Brittney Edmonds

Position title: Assistant Professor


Degrees and Institutions

  • PhD, Princeton University
  • MA, Princeton University
  • BA, Cornell University

Biographical Statement

I’m a scholar of twentieth and twenty-first century African American literature and culture. My first book manuscript, Who’s Laughing Now?: Black Satire and the Evolution of Form, develops an argument about the centrality of Black humor practices to formal shifts in Black expressive cultures after 1968.

In addition to my interests in Black humor studies, I also research and teach in the areas of Black literary and cultural history, Black film studies, Black sexuality studies (especially theories of Black masculinity), and Black feminisms. My commitment to radical pedagogy extends beyond the classroom to a number of public humanities and co-curricular initiatives that redistribute the resources of the university to the public and to surrounding communities and that contribute to the robust flourishing of the intellectual study of Black life.

At Princeton University, with historian Jennifer D. Jones, I co-founded the Black Queer Sexuality Studies Collective, which hosted national and international graduate students in themed forums designed to specifically elevate the work of junior scholars and to provide them with critically engaged and attentive arguments. The annual conferences (2012-2015) exclusively showcased graduate student panelists and featured plenary addresses from leading scholars in Black Studies including Kara Keeling, Shane Vogel, Salamishah Tillet, and Saidiya Hartman. I also helped develop the curriculum and taught in the inaugural virtual iteration of the Freshman Scholars Institute at Princeton University, which invites students from underresourced backgrounds to participate in 7-week credit-bearing program before their first year of matriculation at the university.

At UW-Madison, I am a co-facilitator, alongside Drs. Cherene Sherrard-Johnson and Keisha Lindsay, of the Mellon-Borghesi workshop “Black Feminisms Now,” which creates institutional space for the intellectual training and professional development of Black women scholars across disciplines. For the 2021-2022 AY, I will serve as the Faculty Advisor for the Great Work Texts program, which invites high school teachers and students from across the state of Wisconsin to share in year-long activities devoted to a classic piece of literature.

My teaching and my scholarship has been generously supported by the Lumina Fund for Racial Justice and Equity, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the center for Civic Engagement at Bard College, the Office of the Dean at Princeton University, and the Programs in Gender and Sexuality Studies and American Studies at Princeton University.


Peer-Reviewed Articles

Edmonds, Brittney Michelle.”On Witnessing: James Baldwin’s Southern Experience and the Quareness of Black Sociality.” South: a scholarly journal, vol. 51 no. 1, 2018, p. 115-134. Project MUSE

Edmonds, Brittney M.. 2020. “The Professional is Political: On Citational Practice and the Persistent Problem of Academic Plunder.” Journal of Feminist Scholarship 16 (Fall): 74-77.

Encyclopedia Entries

Edmonds, Brittney. “Black Bourgeoise.” Encyclopedia of African American Culture: From Dashikis to Yoruba. ABC-CLIO. (forthcoming)

Edmonds, Brittney. “Spike Lee” Encyclopedia of African American Culture: From Dashikis to Yoruba. ABC-CLIO. (forthcoming)  

Book Reviews

Edmonds, Brittney. Visionary Women Writers of Chicago’s Black Arts Movement. Carmen L. Phelps., MELUS, Volume 40, Issue 1, Spring 2015, Pages 218–220, (Review)