Associate Professor, English and Comparative Literature

Office: 511a Philosophy Hall

Areas of Interest:  Postcolonial literatures of Africa and Latin America; human rights and narrative theory; 20th-century ethnic and third world literatures


Joseph Slaughter teaches and publishes in the fields of postcolonial literature and theory, African, Caribbean, and Latin American literatures, postcolonialism, narrative theory, human rights, and 20th-century ethnic and third world literatures. His many publications include articles in Human Rights QuarterlyResearch in African LiteraturesThe Journal of Human RightsPolitics and CultureTulsa Studies in Women's Literature. His essay, “Enabling Fictions and Novel Subjects: The Bildungsroman and International Human Rights Law,” appeared in a special issue on human rights of PMLA (October 2006) and was honored as one of the two best articles published in the journal in 2006-7. Selected book chapters appear in Humanitarianism and SufferingAfrican Writers and Their Readers,Emerging Perspectives on Chinua AchebeModernism and CopyrightWomen, Gender, and Human Rights. Slaughter is a founding co-editor of Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development; he has co-edited a special issue on "Human Rights and Literary Form" of Comparative Literature Studies. His book, Human Rights, Inc.: The World Novel, Narrative Form, and International Law (Fordham UP, 2007), which explores the cooperative narrative logics of international human rights law and the Bildungsroman, was awarded the 2008 René Wellek prize for comparative literature and cultural theory. He is currently working on two book manuscripts, “Pathetic Fallacies: Essays on Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and the Humanities” and "New Word Orders: Plagiarism, Postcolonialism, and the Globalization of the Novel," which considers the role of plagiarism (and other piratical textual practices) in the circulation and development of the novel form.