Dr Maisha Wester

School of English

Global Professor

English Maisha Wester
maisha.wester@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 0220

Full contact details

Dr Maisha Wester
School of English
Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
Sheffield
S3 7RA
Profile

I am a visiting lecturer at the University of Sheffield, sponsored by the British Academy’s Global Professorship fellowship. My home institution is Indiana University, Bloomington. My Professorship is from September 2020 to September 2024.

Research interests

My research and teaching focuses on Gothic literature and Horror Film, although I also teach American literature and African American Cultural Studies. I specifically investigate racial discourses and manifestations in Gothic Literature and Horror film, as well as the way Black Diasporic people have appropriated the genres to speak back against oppressive socioeconomic rhetoric. For my BA fellowship, I am investigating the ways the Gothic has and continues to impact and inform anti-Black language and discourses from the Gothic’s rise to our current era (as such, I will also consider the ways Horror Film takes up this task in the twentieth-century). I am especially interested in how the genres morph alongside any moments of racial progress, thus providing a means to consistently erase Black humanity despite seeming political and ideological advancement. To put it simply, I want to explore how Gothic Literature and Horror Film have contributed to populations still needing to shout “Black Lives Matter” in protest during the Twenty-First century—150 years of the US abolition of Slavery and over 200 years after its abolition in the UK—at a point of such intellectual and scientific progress that we should be well beyond this discussion. Although my work focuses upon anti-Black discourse, it is also inspired by and has ramifications for anti-immigrant discourses (such as rhetoric warning against hordes of non-white immigrants coming to rape and pillage the nation).

Teaching activities

I teach a number of courses on Gothic literature and Horror Film, including but not limited to “Getting Out: Social Thrillers and the Art of Cultural Critique”, “Horrified Nation/ Monstrous Culture: Sociopolitical Discourses in U.S. Horror Culture”, “Black Horror Fiction and the Nightmare of Race”, "Black Feminist Literature", and “The Black Novel: Geographies of Progress”.