Debarati Biswas

Visiting Assistant Professor/ Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow - Humanities - Literature

Debarati Biswas
  • Phone: (941) 487-4249
  • Email:
  • Office Location: PME 211
  • Mail Location: ACE 116

Ph.D., English, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Africana Studies (advanced certificate)
MPhil., English, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
M.A., English, Calcutta University, India
B.A., English (Honours), Calcutta University, India

Debarati Biswas’ teaching and research interests include 20th– and 21st– century African American literature and culture, queer studies, Black diaspora literature, radical Black feminism, and poverty studies. She is currently working on her first book manuscript titled Brother Outsider: Queered Belonging and the Aesthetics of Elsewheres in African American Men’s Literature. Her manuscript analyzes the affective structure of poverty or the embodiment of blackness and queerness in spaces marked by confinement, regulation, and surveillance such as the prison, inner city, and single room occupancy hotels, in understudied novels authored by Cold War era African American male writers. Using a cultural studies approach to examine the works of Chester Himes, Robert Dean Pharr, Clarence Cooper Jr., and Iceberg Slim, the book underscores the possibilities of aberrant intimacies, radical care, solidarities, and optimistic attachments in spaces framed by “premature death.” Above all, Brother Outsider argues that mid-twentieth century African American literature was not solely an archive of black nationalist thought and its attendant black respectability politics, but that many male authors also explored the possibilities of an “aesthetics of elsewheres,” a queer mode of surviving the traumatic present through a desire for spatio-temporal elsewheres located beyond the boundaries of the nation, the empire, and the normative imaginary. Overall, Biswas’ research and teaching explore how Black and queer literary and cultural expressions embrace or reject the “wrongness of being” and offer alternate possibilities of our existence as a species in this world.

Course Offerings:

  • Race, Writing, and Worldmaking: Introduction to African American Literature

Selected Publications:

Other Publications:

Film and Media:


  • Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • IRADAC/ Schomburg Digitization Fellowship
  • Fellow at Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC)
  • CET Professional Development Fund (PSC CUNY)
  • Provost’s Fellowship, The Graduate Center, CUNY