Shermaine Jones

Shermaine Jones, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of English

(804) 827-8324

Hibbs Hall 324A


  • BA   Dartmouth College
  • MA, PhD University of Virginia

Research/Teaching Focus

African American Literature; African and Afro-Caribbean Literature; Affect Studies & Theory; Autobiography, Memoirs, & Self-writing in the African American Literary Tradition.

Recent/Selected Publications

“Presenting Our Bodies, Laying Our Case”: The Political Efficacy of Grief and Rage During The Civil Rights Movement in Alice Walker’s Meridian. Southern Quarterly Journal 52. 1 Fall (2014):179 –196.

Commitment to African American Studies

Since reading The Souls of Black Folk as an African and African American Studies major in undergrad, the example of W.E. B. Du Bois as a scholar, teacher, and advocate continues to greatly inform Shermaine Jones' scholarly approach, interdisciplinary methodology, and pedagogical commitment to center the lives, experiences, and worth of Black people. Her scholarly research is concerned with race, affect, and the politics of Black mourning. Jer publications include “Presenting Our Bodies, Laying Our Case: The Political Efficacy of Grief and Rage During The Civil Rights Movement in Alice Walker’s Meridian” in Southern Quarterly and “I CAN’T BREATHE!” Affective Asphyxia in Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric in South Journal. Her courses encourage students to “lean into discomfort” when interrogating such complex theoretical concerns as double consciousness, race and affect, and national belonging in the works of such thinkers as James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, Jean Toomer, Toni Morrison, and Claudia Rankine etc. Her objective is to equip students with a historical lens and theoretical frameworks to interrogate and understand the current climate of anti-Blackness and ultimately empower them to impact change.