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Jennifer Rickel

Dr. Rickel’s research and teaching focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century literature in English, postcolonial theory, human rights and posthumanism, and studies in gender and sexuality. She holds a BA in English with honors from University of California Santa Barbara and a PhD in English from Rice University. Her work interrogates human rights as a dominant discourse for narrating political violence in contemporary literature concerned with Africa, the Caribbean, and the Indian subcontinent. She argues that while human rights discourse frames literature as testimony in an effort to unite a cosmopolitan readership in a cathartic exchange with victims turned storytellers, it depoliticizes crises resulting from colonialism, failed development, and the growth of multinational capital. Her recent articles problematize the way the human rights paradigm equates narrative voice with agency and constructs the reader as a humanitarian. Her teaching interests include Caribbean, African, and South Asian literatures, contemporary US and British literatures, and postcolonial, feminist, and queer theories.