Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Frederick Staidum

Associate Professor

  • Office Location: Crown Center 451
  • Phone Number: 773.508.2272
  • E-mail: fstaidum@luc.edu


My research and teaching are focused on American literature and culture of the long 19th century, especially African American and African Diaspora literatures and cultures.  My work interrogates representations of race, gender, and sexuality alongside the symbiosis of modernity and coloniality, liberalism and racial capitalism crisscrossing the late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Atlantic world.  I am especially interested in the ways in which blackness and its varied genderings (or ungendering) and sexualizations were not distinct from modernity and, later, liberalism but rather central to the creation and promulgation of these discourses and their most cherished concept—progress, be it temporal, spatial, political, or so on.

Across my work, including the published articles “The Durée of Emancipation and the Crisis of Freedom in Antebellum Black Writing” and “‘Are We MEN!!’: Blackness, (Non)masculinities, and the Grammar of the Interrogative in Early Anti-Slavery Discourse” and my current book project tentatively titled Landscapes of Lack, Landscapes of Excess: New Orleans, Geographies of Difference, and Atlantic Liberalism, I trace the contours of this symbiosis amongst progress, imperialism, and slavery, such as the unfree, interpenetrated temporality of Emancipation (“The Durée”) or abolitionism’s foreclosure of black masculinity (“‘Are We MEN!!’”).  Ultimately, I argue that the creation of racialized and gendered Others, like the Black male supplicant (“‘Are We MEN!!’”) or early exoticized cartographies of New Orleans (Landscapes), are indispensable constituents within conventional accounts of progress. 

As a professor, I aim to cultivate engaged, life-long learners, who can recognize and dismantle unjust notions of normativity, hierarchy, and inequity.  I hope to empower students to creatively and soundly interpret the racial, classed, gendered, and sexual representations in literature and their role in the making of the modern world.  We achieve these objectives through interdisciplinary learning activities focused on cultural literacy, close reading, and aesthetic and formal analysis. 


  • BA, African World Studies, Dillard University (2005)
  • MPS, African and African American Studies, Cornell University (2007)
  • MA, African American Studies, Northwestern University (2011)
  • PhD, African American Studies, Northwestern University (2015)

Program Areas

  • African American Literature and Culture
  • African Diaspora Literature and Culture
  • Nineteenth-Century US American Literature and Culture
  • Race and Ethnicity Studies
  • Gender and Queer Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Critical Theory
  • Digital Humanities

Research Interests

  • African American Studies
  • Black Study and the Black Radical Tradition
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Black Queer and Trans Feminisms
  • Geography and Spatiality
  • Temporality
  • History of Coloniality and Modernity
  • History of Slavery, Liberty, and the “Afterlives of Slavery”
  • Racial Liberalism/the Racial Contract
  • Philosophies of Progress
  • Art and Visual Culture

Selected Publications