Jessie Morgan-Owens


After receiving my doctorate at New York University in September 2009, I joined Nanyang Technological University in Singapore as an Assistant Professor in the Division of English, where I developed curriculum in American literature and a research agenda in visual culture. I also bring twelve years of professional experience as a travel photographer. This year I am a faculty fellow in residence at the Newhouse Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College, at work on my book manuscript, "Letters of Light: Photographic Writing in the Literature of Abolition." Several chapters of that work have been researched entirely online using keyword searches, Ngrams, and other strategies of understanding the vast archives of antislavery writing. I have also been awarded an AAS-NEH grant to develop this project in the archives at the American Antiquarian Society for six months next spring. Because my work is so interdisciplinary, I am tied to notions of my research as embedded in the humanities, rather than the English department. I have been a member of three humanities working groups - Humanities Initiative and the visual studies groups at NYU and here in the Newhouse Center at Wellesley.