I was born and raised in the midlands of South Carolina. Currently, I am an associate professor of English and Africana Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In 2010, I received my Ph.D. in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California. I spent the 2012-2013 school year in Accra, Ghana, as a Fulbright Lecturer/Researcher, where I taught at the University of Ghana-Legon and completed follow-up research for my first book Afro-Atlantic Flight: Speculative Returns and the Black Fantastic (Duke University Press, 2017). 

At the University of Tennessee, I teach a dynamic set of courses on African American cultural studies, slavery (including contemporary reinventions), and Black social movements.

Dum spiro spero.