Dr. Emanuela Kucik
Assistant Professor of English and Africana Studies
emanuelakucik@muhlenberg.edu 

 

Education

  • B.A. with Highest Distinction (Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa), English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • M.A., English, Princeton University
    • Certifications: American Literature, with a concentration in Comparative Race and Ethnicity Studies; Holocaust Literature; Genocide Literature
  • Ph.D., English, Princeton University
  • Doctoral Graduate Certificate in African American Studies, Princeton University 

 

Teaching Interests

I am currently serving as the Co-Director of the Africana Studies Program alongside Dr. Connie Wolfe. I am also affiliated with the Jewish Studies Program and the Women's and Gender Studies Program, and I am the faculty advisor to the Black Students Association.

I teach interdisciplinary courses that examine the intersections of race, genocide, and human rights violations through the study of twentieth-century and contemporary literature(s). In courses such as Genocide and Blackness, Holocaust Literature, Global Black Literature, and Literature of Genocide, I guide students toward expanded understandings of concepts we think we know, including genocide, Blackness, and literature. I use these innovative definitions to both help students understand how marginalized populations have used literature to combat violence and to highlight how literature emphasizes our global humanity by reminding us that we are citizens of one world, connected to not only the people waiting for us at home, but also to those we will never meet, except within the pages of our books.

Amid the currents of violence swirling around us, I lead students to literature to illustrate how renowned authors have struggled with the same questions that haunt them, such as “Where do I fit into freedom fighting movements? What can I do to fix our world?” Using these questions as guideposts on a hopeful path to transformation, I create spaces in which students can find answers in the imaginative, creative possibilities of literature; in our class discussions; and, ultimately, in themselves.       

 

Research, Scholarship or Creative/Artistic Interests  

I study twentieth-century and contemporary African American and American Literatures; Global Black Literature; Holocaust Literature; Genocide Literature; Human Rights Literature; and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies to produce work that intertwines scholarship and activism and highlights how literature can combat genocide, its precursors, and its reverberations.

 My book manuscript is a transnational literary history of how the concept of genocide has been used in relation to Black communities in Post-Holocaust Era writing. Additionally, my recently published article, “Fatal Categorizations,” examines “passing” in twentieth-century African American literature alongside twenty-first century writing about Japanese American internment. I am also contributing a chapter, “(Re-)Framing Black Women’s Liberation,” to a forthcoming volume, Editing the Harlem Renaissance. In the chapter, I examine how contemporary editorial frameworks impact our understanding of the literature of twentieth-century Black women authors, including Nella Larsen and Zora Neale Hurston. My current projects also include an article about memoir, (anti-)Blackness, and Nazi Germany and an article examining how the Black Press wrote about the concept of genocide in relation to anti-Black violence in the Post-World War II Era through the end of the twentieth century. I am dedicated to using my work to emphasize the crucial role of interdisciplinary literary study in the project of dismantling our violent world and building a new, just one to stand in its stead.

 

Courses Taught Include

  • The Black Press and Twentieth-Century African American Literature

  • Contemporary Fiction

  • Genocide and Blackness in the Post-Holocaust World

  • African American Literature: Origins through the Present

  • Introduction to Africana Studies

  • Holocaust Literature

  • Global Black Literature

  • Literature(s) of Genocide

  • African American Women Writers

  • Literature, Social Justice, and Current Events

 

Colleges Honors & Awards

  • Bridge Builder, Muhlenberg College (Fall 2018)
  • Princeton University Institute for International and Regional Studies Graduate Fellowship (2017-2018)
  • Princeton University President’s Fellowship (2012-2017)                                                       
  • Dartmouth College Futures of American Studies Grant (2014)                                                        
  • Highest Distinction (Summa Cum Laude) Honors, UNC-Chapel Hill (2012)
  • Phi Beta Kappa, UNC-Chapel Hill Chapter (2011)

 

Recent Publications, Presentations & Abstracts 

Selected Recent and Forthcoming Publications

“(Re-)Framing Black Women’s Liberation: Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, and Twenty-First Century Editorial Frameworks.” Editing the Harlem Renaissance, edited by Joshua M. Murray and Ross K. Tangedal. Clemson University Press, 2021 [forthcoming].

“Fatal Categorizations: Disappearance and the Rigidity of American Racialization in Nella Larsen’s Passing and Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.South Atlantic Review (Journal of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association). 84.2-3 (2019): 163 – 182.

 

Selected Recent and Upcoming Research Presentations

“Too (In)Visible: Hans Massaquoi, Blackness, and the Paradox of Visibility in Nazi Germany.” Northeast Modern Language Association Annual Conference (NEMLA 2020), Boston, MA (Spring 2020). 

“Fatal Categorizations: Disappearance and the Rigidity of American Racialization in Nella Larsen’s Passing and Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.South Atlantic Modern Language Association Annual Conference (SAMLA 90), Birmingham, AL (Fall 2018).

“‘We [Still] Charge Genocide’: The History of Claiming and Conceptualizing Genocide in African American Newspapers.” Department of African American Studies Graduate Conference, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (Spring 2017).                                                          

 “‘Her First Death’: Rwanda, Genocidal Rape Warfare, and Romance in Veronique Tadjo’s The Shadow of Imana.” American Studies Association Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada (Fall 2015).

 “The Meat Packing-House as a Concentration Camp: (Re)Reading Roald Dahl’s ‘Pig’ within the Legacy of the Holocaust.” The Futures of American Studies Institute, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (Summer 2014).

 “Beloved and the ‘Permanency’ of Slavery: Toni Morrison’s Use of Milk to Elucidate Slavery’s Effects on the Reconstruction Era.” Warren and Beatrice Susman Graduate Conference, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (Spring 2014).

 

Selected Recent and Upcoming Invited Talks

“Abolitionist Teaching – What Does It Really Mean?” Georgetown’s Education for Liberation Week, Center for Social Justice, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. (Fall 2020).

Keynote Speech, Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC) Undergraduate Women’s and Gender Studies Annual Conference, Lehigh University (Planned for Spring 2020, Postponed due to COVID-19)

“Claiming and Creating Your Space at Smith and Beyond.” Women’s History Month Event Series, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland (March 2020).                                                             

Piece by Piece: An Overview of Genocide Studies, Race, and the Road to Decreasing Systemic Global Violence.” Holocaust and Genocide Studies Course, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, Bethesda, Maryland (Summer 2016).

                                                           

Selected Recent Conferences and Panels Organized

Co-Organizer and Moderator, “In Celebration and Support of Black Trans Lives: A Public Conversation with Asanni Armon, Activist and Founder of ‘For the Gworls,’ a Collective for Black Trans Communities.” Series: Inclusive Activism and the Black Lives Matter Movement: Conversations with Young Leaders. Africana Studies Program and the Black Students Association, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA (Fall 2020).

Co-Organizer and Moderator, “Advocating for All Black Lives in the Era of Social Media: A Conversation with the Muhlenberg Community about Inclusive Activism, Social Media, and Racism Online.” Series: Inclusive Activism and the Black Lives Matter Movement: Conversations with Young Leaders. Africana Studies Program and the Black Students Association, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA (Fall 2020).

Co-Organizer and Presenter, “Genocidal Medicine: Black American Communities, COVID-19, and the Death Toll of Healthcare’s Systemic Anti-Blackness.” Series: From the Ashes of Relentless Racial Crises amid COVID19: Creating a New United States of America. Africana Studies Program and the Office of Multicultural Life, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA (Fall 2020).

Co-Organizer, Series: From the Ashes of Relentless Racial Crises amid COVID-19: Creating a New United States of America. Africana Studies Program and the Office of Multicultural Life, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA (Fall 2020).

Co-Organizer, “Eighteen Hundred and More.” Department of African American Studies Graduate Conference, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ (Spring 2017).

Session Organizer, Chair, “Refusing Erasure: Black Women’s Bodies as Sites of National, Colonial, and Sexual Oppression and Resistance.” American Studies Association Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada (Fall 2015).