Hazel Carby

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Hazel V. Carby is professor of African American Studies and of American Studies at Yale University. Before joining the Yale University faculty, she taught English at Wesleyan University for seven years. She currently teaches courses on issues of race, gender and sexuality through the culture and literature of the Caribbean and its Diaspora; through transnational and postcolonial literature and theory; through representations of the black female body; and through the genres of science fiction. Identified as a Marxist feminist, her work primarily deals with detecting and probing discrepancies between the symbolic constructions of the black experience and the actual lives of African Americans.

Dr. Carby is considered a pioneer in black feminism and is also known as one of the world’s leading scholars on race, gender, and African-American issues. One of her most influential contributions to African Diaspora studies came with her first book, Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist (1987). Reconstructing Womanhood offers one of the earliest and most comprehensive studies on black female writers including Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins, Anna Cooper, and Ida B. Wells among others. Carby followed this book with Race Men: The Body and Soul of Race, Nation, and Manhood (1998). Race Men, is a six essay collection of critiques on historical sites of black masculinity. Carby’s first chapter, “Souls Of Black Men” is a critique of the gender bias in W.E.B. Du BoisSouls of Black Folk. She argues that Double Consciousness is an erasure of Black female subjectivity. Carby does not question the importance of this text in black scholarship, she recognizes that it is because of the crucial status of Du Bois and Souls that it is important that she undertakes this critique. After Race Men, she penned Cultures in Babylon: Black Britain and African America (1999). Currently she is working on her forthcoming book, Child of Empire. Carby has lectured at numerous colleges and universities worldwide including The University of Notre Dame, Stanford University, the University of Paris, and the University of Toronto.

Carby serves on the advisory board of multiple feminist academic journals, including differences, new formations, and Signs.[1][2][3]


Hazel Carby was born of Jamaican and Welsh parents in Okehampton, Devon, UK, on January 15, 1948. She married fellow Yale professor Michael Denning, on May 29, 1982.


  • B.A. in English and history, Portsmouth Polytechnic, 1970
  • P.G.C.E. (teaching certificate), Institute of Education, London University, 1972
  • M.A., Birmingham University Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies, 1979
  • Ph.D., Birmingham University Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies, 1984


  • Carby, Hazel V. Cultures in Babylon: Black Britain and African American. London and New York: Verso, 1999.
  • Carby, Hazel V. Race Men: The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures. Cambridge, Mass. and London: Harvard University Press, 1998.
  • Carby, Hazel V. Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist. New York and Oxford: OUP, 1987.

Selected publications[edit]

  • "Figuring the future in Los(t) Angeles." Comparative American Studies, 1.1 (2003): 19-34.
  • "What is This 'Black' in Irish Popular Culture?" European Journal of Cultural Studies, 4.3 (2001): 325-349.
  • "Can the Tactics of Cultural Integration Counter the Persistence of Political Apartheid? Or, The Multicultural Wars, Part Two." Race, Law and Culture: Reflections on Brown v. Board of Education. Ed. Austin Sarat. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. 221-8.
  • "National Nightmares: The Liberal Bourgeoisie and Racial Anxiety," Racial and Ethnic Identity: Psychological Development and Creative Expression. Eds. Herbert W. Harris, Howard C. Blue and Ezra E. Griffith. New York: Routledge, 1995. 173-91.
  • "Race and the Academy: Feminism and the Politics of Difference." O Canone Nos Estudos Anglo-Americanos. Ed. Isabel Caldeira. Coimbra, Portugal: Livraria Minerva, 1994. 247-53.
  • "'Hear My Voice, Ye Careless Daughters': Narratives of Slave and Free Women before Emancipation." African American Autobiography: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. William L. Andrews. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1993. 59-76.
  • "The Multicultural Wars." Radical History Review, 54.7 (1992): 7-18.
  • "Imagining Black Men: The Politics of Cultural Identity." Yale Review, 80.3 (1992): 186-97.
  • "Policing the Black Woman's Body in an Urban Context." Critical Inquiry, 18.4 (1992): 738-55.
  • "The Politics of Fiction, Anthropology, and the Folk: Zora Neale Hurston." New Essays on Their Eyes Were Watching God. Ed. Michael Awkward. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. 71-93.
  • "Re-inventing History/Imagining the Future." Black American Literature Forum, 20.2 (1989): 381-7.
  • "Proletarian or Revolutionary Literature: C. L. R. James and the Politics of the Trinidadian Renaissance." South Atlantic Quarterly, 87 (1988): 39-52.
  • "Ideologies of Black Folk: The Historical Novel of Slavery." Slavery and the Literary Imagination. Eds. Deborah E. McDowell and Arnold Rampersad. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989. 125-43.
  • "The Canon: Civil War and Reconstruction." Michigan Quarterly Review. 28.1 (1989): 35-43.
  • "It Jus Be's Dat Way Sometime: The Sexual Politics of Women's Blues." Radical America, 20 (1987): 9-22.
  • "'On the Threshold of Woman's Era': Lynching, Empire, and Sexuality in Black Feminist Theory." Critical Inquiry, 12.1 (1985): 262-77.
  • "Schooling in Babylon". The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in Seventies Britain. London: Hutchinson, 1982. 182-211.
  • "White Woman Listen! Black Feminism and the Boundaries of Sisterhood." The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in Seventies Britain. London: Hutchinson, 1982. 212-235.


  1. ^ "Project MUSE - differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies". muse.jhu.edu. Retrieved 2017-08-23. 
  2. ^ "Project MUSE - new formations: a journal of culture/theory/politics". muse.jhu.edu. Retrieved 2017-08-23. 
  3. ^ "Masthead". Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 2012-08-22. Retrieved 2017-08-23. 

External links[edit]