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Marzia Milazzo

Assistant Professor
Affiliate faculty in African American and Diaspora Studies, Latino and Latina Studies, and Latin American Studies

My research is broadly concerned with the relationship between the poetics and the politics of both racist and antiracist discourses. My teaching and research areas, in no particular order, include twentieth and twenty-first century African American, Afro-Latin American, Chicanx, Latinx, Inter-American, and South African literatures; Black radical thought, critical race theory, and sociology of race and ethnic relations. I received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an M.A. in English and Spanish as well as a Secondary Education Teaching degree (Staatsexamen) from the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany.

My first book, Colorblind Tools: Global Technologies of Racial Power, is under advance contract with Northwestern University Press (Critical Insurgencies series). The book traces the racial technology of colorblindness from the Americas to South Africa, and from colonial to contemporary texts, to argue for the centrality of colonialism to contemporary racism and call attention to the power, longevity, and insidiousness of colorblindness. Through the study of Brazilian, Cuban, Mexican, Panamanian, US, and South African texts, I examine colorblindness as a technology, a discourse, a legal doctrine, and a metaphor for the global attempt to naturalize and render permanent what W.E.B. Du Bois in The Souls of Black Folk (1903) describes as “the colorline,—the relation of the darker races to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea.” While it has become doctrine to argue that we are living in a colorblind era or that colorblindness is the dominant form of racism today, I contest the understanding of colorblindness as a form of racism and challenge the confinement of colorblindness to an epoch or an event.


  1. Race, Place, and Power (University Course)
  2. Countering Colorblindness Across the Disciplines (Graduate Seminar)
  3. Post-Apartheid South African Literature (Anglophone African Literature)
  4. Writing, Colonialism, and Decolonizaton (Colonial and Postcolonial Literature)
  5. From the Plantation to the Prison: Slavery and its Afterlife in African American Literature (African American Literature)
  6. Migration, Incarceration, and the Southern US Border (Latinx Literature)
  7. Race, Gender, and Confinement in the United States and American Landscapes: Race, Place, and Representation (Ethnic American Literature)
  8. Black Radical Thought (World Literature - Modern)
  9. Stories and Thoughts of Freedom and Confinement (Foundations of Literary Study)
  10. Crossing Borders (Introduction to Latina and Latino Studies)
  11. Race, Risk, and Resistance in the United States and South Africa (Literature and Analytical Thinking)
  12. Bodies, Borders, and Power and Movement, Migration, and Displacement (Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis)