Professor, English
African American literature and culture; Afrofuturism; the digital humanities; The Harlem Renaissance; history of the novel; literature and legal studies; literature and medicine; race and visual culture; apocalyptic literature; detective fiction.

Old Main 201

She is currently at work on two book-length projects: a “post-monograph,” a born-digital project on Afrofuturism, and a print monograph on the the subject of the afterlife, titled “Soul Sounds”: The Afterlife in African American Literature and Music. Her second book, Each Hour Redeem: Time and Justice in African American Literature, was published in March 2013 by the University of Minnesota Press. () Her first book, Unnatural Selections: Eugenics in American Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, was published in 2004. Before she joined Macalester’s faculty in 2003, she taught African American Literature at Bowie State University, one of the oldest historically black colleges in the nation. She has also held visiting appointments at Brown University and Brandeis University. Prior to entering graduate school, Daylanne worked in the public health field.

Areas of Study

  • African American literature and culture
  • Philosophies of time in African American literature
  • The Harlem Renaissance
  • American modernism
  • History of the novel
  • Literature and legal studies
  • Race and visual culture
  • Detective fiction

Fall 2020 Courses

ENGL 112-01: African American Literature (Mod 1)

ENGL 296-01: African American Literature 1900 to Present (Mod 2)

Selected Publications

“Science.” In Erica R. Edwards, Roderick Ferguson, and Jeffrey Ogbar, eds. Keywords for African American Studies. New York: New York University Press (November 2018).

“Race, Writing, and Time.” In Thomas Allen, ed. Literature and Time. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press (March 2018).

“Afrofuturism.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Literary and Critical Theory. Ed. Eugene O’Brien. New York: Oxford University Press, July 27, 2017.

“Eugenics.” In Oxford Bibliographies in African American Studies. Ed. Gene Jarrett. New York: Oxford University Press, June 28, 2016.

Review of Inside a Silver Box, by Walter Mosley. In Public Books, 1 September, 2015. 

English, Daylanne K. and Alvin Kim. “Now We Want Our Funk Cut: Janelle Monáe’s Neo-  Afrofuturism.” American Studies 52.4 (2013): 217-30.

Each Hour Redeem: Time and Justice in African American Literature (University of Minnesota Press, March 2013).

Being Black There: Racial Subjectivity and Temporality in Walter Mosley’s Detective Novels. NOVEL 42.3 (Fall 2009): 361-365.

“The Modern in the Postmodern: Walter Mosley, Barbara Neely, and the Politics of Contemporary African American Detective Fiction.“ American Literary History 18 (Winter 2006).

Unnatural Selections: Eugenics in American Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance (University of North Carolina Press, 2004).

“W. E. B. Du Bois’s Family Crisis.” American Literature. (June 2000).

“Selecting the Harlem Renaissance.” Critical Inquiry. (Summer 1999).

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Mellon Digital Humanities Grant, Summer 2013
  • Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2004 by the American Library Association (for Unnatural Selections)
  • University System of Maryland Women’s Forum Faculty Research Award, 2001
  • MLA’s Foerster Prize, 2000


BA: Oberlin College

MA and PhD: University of Virginia