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Department of English Language and Literature


Anne W. Gulick

Title: Associate Professor
Department: English Language and Literature
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-576-5969
Office: HUO, Room 514
Resources: English Language and Literature


PhD, Duke University, 2008
BA, Columbia University, 2000


    African and Caribbean literature
    Postcolonial Studies
    Critical University Studies
    Literature and Human Rights


ENGL 270      World Literature
ENGL 288      British Literature
ENGL 340      Literature and Law
ENGL 391/CPLT 302    Great Books of the Western World II
ENGL 438D    African Literature
ENGL 438E    Caribbean Literature
ENGL 735      Postcolonial Literature and Theory
ENGL 850      The Modern African Novel
SCHC 457     Anticolonial Writing from the Haitian Revolution to Black Lives Matter


   Univ. of South Carolina Office of the Provost Humanities Grant, 2019-2021
   College of Arts and Sciences Research Travel Grant, 2019
   • Department of English Language & Literature Morrison Fellowship, 2018
    Univ. of South Carolina Office of the Provost Humanities Grant, 2011-2012
    William Preston Few Dissertation Fellowship, 2007-2008
    Duke Institute for Critical U.S. Studies Travel and Study Award, June 2007
    Kenan Institute for Ethics Graduate Instructorship, 2006-2007
    Duke University Graduate School Summer Research Fellowship, Summer 2006
    Stephen Horne Award for Graduate Instruction in English, May 2006
    Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship Summer 2003 (Haitian Creole)

Research Projects 

I specialize in twentieth- and twenty-first-century English-language African and Caribbean literature, postcolonial theory, critical human rights studies, and critical university studies. My first book, Literature, Law, and Rhetorical Performance in the Anticolonial Atlantic (The Ohio State University Press 2016), uncovers a longstanding dynamic literary history of African and Caribbean critical engagements with First World law, dating back to the 1804 Haitian Declaration of Independence and manifesting much later in some of postcolonial literature’s most canonical titles. I argue that experimentation with declarative forms is a vital rhetorical strategy in the anticolonial Atlantic—one through which writers have asked, and sought new answers to, the question: who gets to “write” the law, and under what circumstances? Drawing on the cosmopolitan aspirations and emancipatory energies of the political declaration, this generically and geographically diverse archive works to radically re-invent the possibilities for law and political belonging in the postcolonial future.

My current book project explores how the African university has been imagined and theorized in African letters from the early twentieth century up through the present, and propose that this history has much to contribute to contemporary global debates about the plight of higher education in an era of neoliberalism. Anglophone African literature’s engagement with the idea of the university dates back to 1911, when J.E. Casely Hayford made the university the cornerstone of his ambitious, transnational vision of a decolonial Africa of the future. Just over a hundred years after the publication of Ethiopia Unbound, student protesters forced the removal of the statue of Cecil Rhodes from the center of the University of Cape Town’s campus, sparking a nationwide series of student movements aimed at addressing both the material and intellectual legacies of colonialism and apartheid in higher education. While #RhodesMustFall lays bare the distance between Hayford’s early-twentieth-century vision and the reality of higher education in the postcolony, it also serves as proof that the idea of the African university as a site of radical political, intellectual, and social transformation remains alive and well. These touchstones in the long twentieth- and twenty-first-century history of the African university ground my research, which also engages contemporary transnational debates about the plight of the neoliberal university—debates that tend to center exclusively around institutions located in the U.S. and Western Europe. Drawing on Jean and John Comaroff’s assertion that “in the present moment it [may be] the global south that affords privileged insight into the workings of the world at large,” I propose that it is time to attend to Africa as the place from which a theory of the twenty-first-century university might emerge, rather than a place onto which such a pre-existing theory might merely be applied.

In another, more nascent research project I am exploring how African women writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries deploy the trilogy form as well as multigenerational narratives in order to probe and challenge the way we periodize anti- and postcolonial history. In a forthcoming article in Research in African Literatures I read Tsitsi Dangarembga’s The Book of Not—the 2006 sequel to her 1988 Nervous Conditions—as an uncomfortably untimely novel of decolonization, a twentieth-century novel written in the twenty-first-century whose temporal disjointedness invites us to interrogate the norms of reading and writing Africa’s anticolonial past in our postcolonial, neoliberal present. An article in progress explores how the multigenerational narrative structure of Aminatta Forna’s Ancestor Stones historicizes the postcolonial state in ways that refute rigid periodizations of the colonial and anticolonial past that identify independence as a definitive rupture point. Drawing on Susan Andrade’s insights about the often subterranean radicalism of African women’s fiction, I argue that Forna’s novel—the first in what is now a trilogy—illuminates matrilineal and matrihistorical lines of connectivity across generational divides, complicating and deepening an emergent historical narrative about the purchase of anticolonialism in the twenty-first century.

Selected Publications 

Literature, Law, and Rhetorical Performance in the Anticolonial Atlantic.  The Ohio State University Press,Spring 2016.

    “The Campus as War Zone: Contemporary Anglophone Fiction, Post-Independence Civil War, and the University.” Journal of African Cultural Studies 35.1 (2023), 37-52.
    “Campus Fiction and Critical University Studies from Below: DisgraceWelcome to Our Hillbrow, and the Postcolonial University at the Millennium.” Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry 9.2 (2022), 177-197.
    “Decolonial Temporalities in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s The Book of Not.” Research in African Literatures 50.4 (Winter 2020), 35-54.
    “Oppressive Sameness and the Novels We Need: Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Challenge to Postcolonial Readerly Desires in the Twenty-First Century.” Journal of African Cultural Studies 32.4 (February 2020), 463-467.
    "Africa, Pan-Africanism and the Global Caribbean in Maryse Condé's The Story of the Cannibal Woman." The Global South 4.2 (Fall 2010), 49-75.
    "Declaring Differently: C.L.R. James, International Law, and Mid-Twentieth Century Internationalisms." Peter D. O'Neill and David Lloyd, eds., The Black and Green Atlantic: Cross-Currents of the African and Irish Diasporas (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 213-227.
    "A Universal Rich in All Its Particulars: Aimé Césaire's Negritude and Human Rights," Negritude: Legacy and Present Relevance, ed. Isabelle Constant and Kahiudi C. Mabana (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge Scholars, 2009), 114-124.
    "We Are Not the People: The 1805 Haitian Constitution's Challenge to Political Legibility in the Age of Revolution." Special Issue, American Literature 78.4 (December 2006), "Global Contexts,   
    Local Literatures: The New Southern Studies," ed. Kathryn McKee and Annette Trefzer, 799-820.
    With Greg Berman, "Just the (Unwieldy, Hard to Gather But Nonetheless Essential) Facts, Ma'am: What We Know and Don't Know About Problem-Solving Courts." Fordham Urban Law Journal 30.3 (March 2003).

Carli Coetzee, Written Under the Skin: Blood and Intergenerational Memory in South AfricaJALA: The Journal of the African Literature Association 14.1 (2020): 142-4.
   • Raphael Dalleo, American Imperialism’s Undead: The Occupation of Haiti and the Rise of Caribbean Anticolonialism. CLIO: A Journal of Literature, History and the Philosophy of History 47.1 (2018).
   • Kevin Adonis Browne, Tropic Tendencies: Rhetoric, Popular Culture, and the Anglophone Caribbean. To appear in Clio: A Journal of Literature, History and the Philosophy of History.  
    Maria Fumagalli, Caribbean Perspectives on Modernity: Returning Medusa's Gaze and Heather Russell, Legba's Crossing: Narratology in the African Atlantic. American Literature 83.2 (June 2011).
    Paul Jay, Global Matters: The Transnational Turn in Literary Studies; Michael Malouf, Transatlantic Solidarities: Irish Nationalism and Caribbean Poetics; and Adam Lifshey, Specters of Conquest: Indigenous Absence in Transatlantic Literatures. American Literature 83.4 (December 2011).

    Special Issue Editor, Campus Forms. Journal of African Cultural Studies 35.1 (2023).

    “The Wounds That Burst Open.” Review of Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Black & Female (2023). Africa Is A Country, 14 June, 2023.

Recent Presentations 

   “African Writer-Critics and Twentieth-Century Postcoloniality.” To be presented at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Meeting, January 2024.
   “Lindsey Green-Simms’s Queer African Cinemas.” Presented at the African Literature Association (ALA) Annual Meeting, May 2023.
   “‘Bad Students’ and Eghosa Imasuen’s Campus Picaresque.” Presented at ALA, May 2022.
   “Campus Forms.” Presented at the African Studies Association of Africa, Cape Town, May 2022.
   “Why It Matters That It’s (Sort Of) Not That Bad: Thoughts on the CRT Debates and the Postcolonial Humanities Classroom in 2022.” Presented at the British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference (virtual), February 2022.
   “The Campus as War Zone.” Presented at ALA, May 2021.
   “Critically Inhabiting the U.S. Academy through African Literature.” Presented at ALA, May 2021.
   “Survival as Resistance in Lola Akande’s What It Takes. Presented at the Lagos Studies Association Annual Conference (LSA), Lagos, Nigeria, July 2019.
   “Structurally Maladjusted: The Twenty-First-Century University Bildungsroman.” Presented at ALA, Columbus, OH, May 2019.
   Roundtable Presentation: “Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Tambu Trilogy.” Presented at ALA, May 2019.
   Book Panel Presentation: Carli Coetzee’s Written Under the Skin. Presented at ALA, May 2019.
   “#Feesmustfall, African Fiction, and Decolonizing U.S. Critical University Studies.” Presented at the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) Annual Meeting, Georgetown University, March 2019.
   Roundtable presentation: “Critical University Studies and Postcoloniality.” Presented at MLA, Chicago, 4 January 2019.
   Pedagogy of the Oppressed and the Decolonization of Critical University Studies.” Presented at Freire50: Conference on Critical Pedagogy and Paulo Freire, Columbia, SC, October 2018.
   “Student Temporalities in African University Bildungsromani.” Presented at ALA, Washington, D.C., May 2018.
   “African Women’s Multigenerational Fiction and the Gender of Postcolonial Temporality.” Presented at ACLA, Los Angeles, March/April 2018.
    “1968 and Decolonial Critical Pedagogy.” Presented at the University of South Carolina Comparative Literature Annual Conference: 1968 in Global Perspectives, Columbia SC, February 2018.
   “Decolonial Critical Pedagogy.” Presented at a roundtable at the African Literature Association Annual Meeting, New Haven, June 2017.
    “Silenced Struggles: Forgetting to Remember Anticolonialism in Twenty-First-Century Anglophone African Fiction.” To be presented at the African Literature Association Annual Meeting, June 2017.

    “NoViolet Bulawayo’s Glory.” Presented at the University of South Carolina’s Open Book Series, 29 March, 2023.
    “Surviving the Degree: Formal and Political Provocations in African Campus Fiction.” Presented by invitation of the Postcolonial Collective at the University of Georgia, 1 February, 2023.
    “The Campus as War Zone: Contemporary Anglophone Fiction, Post-Independence Civil War, and the African University.” Presented virtually for Michigan State University’s Eye on Africa Series, 27 October, 2022.
    “Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Untimely Novel of Decolonization.” Presented at Emory University’s Institute for African Studies, October 19, 2017.
    “Teju Cole’s Open City.” Presented at the University of South Carolina’s Open Book Series, April 13, 2015.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.