Maya Hislop (she/her/hers)

Maya Hislop

Assistant Professor



Ph.D. in English, University of Virginia, 2018
B.A. in English, Williams College, 201

Teaching and Research Interests

African American Literature, 20th & 21st century
Gender studies, sexual violence/misogynoir
Carceral studies, prison abolition
Media studies, race, gender, and class

My book, Bodies in the Middle: Black Women, Sexual Violence, and Justice (forthcoming University of South Carolina Press 2025) argues that to place black women at the center of a twentieth and twenty-first century study of sexual violence in literature is also to interrogate justice. To engage with the full spectrum of “justice”--social justice, anti-justice, prison abolitionism, Afro-pessimistic justice, and pedagogical justice--I argue that I must approach the issues of race and sexual violence from two vantage points which also mimic the two-part structure of the book: history and literature. In part one I relate a little-known twentieth century history of anti-rape and anti-racist movements. In part two, I examine specific Black novels that center Black women, sexual violence, and legal justice broadly defined. The justice movement history in part one circulates the cases of Recy Taylor, Joan Little, and Nafissatou Diallo. The literature my project explores is Native Son, Corregidora, and Americanah. In Bodies, I draw upon critical race theory, critical rape studies, and literary studies to enliven and expand public discourse around race, sexual violence, and the struggle for Black women’s right to legal redress for crimes committed against them.


“Book Review of Dark Mirror: African Americans and the Federal Writers’ Project by J.J. Butts” for Resource for American Literary Study, accepted February 26, 2023

“Book Review of Sexuality & Slavery: Reclaiming Intimate Histories in the Americas”, Special Issue “Reconstruction and Its Legacy: Short Fiction and Women Writers of the South”, Women’s Studies, January/February 2021, vol. 50, no. 1

““I love this country, but sometimes I not sure where I am”: Immigrant Women of Color, Sexual Violence, and Conceptions of Justice, Legal and Digital, in New York v. Strauss-Kahn and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah”, Law & Literature, February 3, 2020 pg. 1-26,, Article.

Version of ““I love this country…” article as a chapter to the anthology, Modern Migrations, Black Interrogations: unraveling modern immigration from the inside-out, ed. Phil Kretsedemas, under contract Temple U. Press, forthcoming 2023-24

“Book Review of From Slave Cabins to the White House: Homemade Citizenship in African American Culture by Koritha Mitchell for American Historical Review, forthcoming


Chair of “Prisons in Pedagogy and Popular Culture”, American Studies Association, New Orleans, November 2023 (upcoming)

Chair of “Failure as Pedagogy” roundtable, American Studies Association, New Orleans November 2022

Co-organizer of “Modern Migrations, Black Interrogations” panel, American Studies Association, San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 2021 (virtual)

“Afropessimistic Justice for Sexual Violence in Gayl Jones’s Corregidora,” American Comparative Literature Association, Washington, D.C., March 2019.

“‘Reverse’ Racial Passing as Play from the Stories of Kathleen Collins to Atlanta,” American Studies Association, Chicago, November 2017.

“The Failure of Revenge and the Potential Hope of Hopelessness in State v. Little and Corregidora by Gayl Jones” (special session on Black women’s writing), Modern Language Association, Philadelphia, January 2017.

“Not-Quite-Human: Biopolitics and the Competing Strategies for ‘Seeing’ the Raped Black Female in The Case of Recy Taylor and Richard Wright’s Native Son” (paper workshop on African Diaspora), South Atlantic Modern Language Association, Durham, November 2015.

“The Power and Loss of Invisibility: Rape Inside and Outside of the Visual Culture of the Civil Rights Movement” (panel on Black women and the civil rights movement), Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Memphis, September 2014.

Invited Talks

Union Institute & University 2023 National Faculty Meeting, “The Power of Failure: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Trust My Students”, February 2023 (virtual)

CUNY Queens College, “Black Women Imagine Violence as Healing: Systems of Destructive Justice in Gayl Jones’s Corregidora and State of North Carolina v. Joan Little, 1974-75”, March 2022 (virtual)

California Polytechnic University, “A Presentation on Research and Teaching”, January 2022 (virtual)

Marist College, “On Zora Neale Hurston’s “How It Feels to Be Colored Me”, February 2022

Guest lecture for Dr. Anastatia Curley, Assistant Professor of English University of Virginia, course “Contemporary Literature and the Internet”, Fall 2021

Courses Taught

Harlem & Beyond: African American Literature
Reading Rape and White Supremacy
Introduction to African American Literature
Black Women Write Abolition


Clemson University Strategic University Challenge for Competitive Excellence and Expertise in Discovery and Scholarship (Clemson Faculty SUCCEEDS) Project Completion Grant, 2022-2023

South Carolina Humanities Grant for the Black History Trail Project, Co-Principal

Investigator, January-August 2022

Nominated to submit application for National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend on behalf of Clemson University, Fall 2020

Clemson University College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities, Humanities Hub, Humanities Fellowship, summer research funding, Summer 2021

Clemson University College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities, Humanities Hub Research Travel Grant, 2019

Professional Memberships

American Studies Association

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