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Daphne Lamothe

Professor of Africana Studies

Daphne Lamothe


Tyler Annex 201


Daphne Lamothe is a literary and cultural studies scholar with research and teaching interests in African American, Afro-Caribbean and Black migration and transnational literatures. She holds a doctorate in English literature from UC Berkeley and a bachelor's degree in English literature from Yale University. In addition to an appointment in Africana studies, she also is a member of Smith’s programs in American studies and the Study of Women and Gender. She serves on the executive board of Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism. Before joining the Smith faculty in 2004, she taught at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Lamothe’s research focuses on literary and cultural representations of black consciousness formed by migratory and transnational experiences. Her publications explore questions of national and cultural belonging, identity and symbolic geographies within the Black Atlantic imagination. She is currently working on a study of representations of black subjects in urban spaces whose experience of selfhood is shaped by the absence of ideals of home, origin and belonging.

Lamothe’s teaching includes courses on the Harlem Renaissance, African American migration narratives, Black music and literature, Blackness and the City, and literatures of the African Diaspora.

Selected Publications

“The City-Child’s Quest: Spatiality and Sociality in Paule Marshall’s The Fisher King," Traveling Women (special issue), Editors, Jennifer Williams and Ifeoma Nwankwo, Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, forthcoming, vol. 15.2, Spring 2017.

"Blackness Written, Erased, Rewritten: James Weldon Johnson, Teju Cole, and the Palimpsest of Modernity," James Weldon Johnson's Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man at 100: Reevaluations, Editor, Noelle Morrissette, Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, forthcoming 2017.

“Passing Strange: Embodying and Negotiating Difference in Academia,” Transforming the Academy: Faculty Perspectives on Diversity and Pedagogy, Editor, Sarah Willie-LeBreton, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2016.

“Carnival in the Creole City: Place, Race and Identity in the Age of Globalization,” Life Stories in the Creole City (special issue), Editors, Cynthia Dobbs, Daphne Lamothe & Theresa Tensuan, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 35.2, Spring 2012: 360-374.

Inventing the New Negro: Narrative, Culture, and Ethnography. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. Honorable Mention: MLA Williams Sanders Scarborough Prize, 2009.


Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
B.A., Yale University

Selected Works in Smith ScholarWorks