Marina Bilbija's research interests include black internationalism, utopianism and pre-WW1 Black Atlantic print culture. Her dissertation, entitled “Worlds of Color: Black Utopias and Anti-Colonial Internationalisms 1888-1919,” examines new forums of international inter-racial alliance that emerged at the height of the so-called “age of Empire,” including the Pan-African Conference of 1900, the Universal Races Congress of 1911 and journals such as Fraternity, The Colored American Magazine, The Voice of the Negro, The Crisis, and The African Times and The Orient Review. Her article "Democracy's New Song: Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 and the Melodramatic Imagination" was published in the September 2011 issue of The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
In the 2010-2011 academic year Marina co-coordinated Latitudes, Penn's Postcolonial Studies reading group with Sunny Yang and Yumi Lee. In November 2011, she co-organized Intersections: A Conversation between African American and Asian American Studies, an interdisciplinary conference held at Penn together with Sunny Yang and Julius Fleming, Jr.