Dr Jason Allen-Paisant

Dr Jason Allen-Paisant


I am Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the School of Languages, Cultures & Societies. I am a graduate of the University of the West Indies, Mona (where I obtained my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Literatures in French) and of the University of Oxford (where I obtained my Doctor of Philosophy degree in Medieval & Modern Languages). I am a contributing and advisory editor of the journal Callaloo. My research weaves together performance studies and philosophical inquiry in relation to the history of the African diaspora.

Research interests

My main research interests are interdisciplinary and aim to foreground decolonial critical apparatuses and ways of thinking. My current projects include: 1. a study of contemporary Haitian theatre 2. A book of essays provisionally entitled The empty stage: The Caribbean and post-humanism that studies Caribbean challenges to humanist metaphysics through the writings of such figures as Sylvia Wynter, Wilson Harris, Aimé Césaire, Suzanne Césaire, M NourbeSe Philip and Frankétienne.

In my current work on performance, decolonial epistemologies and dehumanism, I am interested in the phenomenon of ritual possession (specifically in the context of Haitian vodou and similar Afro-Caribbean practices) and how it functions in two interconnected ways: 1) as a mode of existing that sheds light on the workings of colonial power and its bio-ontological effects and 2) as an anti-epistemology; that is, as a corrective mode of thought and being whose drive is to neutralise the knowledge structures that ground imperialism. I explore this question through both theatre/performance and poetics.

A part of my Leverhulme project is the conference ‘Memory and Performance in African-Atlantic Futures’ (31 August-2 September, 2018), that brings together scholars and artists to 'reflect on how spaces and modes of performance are being used to energise both the particular and the entangled concerns of aesthetics, politics and epistemology within the memories linked to African-Atlantic colonialism and slavery'. This conference asks whether 'contemporary performances of memory, particularly those that point to  African and Afro-diasporic alternatives to Euro-Western modes and models', are reflecting 'historico-political and cognitive shifts in how the relationship between African-Atlantic pasts, presents and futures is conceived'. More information can be found here.

I have a number of published and forthcoming articles and essays in international peer-reviewed academic journals.

I am also a poet. My cycle of poems titled 'Elegy for father' is forthcoming in the next issue of Callaloo. My poetry has previously been published in sx salon, The Cossack Review and POUI.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • Doctor of Philosophy (University of Oxford)
  • MPhil (University of the West Indies)
  • BA (University of the West Indies)