Allison Curseen

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Allison Curseen is a second year PhD student in the English Department at Duke where she focuses primarily on African American literature. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from American University and a BA from Oberlin College.

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Allison Curseen is a second year PhD student in the English Department at Duke. While certain that her major field will be African American literature, she is still exploring a myriad of academic curiosities including alternative literacies, religion, artist figures, the space of the body, popular literature and the interplay between literature, television, and online media. Allison is also extremely fascinated by childhood and (particularly black and/or blackened) children in literature as characters, readers, and also at times as writers. In her Masters, she began exploring the literary commodification of children in freedom struggles in America and the ways in which literature works as a technology that constructs childhoods in diametric opposition to adulthoods.

This summer, Allison teaches creative writing at Duke and assistant teaches an African American literature seminar on rhetoric, dreams, and the production of freedom in King and Malcom X’s writings at Orange County Correctional Center. Before coming to Duke, Allison finished her MFA in creative writing at American University. While in DC, she worked as a guide and research assistant for the Decatur House Museum and a writing consultant for American University’s Writing Center. She was the editor for Folio: A Literary Journal for two years and continues to work as an editorial assistant for Kyle Dargan’s Post No Ills online magazine. She has also participated in the Hurston/Wright Writers’ Week and the Callaloo Writers’ Workshop. She earned her BA at Oberlin College where she studied history and writing as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellow.

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