Teresa Zackodnik, BA Saskatchewan, MA Waterloo, PhD McMaster

Professor, Faculty of Arts - English & Film Studies Dept


Professor, Faculty of Arts - English & Film Studies Dept
3-43 Humanities Centre
11121 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5



I joined the Department of English and Film Studies in 1996 and have loved building my career here and living in Edmonton. My work has focused on African American feminisms from the 19th century onward, with a particular focus on early Black feminisms in the press and oratory. My theoretical interests include critical race theory, trauma theory, racial melancholia, public sphere theory, theories of circulation, print culture and periodical studies, theories of photography, theories of space and the racialization of space and movement in it, Afro-pessimism and Black optimism. Recently, I have worked a bit with data visualization as a research tool to understand how Black women in the 19th century were using the Black press for their politics.


Research Interests

  • Black feminisms
  • Print Culture and circulation, the Black Press, periodical studies
  • Race and Cultural Theory
  • Black feminist internationalism, feminist Black nationalism

My current book project focuses on African American women’s political writing in the Black press from the 19th through the early 20th century. I am particularly interested in the interaction between Black feminist politics, press forms, seriality, and periodical illustration. I have recently finished editing a volume for Transitions in African American Literature, an 18 volume Cambridge series edited by Joycelyn Moody and Cassander Smith, and I've also contributed a chapter to another volume in the series. I'm also interested in the Hampton school and its newspaper, The Southern Workman, as an archive of African American and Indigenous American voices and of manual education as a "civilizing" technology of American empire. Hampton was the first school for the freedmen following the Civil War and the first residential school in the US. I have collaborated with Jacqueline Emery on some of this work. In 2020, I joined the UK-based international research network, Black Female Intellectuals in the Historical and Contemporary Context and I contributed to an MLA panel and a Legacy forum to mark the 19th Amendment centenary.

Representative Publications

Volume 5: 1850-1865, African American Literature in Transition (2021)

“Press, Platform Pulpit”: Black Feminist Publics in the Era of Reform (2011)

We Must Be Up and Doing: A Reader in Early African American Feminisms (2010)

African American Feminisms 1828-1923. 6 volumes (2007)

The Mulatta and the Politics of Race (2004)

Articles in a/b: AutoBiography Studies, Legacy, Call and Response-ability, American Periodicals, TOPIA, Common-Place, Modernism/Modernity, Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, Indigenous Women and Feminism, American Studies, MELUS, American Quarterly, Feminist Studies, Women’s Studies International Forum, Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature.

Supervisory Interests

I am happy to supervise students working in American literature from the 19th century through to the present, and particularly those interested in African American literature and Black cultural studies. I can also support students working with critical race and cultural theory, those interested in periodical studies and print culture studies, and students working in Black feminisms. I have supervised fascinating graduate work on: Black queer performance, the Black vampiric, a mid-century Southern literary magazine pursuing racial and social justice, research creation projects at the PhD and MA level, as well as work on ethnic cosmopolitanisms and Asian American drama, US imperialism and neo-liberalism in the Caribbean, Black female journalists in the late 19th-century Black press, Asian American literature and the sartorial, the blues and jazz aesthetic in twentieth-century African American literature, Black masculinity in slave and neo-slave narratives, primitivism and Harlem Renaissance texts, slave narratives and trauma theory, and Indigenous literatures of trauma and recovery.


My undergraduate teaching has included courses on writings from the #metoo movement, Black prairie writing, American modernism and postmodernism, race in American literature, Asian American literature, African American women’s writing, theories of race and ethnicity, and "minority" American literatures. My graduate teaching has included courses such as, "Afterlives" of American Slavery, Movement and Time in African American Writing, The Post-Racial, Migration and the City in African American Literature, Early African American Feminisms, Visibility and African American Women, Asian American Texts and the Negotiation of Identity, Slavery and the African American Literary Imagination, U.S. “Blackness” and its Echoes, and Public Feminisms (with Susan Hamilton and Daphne Read).


ENGL 357 - Topics in American Studies

Prerequisite: *6 of junior English, or *3 of junior English plus WRS 101 or 102. Note: variable content course which may be repeated if topics vary.

Browse more courses taught by Teresa Zackodnik

Scholarly Activities

Other - EDI

2019-08-01 to 2030-08-01

I was my department's Equity Coordinator for a year and learned a lot about equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus and the University's EDI strategic plan. I found the most rewarding work to be partnering with offices on campus working towards these goals and, particularly, collaborating with students. I have always been committed to inclusive and equitable teaching both in terms of what and how I teach. I think that we have much work to do, in universities, to make more than performative gestures toward becoming more inclusive and equitable spaces for learning and working, but I remain committed to supporting work that aims to make tangible progress toward that goal. Until we begin to change who is in positions of leadership in ways that redress historical under-representation of Black and Indigenous peoples and people of color in Canadian institutions, we risk continuing to hire faculty from these groups and mistake this for broader institutional change. This then exacts a "tax" on these faculty members to make the climate change in an institution that has not structurally begun systemic change, and the result is often that they are overworked without conditions to thrive.

Other - New U of A Sexual Violence Policy

Throughout the 2017-18 academic year I worked with colleagues and students on an ad hoc committee in EFS charged with department-level responses to the new sexual violence policy that was adopted in June 2017 by the Board of Governors. I remain committed to this work in daily practice, in my ongoing thinking, and in the ways in which I teach and work to support students. What might it mean to take seriously that we teach representations of sexual violence or representations that emerge from a culture that has naturalized that violence in its understanding of sexual, gendered and raced difference? How might doing so change what we do in the classroom and the conversations we have with our students? How do we support our students whose experiences may include sexual violence? These are questions our university and department are only beginning to grapple with.