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Ajay Kumar Batra

Ajay Kumar Batra

Fisher-Bennett Hall 237

My primary research interests lie at the intersection of hemispheric American studies and African diaspora studies, with a focus on the late-18th- and 19th-century U.S. and Circum-Caribbean. Specifically, I seek to understand how Afro-diasporic cultures of slavery and antislavery left their mark on the uneven hemispheric transition from slavery to emancipation. How, I wish to ask, did Afro-diasporans both contest unfreedom and prepare for its persistence? Complementary areas of interest include political philosophy; colonialism and postcolonialism; the history of race and caste; and the history of religion in the Atlantic world. 

I received my B.A. in English from the University of Chicago in 2015. 



Published writing:

"Gallows Respectability," intro to The Address of Abraham Johnstone, a Black Man (1797), in "13 for 13," special issue, Common-Place 17.3 (2017). 

Review of Nathan Perl-Rosenthal, Citizen Sailors: Becoming American in the Age of Revolution (Belknap, 2015). Journal of American Studies 51.4 (2017): 1277–1280. 

Review of Robeson Taj Frazier, The East Is Black: Cold War China in the Black Radical Imagination (Duke UP, 2014). Amerasia Journal 42.2 (2016): 195–198. 



News & Events

Courses Taught

spring 2019

ENGL 200.302 Abolition, Past and Present