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Promoted Faculty 2021: Deanna Kortesky

October 2021

Spelman College Professor Deanna KoretskyDeanna Kortesky, Ph.D., is an associate professor of English and Carnegie Corporation and Rockefeller Foundation Distinguished Research Scholar at Spelman College. Her scholarship and teaching focus on British, U.S., and Afrodiasporic literatures in English of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, critical race and feminist studies, and anti-racist pedagogies. Her work has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships, including the National Endowment for the Humanities and UNCF-Mellon.

A founding member of the Bigger 6 Collective and co-chair of the Race and Empire Caucus of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism, Dr. Kortesky's current research interests include horror, early cinema, and post-Soviet immigrant identity.

Her book, "Death Rights: Romantic Suicide, Race, and the Bounds of Liberalism," traverses disciplinary methodologies and temporalities. Reading across a range of historical and contemporary figures including Kurt Cobain, Olaudah Equiano, Victor LaValle, Mary and Percy Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and others, "Death Rights" shows how cultural representations of suicide inherited from the early nineteenth century continue to reinforce antiblackness in the modern world.

What Others Have to Say About the Impact of Dr. Kortesky's Work

Start of QuoteProf. Koretsky is the future of Romanticism.

"Dr. Koretsky’s book “will make an unmistakable and transformative contribution to the fields of eighteenth-century and Romantic literary studies that will change the way future generations of scholars approach questions of race and racism in British literary traditions.”

"Her book “creatively uses the work of contemporary Black philosophers to uncover new insights about literature written two hundred years ago.”

"The new caucus in the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism, formed to focus on Race and Empire, was spearheaded by Dr. Koretsky. It was largely through her advocacy that such a proposal was even considered.End of Quote

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