Dr Jason Allen-Paisant
I am Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the School of Languages, Cultures & Societies. My research is mainly on performance studies in relation to the African diaspora, but the methodologies are interdisciplinary, combining philosophy, poetics, theatre studies, and the History of ideas.
My research aims 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 3. An edited book rooted in the conference "Memory & Performance in African-Atlantic Futures", which I organised at the University of Leeds in 2018.
In my current work on performance, 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 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 brought 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'. More information can be found here.
I was the commissioned translator of Christian Biet and Christophe Triau’s highly influential book Qu’est-ce que le théâtre?, published by Routledge (February 2019) under the title What is the Theatre? I am also a poet. My narrative poem “Un-Dad Elegy” was recently published in Callaloo: Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters. My poetry has previously been published in sx salon, The Cossack Review and POUI.
Since May 2017, I've been a contributing and advisory editor for Callaloo, one of the longest continuously running African American literary magazines.<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)