Eden K. Osucha

Associate Professor of English



Hathorn Hall, Room 302



Eden Osucha is an Assistant Professor of English and serves on the faculty  committees of the programs in American Cultural Studies, African American Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies.  Her research and teaching focus on U.S. literature and culture, from the late-nineteenth century through the present, and critical approaches to the intersecting histories of U.S. citizenship, sexuality, and racial formation. She is currently completing a book manuscript, The Post-Racial Past: Race, Privacy and Identity Before the Obama Era, which examines historical productions of post-racial discourse in U.S. law, literature, and media. The Post-Racial Past argues that  contemporary discourses of the “post-racial” originate deep within the very past whose transcendence the term would seem to herald: in the legal history of “privacy.”  The book examines how, over the course of this history, the “right to privacy” evolved in relation to emerging technologies of publicity and surveillance and dramatic revisions to the traditional public/private distinction, and how these meanings shaped—and were in turn shaped by—contemporaneous discourses of race.

Recent and forthcoming publications:

  • “Race and the Regulation of Intimacy in the Moynihan Report, the Griswold Decision and Morrison’s Paradise,” American Literary History 27.2 (2015): 256-284.
  • “Passing in Blackface: The Intimate Drama of Post-Racialism on Black.White.,” Passing Interest: Racial Passing in U.S. Fiction, Memoirs, Television, and Film, 1990-2010, Ed. Julie Cary Nerad. Albany: SUNY Press, 2014.
  • “The Whiteness of Privacy: Race, Media, Law,” Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies, 24.170 (2009): 67-107.
  • “Black President Bush: The Racial and Gender Politics of Dave Chapelle’s Presidential Drag,” Passing While “Post-Racial”: Performance and Identity Production in Neo-Passing Narratives, Eds. Mollie Godfrey and Vershawn Young (under consideration
  • “‘how to see without pictures’: African American Literature and the 1993 Whitney Biennial.” African American Literature in Transition, 1750-2015, vol. 1990-200, eds. Herman Beavers and Margo Natalie Crawford, Cambridge University Press (forthcoming)
  • Carol Batker, Eden Osucha, and Augusta Rohrbach, eds. Special Issue: “Pedagogy: Critical Practices for a Changing World” American Literature (forthcoming 2017).

Teaching expertise

At Bates, Professor Osucha teaches introductory and advanced courses in U.S. literature and culture, critical theorizations of gender, sexuality, and race, along with workshops in creative writing.  Her courses  cover a wide range of materials and topics–from the gothic novel of the late eighteenth century to early twentieth-century “realist” fictions, from 1960s gay and lesbian pulp fiction to the graphic novel and electronic literature, and from queer and feminist theories to legal studies and U.S. case law. Current courses include “Nineteenth-Century American Literature,” “9/11 in Literature and Film,” “Queer Studies,” “U.S. Fiction,” “Poetry Writing” (a workshop), and advanced seminars (cross-listed with American Cultural Studies) on “Privacy, Intimacy, and Identity: American Selfhood from the Puritan ‘Soul’ to Facebook” and “Frontier and Border in U.S. Literature and Culture: Chicana/o and Native American Literatures and Cultural Theory.”

Research awards

Professor Osucha is the recent recipient of several prestigious teaching and research awards, including the Mrs. Giles Whiting Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, and Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown University.

Literary Arts Live

Professor Osucha is also co-curator of the English Department’s “Literary Arts Live” reading series, which brings poets, fiction writers, and authors of creative non-fiction to the Bates community and into English classrooms.  Guests whose visits Professor Osucha has personally arranged include: novelists James Hannaham, Emily Barton, Courtney Eldridge, Samantha Hunt, Magdalena Zurawski, Paul LaFarge, and MacArthur Fellows Colson Whitehead and Dinaw Mengestu; the poets Brian Kim Stefans, Jamaal May, Aracelis Girmay, Christopher Vitiello, C.A. Conrad, Gabriel Gudding, and Dorothea Lasky; and experimental memoirists Ander Monson and Sarah Manguso.