Project Researchers

Prof. Alison Donnell was the Principal Investigator and Project Designer. She is Head of Humanities at the University of Bristol. She has an established international profile in the field of Caribbean literature, with significant contributions to the fields of literary history and culture, recovery research of women authors, and Caribbean literary archives. Her work also focuses on Caribbean feminism and literature; gender, sexuality and queer studies. She is the author of a wide number of publications including  Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature (co-edited with Michael Bucknor); Selected Poems of Una MarsonTwentieth Century Caribbean Literature: Critical Moments in Anglophone Literary and Critical History and Caribbean Irish Connections: interdisciplinary Perspectives (co-edited with Evelyn O’Callaghan and Maria McGarrity). Her monograph Creolized Sexualities: Undoing Heteronormativity in the literary imagination of the Anglo-Caribbean was published in Rutgers Critical Caribbean Series in 2022.

Her recent works reflect her ongoing commitment to exploring and expanding literary histories, including a special double issue of Caribbean Quarterly on Caribbean Literary Archives and her General Editorship of Caribbean Literature in Transition, 1800-2020 (3 volumes). Alison’s research has been funded by grants from the AHRC, British Academy, and Leverhulme Trust. She has acted as a judge for academic prizes, and has delivered invited lectures internationally; including the National Library of Jamaica’s 2016 Annual Distinguished Lecture; The University of the West Indies’ Annual Distinguished Edward Baugh Lecture in 2022; and the 2024 Edgar Mittelholzer Memorial Lecture.

Dr. Marta Fernández Campa was Senior Research Associate on the project. She has lectured at Goldsmiths, University of London, University of Reading and the University of Saint Louis (Madrid campus). Marta’s work has an interdisciplinary focus on how contemporary Caribbean writers and visual artists engage critically with literary and historical archives, as explored in publications and her book Memory and The Archival Turn in Contemporary Caribbean Literature and Culture (Palgrave Macmillan). She has been the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, the Leverhulme Trust and the Center for the Humanities at the University of Miami. Marta has published her work in Arc MagazineAnthuriumCallalooCommaSmall AxeCaribbean BeatCaribbean Literature in Transition, 1970-2020, Vol. 3and in a special issue on archives with The Journal of West Indian Literature that she co-edited with Evelyn O’Callaghan. She has previously been an editor at Anthurium and is currently special projects editor at Caribbean InTransit

Jen McDerra was a doctoral student on the project, researching at the University of East Anglia. Her thesis, “Gladys Lindo’s legacy in letters: reuniting the Women of Caribbean literary and broadcasting history with their achievements” can be accessed at https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/94783. Jen is a literary and life historian who uses archive materials and oral history techniques to reunite twentieth-century women with their achievements. Based in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, Jen’s doctoral research is concerned with restoring the innovative contributions made to publishing and broadcasting by women from the Caribbean and the UK.

Jen was previously CEO of the Charles Causley Trust and Programme Officer for Commonwealth Writers where she worked on the development of ‘CaribLit’, a platform created in collaboration with the British Council, BOCAS Lit Fest and Granta to address challenges in publishing for authors and facilitate access to the publishing industry. This resulted in the creation of Peekash Press. She is an Editor at UEA Publishing Project, Fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme, and a Trustee for the Poetry Translation Centre.

Zakiya McKenzie was a doctoral student on the project, researching at the University of Exeter. Her thesis, “A Social History of Black British Journalism: Caribbean Writers in Britain” can be accessed at https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10871/135205. She has worked as a journalist in Johannesburg, a newswriter in New Kingston and a Caribbean TV show’s production assistant in the Bronx. In 2017, she completed a Master of Research degree in Sustainable Futures at the University of Bristol focusing on the environmental and economic implications of “black gold” – petroleum – off Guyana’s shore. She has led research projects focused on the contribution of Black and Minority Ethnic to Bristol’s tech industry and higher education  for Up Our Street (a neighbourhood management company). Zakiya is a volunteer producer at Ujima 98FM Bristol and host of The Griot Sound on the station. She is also an Ujima Radio Green and Black Ambassador encouraging a better natural and built environmental for all.

Prof. Kei Miller was a founder researcher on this project 2017-19. He is a Jamaican writer and a Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Miami. He is the 2014 winner of the Forward Poetry Prize for his poetry book The Cartographer Tries to Map A Way to Zion, The Next Generation Prize (2014), the Commonwealth Writers Prize (2007), and has won the NGC Bocas Lit Fest Price in 2014 for his collection of essays Writing Down the Vision and for his latest novel Augustown, in 2017. He has been shortlisted for numerous prizes including the Commonwealth Writers First Book Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Other publications include Kingdom of Empty Bellies (2005); Fear of Stones and Other Stories (2006); There is an Anger that Moves (2007); The Same Earth (2008); The Last Warner Woman and A Light Song of Light (2010) and the edited collection of poetry New Caribbean Poetry: An Anthology (2007). Kei Miller’s previous research examined epistolary practices in the Caribbean between 1900 and 2000; which was the focus of his doctoral Thesis. He is also a blogger and writes essays about race, gender literature and Jamaica in his blog Under the Saltire Flag.

Dr. David Sutton was the technical advisor on the project’s archive finding tool. He is Visiting Research fellow at the University of Reading and an international expert in literary archives. He is currently involved in four projects: Diasporic Literary Archives Project, Firms Out of Business, Writers Artists and their Copyrights Holders and the Location Register of English Literary Manuscripts and Letters).  He is author of the Location Register and the resulting 1988 two-volume publicatin Location Register of 20th-century English literary manuscripts and letters, which has been a significant reference source for the study of English literature. David’s research interests center around the characteristics and role of literary archives; international locations of primary literary materials; copyright and orphan works, urban development, food culture and municipal government, fields in which he has published widely. He is also Chair of GLAM (the Group for Literary Archives and Manuscripts) since 2010 and a member of the UK Literary Heritage Working Group. He has received the Benson Medal for outstanding services to literature by the Royal Society of Literature (2002) and was named Archivist of the Year by the Scone Foundation in 2006. 

Karen Lord is a Barbadian author, editor and research consultant. Her debut novel Redemption in Indigo won several awards and was nominated for the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. Her other works include the crime-fantasy novel Unraveling, and the science fiction duology The Best of All Possible Worlds andThe Galaxy Game. She edited the anthology New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean and coedited the 2020 anthology Reclaim, Restore, Return: Futurist Tales from the Caribbean

She was a judge for the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the 2018 CODE Burt Award for Caribbean YA Literature. She has taught at the 2018 Clarion West Writers Workshop and the 2019 Clarion Workshop, and she co-facilitated the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize Workshop in Barbados. She has been a featured author at literary festivals from Adelaide to Edinburgh to Berlin, and often appears at the Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad & Tobago. 

Born in Tobago, M. NourbeSe Philip is a poet, essayist, novelist, playwright and independent scholar who lives in the space-time of Toronto. A former lawyer, her published works include the award-winning YA novel, Harriet’s Daughter, the seminal poetry collection, She Tries Her Tongue; Her Silence Softly Breaks, the speculative prose poem, Looking for Livingstone: An Odyssey of Silence, her genre-breaking book-length epic, Zong! and Bla_k, a collection of essays and interviews. 

M. NourbeSe Philip is a Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellow (Bellagio) and in 2020 was the recipient of PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. In 2021 she was awarded the Arts Molson Prize by the Canada Council for “invaluable contributions to literature.” 

Sharon Millar was born and lives in Trinidad. She is the winner of the 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the 2012 Small Axe Short Fiction Award. Her first collection The Whale House and other stories (Peepal Tree Press 2015) was long-listed for the 2016 OCM Bocas Prize. 

Her work has been anthologized in Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean (Akashic Books and Peepal Tree Press), WomanSpeak: A Journal of Writing and Art by Caribbean Women,Volume 8, 2016 (edited by Lynn Sweeting), Trinidad Noir 2 (Akashic Books 2017), Griffith Review Edition 59: New Commonwealth Now (2018), Pree Lit Caribbean Writing (2018) and in the  anthology Thicker Than Water, (Peekash Press 2018). She is currently at work on her second collection of short stories and her first novel. 

Perry Collins is the Copyright & Open Educational Resources Librarian and Editor, LibraryPress@UF, at the University of Florida Libraries, where she manages initiatives promoting open access in education, copyright literacy, and ethical approaches to digital scholarship. As co-PI on Revitalizing the Digital Library of the Caribbean, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Perry is working with dLOC partners, educators, and scholars to develop more robust collection rights guidance and to develop sustained support for use of Caribbean collections in the classroom. Before joining UF in 2018, Collins held a similar position at the Ball State University Libraries in Muncie, Indiana, and worked for six years as a program officer in the Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities, the largest government funder of the humanities in the United States. Collins holds a M.L.I.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and M.A. in American Studies from the University of Kansas.

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