Yelena Bailey

2016 Headshot Close Up

Assistant Professor of English
B.A., Bethel University, 2009
M.A. New York University, 2010
Ph.D., University of California San Diego, 2016

Specialties: Cultural studies, Critical race and gender studies, Black feminist thought, Caribbean literature

Email: TBD
Office: TBD

As an undergraduate, I conducted field research in Cuba.  The trip sparked my interest in the ways black women writers across the globe think about their identities and politics.  This interest eventually led me to my current work, which examines the way black feminist writers engage with nationalist and internationalist movements.  Because my Ph.D. is in Literature and Cultural Studies, my work is interdisciplinary in nature.  In addition to literary analysis and criticism, my research involves examining underrepresented histories, political movements, and ideologies.

My written scholarhsip ranges from work on how to teach social justice in the classroom to the cultural and political implications of contemporary black women's media representation.  Currently, in addition to revising my dissertation for publication, I am working on a project that traces the connections between black participation in American popular culture, racial exceptionalism, and black political formation.

As a woman of color, I have spent my entire life actively fighting racial, gender and socioeconomic barriers.  Although I am extremely grateful to have ended up in higher education, the fact that my experience is an exception, rather than a standard, reflects the great work that remains to be done.  Along with my scholarly training, these experiences inform my pedagogy and community involvement.  In addition to publishing my research, I am committed to providing students with the knowledge, histories and methodologies necessary to engage in Cultural Studies in a meaningful way.  I believe that such work is both necessary and important to the pursuit of a more just and equitable world.