hemispheric orientation of the field develops through sub- and supra-national frames and problematics in an effort to uncover understandings of personhood, community, and place that were etiolated by earlier organizations of the field.

Allewaert is the author of Ariel’s Ecology: Personhood and Colonialism in the American Tropics, 1760 – 1820 (University of Minnesota, 2013). Her book argues that on eighteenth-century New World plantation zones (from Georgia and Florida through Jamaica to Haiti and colonial metropoles) human bodies were experienced and mythologized not as integrated political subjects but as bodies in parts. She investigates how this experience and mythology of the body shaped art forms of the period, particularly Anglo European and African-American travel writing as well as African-American oral stories and fetishes, considering the implications of this experience of the body for personhood and political life.  

Allewaert has several other projects underway including a study that focuses on the small and the partial in the Americas to track what she calls an enlightenment from below. In Spring 2018, Professor Allewaert will be the Whitney J. Oates Visiting Fellow in the Humanities Council and Department of English at Princeton University.




Klya Tompkin

Kyla Tompkins
Visiting Fellow, the Program in American Studies and the Council of the Humanities
McCosh Hall, Room 42

Kyla Wazana Tompkins is an Associate Professor at Pomona College, appointed to the Department of English and the Program in Gender and Women’s Studies; in 2017 she completed a seven-year stint as chair of the Program in Gender and Women’s Studies. In 2012 she published Racial Indigestion: Eating Bodies in the Nineteenth Century which won the 2013 Lora Romero award for best first book from the American Studies Association as well as the best book award from the Association for the Study of Food and Society. Her scholarly writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters, Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture, Women and Performance, American Quarterly, J19: The Journal of Nineteenth Century Americanists, Lateral: The Journal of the Cultural Studies Association, The Journal of Food, Culture and Society as well as Social TextLateral and ASAP/Journal.

As an ACLS Fellow in American Studies at Princeton she is working on two book projects. The first, tentatively titled So Moved, maps the simultaneous recategorization of microbiopolitical life, racialized criminality and the citizenship form across two historical shifts in the United States: the history of Pasteurian science and the failure of Radical Reconstruction that led to the consequent rise of federal Progressivism. The second book project, tentatively titled Not-Africa: On the Maghreb traces the presence of the Arabs, Amazigh, Moors and Jews of North Africa in the Western political, scientific and philosophical traditions, with a particular emphasis on the intersections between black radical thought and postcolonial theory.