Sarah Meer teaches English at the University of Cambridge. She has published a number of articles on slave narratives and abolitionist writing, and the books Uncle Tom Mania: Slavery, Minstrelsy, and Transatlantic Culture in the 1850s (2005), and American Claimants: the Transatlantic Romance, c. 1820-1920 (2020). She also co-edited the volume Transatlantic Stowe: Harriet Beecher Stowe and European Culture (2006), and is currently editing a special issue of the journal Nineteenth-Century Theatre and Film (for December 2022).
Marl’ene Edwin is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Caribbean and Diaspora Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is a Senior Fellow of the HEA and a Churchill Fellow. Her research interests are Caribbean Creole Languages and Oral Literature. She is the convenor for the postgraduate module Literature of the Caribbean and Its Diasporas taught on the MA in Black British Literature and the MA Literary Studies: Caribbean Pathway.
Barbara McCaskill is Professor of English at the University of Georgia and associate academic director of the Willson Center for Humanities & Arts. Her recent books include The Magnificent Peter Thomas Stanford, Transatlantic Activist and Race Man with Sidonia Serafini (University of Georgia Press, 2020) and her monograph Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery: William and Ellen Craft in Cultural Memory (University of Georgia Press, 2015). She has co-edited with Caroline Gebhard the forthcoming 1880-1900 collection of original essays for the African American Literature in Transition series (Cambridge University Press). She co-curates the sites Digital Clinton, about the formerly enslaved Ellen Craft’s middle Georgia birthplace during the nineteenth century, and Black Activism: A Transatlantic Legacy. She is co-principal investigator for Culture and Community at the Penn Center National Historic Landmark, a multiyear project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, consisting of public conversations, experiential learning classes, and artist residencies. In 2019, she was named recipient of the Lorraine A. Williams Leadership Award from the National Association of Black Women Historians.
Laura Fish is a writer and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, Northumbria University, where she currently leads the MA in Creative Writing. She has over 10 years’ experience in broadcast television and radio. Her first novel, Flight of Black Swans (Duckworth: London, 1995) is set in Aboriginal Australia. Her second novel, Strange Music, (Jonathan Cape 2008; Vintage, London 2009) was Orange Prize Listed 2009; nominated for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2009; and selected for Pearson Edexcel's Black British Writing A level reading guide 2017/18. The book offers a fictional exploration of Elizabeth Barret Browning’s family from the Creole and black enslaved woman’s perspective. Her third novel, Lying Perfectly Still, (extract in Johannesburg Review of Books, 2017) has twice been SI Leeds Literary Prize listed (2018 and 2020).
Course Director and Chair
Ben Grant is a Lecturer in English Literature in the Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford. He has a research background in postcolonial studies and cultural translation. His first book, Postcolonialism, Psychoanalysis and Burton: Power Play of Empire (2009), was about the iconic Victorian explorer and translator, Richard Francis Burton, who began his career as a spy in British India. Ben is also interested in all forms of brevity in literature, and his second book, The Aphorism and Other Short Forms (2016), aims to give a consolidated picture of the exciting and often marginalised genres of the aphorism and related short forms, such as the proverb and the fragment. Ben is currently working on life writing and autobiographical fiction, particularly in the work of Jenny Diski.