Brittney Michelle Edmonds is an interdisciplinary scholar of 20th and 21st Century African American literature and culture. She researches and specializes in the study of black critical humor after 1968. Her scholarship and her courses highlight how otherwise modes of being, feeling, speaking, and writing defamiliarize and destabilize hegemonic productions of race, gender, sexuality, and class. Through an approach that centers the theoretical interventions of black feminisms, Edmonds emphasizes the ways in which black cultural producers remap and restage dominant understandings of “blackness.” Her current book manuscript, “Look Who’s Laughing Now: Black Critical Humor and the Political Labor of the Abstract,” investigates the use of humor and abstraction as a form of political critique, discourse, and engagement.
In addition, Edmonds has a broad interest in black sexuality studies, especially theories of black masculinity. With historian Jennifer D. Jones, she co-founded the Black Queer Sexuality Studies Collective at Princeton University. The Collective hosted national and international graduate students in themed forums designed to provide junior scholars with critically engaged and attentive audiences. The conferences exclusively showcased graduate student panelists and featured plenary addresses from leading scholars in Black Studies including Kara Keeling, Shane Vogel, Salamishah Tillet, and Saidiya Hartman.
As a committed pedagogue, Edmonds has taught a broad range of courses in a variety of educational institutions including research universities, liberal arts colleges, early colleges, community colleges, and carceral spaces. She has designed, led, and assisted in courses at Princeton University, Cornell University, Bard College, and Mercer Community College. Her teaching interests range black cultural production and black expressive cultures from African American literary satire to Black film and television comedy to studies, histories, and performances of black sexuality.
Her teaching and her scholarship has been generously supported by the Lumina Fund for Racial Justice and Equity, the Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College, the Office of the Dean at Princeton University, and the Programs in Gender and Sexuality Studies & American Studies at Princeton University.
Edmonds, Brittney. “On Witnessing: James Baldwin’s Southern Experience and the Quareness of Black Sociality.” South: A Scholarly Journal (forthcoming)
Edmonds, Brittney. “The Professional is Political: On Citational Practice and the Persistent Problem of Academic Plunder.” The Journal of Feminist Scholarship (forthcoming)
Edmonds, Brittney. “Black Bourgeoise.” Encyclopedia of African American Culture: From Dashikis to Yoruba. ABC-CLIO. (forthcoming)
Edmonds, Brittney. “Spike Lee” Encyclopedia of African American Culture: From Dashikis to Yoruba. ABC-CLIO. (forthcoming)
Edmonds, Brittney. Visionary Women Writers of Chicago’s Black Arts Movement. Carmen L. Phelps., MELUS, Volume 40, Issue 1, Spring 2015, Pages 218–220, https://doi.org/10.1093/melus/mlu058 (Review)