Skip to main content

calandra ebonee noelle (she/her/hers)

Profile picture for calandra ebonee noelle (she/her/hers)

Contact Information

English Building
608 S Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Hours

Graduate Teaching Assistant; PhD Student; Literary Studies


My scholarship has been influenced by the work of Black Radicals, thinkers, activists, and Postcolonial theorists such as Newton, Seale, Baraka, Baldwin, Malcolm X, Fanon, Spivak, Said, and others. I am always thinking about power: how it functions, how it perpetuates violence against Black bodies, how it Others, whom it Others, and who maintains it.

Research Interests

  • African American Literature & Culture
  • Collective/ Inherited (Cultural) Trauma
  • Grief/ Mourning
  • African Diasporic Funerary Rituals
  • Personhood (Ontology)/ Citizenship/ Nationhood
  • Black Religions
  • Black theology

Research Description

My work focuses on grief, death, trauma, and mourning. I am fascinated by depictions of grief and bereavement in African American Literature. Integrating postcolonial theory and psychoanalysis into my work, I study interrupted or prohibited grief. Specifically, I am interested in how Black people mourn 400 years of trauma individually, collectively, and nationally through our literature. I also research the ways the acknowledgement of grief/mourning are linked to personhood, citizenship, and a recognition of our collective humanity. 

Although my passion is Black Literature and Culture, my interests include 20th and 21st Century American Literature, American Studies, Psychoanalysis, and Literary Theory, especially Deconstruction and Critical Race Theory.





  • M.A. English, San Francisco State University, 2020
  • B.A. English, University of California, Berkeley, 2007

Awards and Honors

  • LAS Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2023
  • Graduate College Fellowship, UIUC, 2021
  • Debra Plousha Moore Scholarship, San Francisco State University, 2015

Courses Taught

  • REL 134–TA (Fall 2023)
  • Rhet. 105 (Fall 2022; Spring 2023)