Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz, Literature
B.A., University of Pécs, Hungary, Literature
Rita Keresztesi is Professor of English, specializing in contemporary multi-ethnic American, African American and Afro-Caribbean literary and cultural studies, African cinema, and postcolonial studies.
Her first monograph, Strangers at Home: American Ethnic Modernism between the World Wars (University of Nebraska Press, 2005), discusses literary modernism from the perspectives of early 20th-century immigrant, Native American, and African American writers. She co-edited the book (with MaryEllen Higgins and Dayna Oscherwitz) The Western in the Global South (Routledge, 2015), which investigates the Western film genre's impact, migrations, and reconfigurations in the Global South. Her second monograph, Literary Black Power in the Caribbean: Fiction, Music and Film (Routledge, 2020), focuses on how writers and musicians responded to the political message and agenda of Black Power in the Caribbean region. She has published articles and book chapters on the work (text, film, or music) of Boubacar Boris Diop, Manthia Diawara, Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Ousmane Sembène, Thomas Sankara, Kenneth Gyang, Didier Awadi, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Smockey, Mati Diop, Perry Henzell, Earl Lovelace, Sylvia Wynter, Zora Neale Hurston, George Schuyler. She is currently completing a book manuscript titled “Screen Griots: African Cinema’s Alternative Archives,” which addresses the epistemological challenges to locally produced archival practices, such as storytelling through film and music, to decolonize memory and historical “facts.”
African Studies Institute, University of Oklahoma, Executive Committee Member
Caribbean Studies Association, Executive Council Member https://www.caribbeanstudiesassociation.org/executive-council-2023-2025/\
Research and Teaching Interests
African American literature (Harlem Renaissance, Black Arts/Black Power), Caribbean literary and cultural studies (literature, music, film), African cinema (francophone West Africa, Nollywood) and music, postcolonial studies.
Fulbright U.S. Scholar (l’Université Ouaga 1 Professeur Ki-Zerbo, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 2010-2011)
Fulbright Alumni Ambassador (2016-2020)
Literary Black Power in the Caribbean (Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, 2020)
The Western in the Global South (co-editor) (Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, 2015)
Strangers at Home: American Ethnic Modernism between the World Wars (U of Nebraska P, 2005)
For more information, please consult her C.V. (doc)