Jenny Sharpe


Jenny Sharpe


(310) 825-4173

Humanities 274

Jenny Sharpe is Chair of Gender Studies and Professor of English, Gender Studies, and Comparative Literature. She received a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Texas at Austin.  She taught at Boston College before joining UCLA’s English department in 1993. Her areas of research and teaching are postcolonial studies, Caribbean literatures, gender studies, the novel, literary archives of slavery and empire, and the black Atlantic.


Prof. Sharpe is author of Allegories of Empire: The Figure of Woman in the Colonial Text (Minnesota 1993), which provides historically-grounded readings of Anglo-Indian fiction for how the topos of interracial rape helped manage a crisis in British colonial authority. Her book has been widely reviewed and is considered a classic in postcolonial studies. Her second book, Ghosts of Slavery: A Literary Archeology of Black Women’s Lives (Minnesota 2002,) challenges the equation of subaltern agency with resistance and self-determination, and introduces new ways to examine black women’s negotiations for power within the constraints of slavery. 


Prof. Sharpe has published widely on the gendering of the black Atlantic and cultural theories of globalization. Her current research addresses the literary turn in archival studies from the perspective of Caribbean literature that provides black female alternatives to historicism’s linear temporality and the presumed materiality of the archives.



Ghosts of Slavery: A Literary Archeology of Black Women’s Lives.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003.


Allegories of Empire: The Figure of Woman in the Colonial Text.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.


“The Middle Passages of Black Migration.” Atlantic Studies 6: 1 (2009): 97-112.


 “Sweetest Taboo: Studies of Caribbean Sexualities.” Review essay co-authored with Samantha Pinto, Signs 32: 1 (Autumn 2006): 247-74.


“Gender, Nation, and Globalization in Monsoon Wedding and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.” Meridians 6: 1 (2005): 58-81.


 “Dub and Difference: A Conversation with Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze.” Callaloo 26: 3 (2003): 607-13.


“A Conversation with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak: Politics and the Imagination.” Signs 28: 2 (Winter 2003): 609-24.


“Cartographies of Globalisation, Technologies of Gendered Subjectivities: The Dub Poetry of Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze.” Gender and History 15: 3 (2003): 439-58.


 “Is the United States Postcolonial? Transnationalism, Immigration, and Race.”  Diaspora 4:2 (Fall 1995): 181-199.




2009-10:          Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant for Postcolonial and Transnational Literary Studies Initiative

2007-08:          Executive Leadership Fellow

Win/Sp 2004:  Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, UC-Riverside

1998-99:          President’s Research Fellowship in the Humanities

Win/Sp 1995:  Humanities Research Center Fellow, UC—Irvine

1987 - 88:        Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Pembroke Center, Brown University





E265: Postcolonial Theory

E131: Caribbean Contact Zones

E265: Reading Beyond Postcolonial Narrative



The Making of Black Britain

The Black Atlantic

Black British Culture

The Postcolonial Archive

Postmodernism in Postcolonial Fiction

Caribbean Contact Zones

Primitivism and Modernity

Introduction to Caribbean Literature

Caribbean Women Writers

Introduction to Feminist Theories in the Humanities



University of California, Los Angeles (c) 2005