Hella Cohen specializes in postcolonial literature and theory, Anglophone global writing, critical studies of race and ethnicity, and women’s studies. She studied English and Political Science as an undergraduate, and obtained her master’s degree in English and American Literature thereafter. As a doctoral student, her primary concentration was modern and contemporary literature of the Commonwealth and liberated British colonies, and her secondary concentration was eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British imperialist literature. Before pursuing her doctorate, she worked for the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the Costume and Textiles Department, where she honed her love of material culture. This work provided the impetus for her interdisciplinary interests that lie at the intersections of literature, and material and visual culture. Dr. Cohen’s broad-based training in British and postcolonial literature enable her to teach a range of authors, from Shakespeare to Jamaica Kincaid.
Ph.D., English Literature
University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, 2014
Master of Arts, English and American Literature
New York University, New York, New York, 2008
Bachelor of Arts, English (minor: Political Science)
Lebanon Valley College, Annville, Pennsylvania, 2006
All-University Mentor, St. Catherine University, Honors and Awards Ceremony (2016, 2017)
APDC Travel Award, St. Catherine University (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
Outstanding PhD in Literature Award, Department of English and the Honors College, University of North Texas (2014)
Dr. Cohen’s research centers on postcolonial issues within the literatures and material cultures of the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Anglophone Caribbean, and South Asia. Her book, The Literary Imagination in Israel-Palestine: Orientalism, Poetry, and Biopolitics, was published in spring 2016 with Palgrave Macmillan, in the Postcolonialism and Religions series. Her articles appear in venues such as the Journal of the African Literature Association and The Journal of Commonwealth Literature.
The Human Experience in Literature: Nationalism and Literature
The Human Experience in Literature: World Narratives of Revolt and Empowerment
The Human Experience in Literature: Romance in Literatures of Global Conflict
Building Reading and Writing Skills for College Success
Literary Theory and Practice
Topics in Literature: Cannibal Literature
Canons in Conversation: African and Caribbean Literature (The Empire Writes Back)
Literary Movements and Eras: Imperialist Texts and their Twentieth-Century Revisions
Global Writers in English
Language as Power
Gender, Nation, and Middle Eastern Literatures
Poetry and Politics: The Bible and the Modern Middle East (co-taught with Dr. Elaine James)
The Reflective Woman
The Literary Imagination in Israel-Palestine: Orientalism, Poetry, and Biopolitics. Postcolonialism and Religions Series. Palgrave Macmillian, Spring 2016.
“The Old Radical and the New Conservative: Generational Incarnations of Racial Trauma in Jacobson’s ‘The Zulu and the Zeide.’” Journal of the African Literature Association. Forthcoming. (2018) DOI 10.1080/21674736.2018.1502069
“The Clothing Economy of Earl Lovelace’s The Dragon Can’t Dance.” The Journal of Commonwealth Literature. 49.1 (March 2014).
“Ghostly Pleasure: Narrative Erotics and the Death-Wish in Keats' 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci.'” Journal of English Literary and Linguistic Studies. Vol 2 (2014).
Journal Editing/Invited Articles
Introduction to the Special Issue on “Visualizing Violence.” Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies. Guest-Edited with Sreyoshi Sarkar. Forthcoming (2019).
“Orly Castel Bloom and the Post-Anthropocene.” As Above, So Below: New Forms of Space and Spatiality in Science Fiction. Proceedings of the 5th Annual International Science Fiction Symposium at Tel-Aviv University. Eds. Dr. Shawn Edrei, Chen F. Michaeli, and Orin Posner. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Forthcoming, 2019.
“Object Lessons: Material Cultural Approaches to Teaching World Literature.” In Critical Pedagogy and Global Literature: Worldly Teaching (New Frontiers in Education, Culture, and Politics), eds. Masood Ashraf Raja, Hillary Stringer, and Zach Vandezande. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2013.
Andrea Feeser. Red, White & Black Make Blue: Indigo in the Fabric of Colonial South Carolina Life. Review. Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies. 38.2 (June 2015)
Ngũgĩ Wa Thiong’o. In the Name of the Mother: Reflections on Writers & Empire. Review. Journal of the African Literature Association. 8.1 (2014)
“Neoliberalism as Violation: The Textile as an Index to Intimacy and Alienation in Castel Bloom." Invited speaker, with Keith Feldman. Symposium on "Postcolonial
Intimacies and American Culture,” George Washington University. March 27, 2017.
“The Apartheid Generation: Black and Jewish South African Relations.” English Department Colloquium, St. Catherine University. March 2, 2017.
“Afro-Jewish Relations after Ferguson.” Invited speaker for the African & African-American Studies at Elon Author-of-the-Month series, October 22, 2014. Filmed.
Access here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNzr6SWakhE
“’Racial Difference’ and ‘The Colony,’ in A. Bennet’s An Introduction to Literature, Criticism, and Theory.” Informal inaugural presentation for the Literary Theory Reading Group at Elon University, October 3, 2014.
"Afrofuturism and Neo-Zionism in Deep Space Nine." To be presented at the 6th Annual International Science Fiction Symposium, Tel Aviv University, March 18-19, 2019.
"The Case of Victoria and Abdul: Archival Creative Nonfiction and the Violent Romance of Highbrow Cinema." To be presented at the South Asian Literary Association (SALA) Conference, Chicago, IL, January 6-7, 2019.
"Orly Castel-Bloom and the Post-Anthropocene." Presented at the 5th Annual International Science Fiction Symposium, Tel Aviv University, March 18-19, 2018.
“Violence-Ed: Digital Filmographies of Brutality and the Post-Zionist Shift." Presented at the 2018 MLA Annual Convention, New York City, January 4-7, 2018.
“STEM-Humanities Co-Teaching and the Humusities Turn.” Presented at the 2018 MLA Annual Convention, New York City, January 4-7, 2018.
“Words Unclothed: the Politics and Poetics of Women’s Textile Labor in the Poetry of Kishwar Naheed.” Presented at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association’s 87th Annual Conference, November 13-15, 2015.
“The Old Radical and the New Conservative: Generational Incarnations of Trauma in Jacobson’s 'The Zulu and the Zeide.'” Presented at the Pacific Ancient and
Modern Language Association's 113th Annual Conference, November 6-8, 2015.
“Third-World Signifying and Mainstream Mediation: Global Rap and Textual Studies.” Presented at the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association’s 112th Annual Conference, October 30-November 1, 2014.
“The Value of Fashion on View: Turning to Museums and Fashion Collections for Field Trips.” Presented at the Symposium on Fashion and Communication, part of the “Fashion And…” series at the University of Minnesota, College of Design, 2014.
“Threads of Intimacy: The Israeli Textile Industry and Occupation Literature.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association, 2014.
“The Madwoman in Acre: Miscegenation and the Abject in A. B. Yehoshua’s A Late Divorce.” Presented at the Critical Voices Conference, “Poetics and the Politics of Writing in the 21st Century,” University of North Texas, 2013.
“Derrida, Shakespeare, and Textual Immortality.” Presented at the Graduate Students in English Symposium, University of North Texas, 2012.
“The Textile Economy of Earl Lovelace’s The Dragon Can’t Dance.” Presented at the British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference, 2012.
“What Happens in the Caribbean Stays in the Caribbean: Industrious Desire, Aristocratic Escapism, and Dressing Down in Robinson Crusoe.” Presented at the South Central Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Conference, 2011.
“‘A Thousand Curiosities’: Fashion, Science, and the Rhetoric of Consumerism in Eighteenth Century Drama.” Presented at the Critical Voices Conference, University of North Texas, 2010.