Tess Chakkalakal

Tess Chakkalakal

Associate Professor of Africana Studies and English

-- Bowdoin College
HWL Affiliation: Visiting Faculty Fellow
Year Visiting: 2011 to 2012

Professor Chakkalakal is currently on leave from Bowdoin and has been engaged in discussions with Maurice Wallace, Associate Professor of English and African and African American Studies, on the intersections between theological discourse and African American literature.  She seeks to construct a truly interdisciplinary approach to teaching the literature of the Jim Crow era, with a particular focus on the writings of Reverend Sutton E. Griggs.  During her Fellowship, she plans to continue her work on African American literature and will seek to engage with other Duke faculty and with Duke students.

Professor Wallace stated that Professor Chakkalakal’s “hope to revive the much-neglected fiction of Sutton Griggs is an altogether worthwhile undertaking and is likely to go far to fill a gap in the teaching of Southern literature in the United States.  Her determination to imagine a new pedagogy that brings politics, literariness, and religion into convergence is as inspiring as the project is urgent.”

Professor Chakkalakal earned her BA in English and History from the University of Toronto, and her MA and PhD in English from York University.  Her most recent book, Novel Bondage: Slavery, Marriage, and Freedom in Nineteenth-Century America, has just been published by the University of Illinois Press.


Who was Sutton Griggs?
Who was Sutton Griggs?
-- Mar 26 2012
by Tess Chakkalakal Who was Sutton E. Griggs and what are his novels about? This is the question that has brought me to Duke University. I am Tess Chakkalakal, a Humanities Writ Large Visiting... Read More