Candice M. Jenkins

Associate Professor of English and African American Studies


Ph.D. Duke University; B.A. Spelman College


African American Studies, Gender/Sexuality Studies

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • Contemporary Black Fiction; Black Postmodernism; Gender/Sexuality Studies and African American Narrative; Black Feminist Theory and Criticism; Hip Hop and the Literary; Black Speculative Fiction

Research Description

  • My research uses a critical black feminist lens to consider how a variety of African American cultural texts address evolving questions of racial subjectivity, sexual politics, and class in the United States. My first book, Private Lives, Proper Relations: Regulating Black Intimacy (Minnesota, 2007), examined how African American writers articulate the political consequences of intimacy for the already-vulnerable black subject. In 2011, I guest edited a special issue of the journal African American Review on "Hip Hop and the Literary." My current project, "Bourgeois in the Flesh: Class, Sex, and the Vulnerable Racial Body" (under contract with the Univ of Minnesota Press), explores the dilemma of black middle-class embodiment in post-Civil Rights era African American fiction.


  • Ph.D. Duke University; B.A. Spelman College


  • I regularly teach courses on contemporary African American literature and culture, black speculative fiction, and hip hop (as) narrative, as well as black women's writing and black feminist theory.



  • Private Lives, Proper Relations: Regulating Black Intimacy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007.

Publication Photo

Book Contributions

  • "‘A Kind of End to Blackness’: Reginald McKnight’s He Sleeps and the Body Politics of Race and Class." From Bourgeois to Boojie: Black Middle Class Performances. Ed. Vershawn A. Young and Bridget H. Tsemo. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 2011. 261-286.

Journal Articles

  • "New Bourgeoisie, Old Bodies: Performing Post-Civil Rights Black Privilege in Tar Baby and School Daze." Criticism 58.4 (2016): 621-645. 22 Dec. 2017. <>.
  • "Pure Black: Class, Color and Intraracial Politics in Toni Morrison’s Paradise." Modern Fiction Studies (Special Issue on Toni Morrison) 52.2 (2006): 270-296.

Special Issues of a Journal

  • "Black Refusal, Black Magic: Reading African American Literature Now." What is Twenty-First-Century African American Literature?. Spec. iss. of American Literary History 29.4 (2017): 779-789. 23 Sep. 2017. <>.
  • "Introduction: ‘Reading’ Hip Hop Discourse in the 21st Century." Hip Hop and the Literary. Spec. iss. of African American Review 46.1 (2013): 1-8.

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