Raj Chetty

Associate ProfessorAssistant Chair
Ph.D., 2013, University of Washington, EnglishM.A., 2006, Brigham Young University, EnglishB.A., 2000, University of California, Riverside, English

Areas of Specialization
Caribbean Literature and Culture, Postcolonial Literary Studies, Black/African Diaspora Studies, Performance Studies

Raj Chetty teaches world literatures in English and postcolonial literature and theory, with a particular focus on Caribbean literature across English-, Spanish-, and French-language regions.

He is working on two projects currently, one examining the theatrical legacies of C. L. R. James’s landmark work, The Black Jacobins, specifically its stage version, and the other exploring Dominican literary engagements with blackness and Africanness in the period following the end of Rafael Trujillo’s dictatorship.

This latter project examines the ways Dominican articulations and performances of blackness are often unrecognizable to dominant theories and practices of black cultural practice and black diaspora theory. The book analyzes street and popular theater, baseball and literature, 1960s literary and cultural journals and groups, and in-depth studies of Aída Cartagena Portalatín, Junot Díaz, Jacques Viau Renaud, and Frank and Reynaldo Disla.


“‘La Calle es Libre’: Race, Recognition, and Dominican Street Theatre,” Afro-Hispanic Review 32.2 (2013): 41-56.

“The Tragicomedy of Anticolonial Overcoming: Toussaint Louverture and The Black Jacobins on Stage,” Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters 37.1 (2014):

“The Indian on the Bookshelf: Placing Jhumpa Lahiri in Contemporary American Literature” in South Asia and its Others: Reading the “Exotic”, edited by Atreyee Phukan and V.G. Julie Rajan, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009. 55-77.

National and International Conferences:

“‘He’s Dominican. He’s not black’: Negrophobia and the Crisis of the Pelotero Afro-Dominicano” (August 2014), Afro-Latin American Research Association, Kingston, Jamaica

“From Caliban to Califé, Or, What is Afro-Dominicano Literature?” (May 2014), Dominican Studies Association, Naugatuck Valley Community College, CT

“The End of Trujillo—A New Beginning for Afro-Dominican Literary Production” (October-November 2013), Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

“Can a Mulatta be a Black Jacobin?: James, Feminism, and the Place of Collaboration” (October 2013), The Black Jacobins Revisited: Rewriting History, International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, England

“‘La Calle es Libre’: Race and Class in Dominican Street Theater” (May-June 2013), Latin American Studies Association, Washington, D.C., Co-organizer of panel, “From Baseball to Blackouts: Political Participation in the Dominican Republic”

“An Afro-Haitian-Dominican Cry: Jacques Viau and Literary Diasporas” (November 2012), Haitian Studies Association, York College, Jamaica, NY

“Dominican Blackness: Another Story” (April 2012), Transnational Hispaniola II, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

“Reading Fanon Reading Literature: Towards a Fanonian Literary Criticism” (April 2011), African Literature Association Conference, Ohio University, Athens

 “Charting the Black Stars: Garvey, Nkrumah, Mos Def, and Talib Kweli” (November 2010), African Studies Association Conference, San Francisco, CA

“Staging the Haitian Revolution” (November 2010), Haitian Studies Association Conference, Brown University, Providence, RI

“Submarineros: Global Shipping and Goldman's ‘Ordinary Seaman’” (April 2010), Symposium on “American Studies as Transnational Practice,” Texas Tech University, Lubbock

 “The New Racial Mountain: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture in Contemporary American Literature” (April 2007), Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference, Boston, MA

“Versions of America: Reading American Literature for Identity and Difference” (December 2006), South Asian Literary Association Conference, Philadelphia, PA

Courses Taught at St. John's University

  • Literature in a Global Context: Diasporas (1100C)
  • Postcolonial Literature and Theory: Colonialism, Postcolonialism, and Neocolonialism in 20th Century African and Caribbean Literatures (Senior Seminar)
  • Caribbean Literature, Culture & Theory: Pan-Africanism and Diaspora across the 20th Century (Graduate Seminar)