Dr Jason Allen-Paisant

Dr Jason Allen-Paisant


I am a Lecturer in Caribbean Poetry and Decolonial Thought, with joint appointments in the School of English and the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies. I am also currently the Director of the Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, having officially taken over from Professor Graham Huggan in September 2020.

My academic research is on cultural memory in the African diaspora, and I combine, and move between, disciplinary and methodological approaches (theatre studies, performance studies, poetics, literary criticism). My creative writing (poetry, memoir, critical life writing) addresses issues of time, race, class, and the environmental conditions underpinning Black identity. My creative writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Granta, PN ReviewCallalooCarcanet’s New Poetries Series VIII, among other places

I graduated from the University of Oxford in 2015 with a DPhil in Medieval and Modern Languages and joined the University of Leeds in 2016 as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. At Leeds, I serve as board member of LUCAS (Leeds University Centre for African Studies) and as member of the Leeds University Poetry Centre. I also serve on the editorial board of Callaloo: Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters.

In September 2018, as part of my Leverhulme Fellowship at the University of Leeds, I convened a three-day international and interdisciplinary conference called ‘Memory and Performance in African-Atlantic Futures’.

Research interests


Appearing soon

"Aimé Césaire: Possession as paradigm of consciousness". Forthcoming in Cultural Critique.

"Animist time and the white Anthropocene". Forthcoming in "Animism in a Planetary Frame", special issue of New Formations, guest edited by Sam Durrant and Philip Dickinson.

"Dante in Caribbean Poetics: Power, Language, Race". In Elena Lombardi, Manuele Gragnolati, and Francesca Southerden (eds.), The Oxford Handbook on Dante. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020.

"Towards a National theatre". In Raphale Dalleo, and Curdella (eds.), Caribbean Literature in Transition, Vol 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.

“Body and Gesture in Derek Walcott’s Theatre”. Forthcoming in New Theatre Quarterly, Vol. 36, issue 4.

“Vers un théâtre du corps habité: Actualisation scénique du corps et de la guerre dans Chemin de fer de Julien Mabiala Bissila”. Forthcoming in Nouvelles Études Francophones, Vol. 35, no. 1.

Misperformance: Staging Law and Justice in the African diaspora. Forthcoming special issue of Callaloo.


Creative Writing

Recent appearances and publications (including podcasts):

‘A Sound from the Throat of God’, on The Verb, BBC Radio 3

‘Black Walking’, in And the Stones Fell Open: A Leeds Poetry Anthology

Walking with the Word “Tree”’ and other poems in PN Review

’Un-Dad Elegy’, in Callaloo

Poems forthcoming in Granta

Poems forthcoming in Carcanet’s New Poetries VIII

Crossing the Threshold, full-length book of poems from Carcanet Press in 2021.

Going to Ethiopia: A Memoir

Primitive Child (memoir/life writing)

Dog Fare (An exploration of 1970s London through the lens of race and migration, and centring a Jamaican bus conductor’s life)


<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)

Professional memberships

  • Memory Studies Association
  • Society for Caribbean Studies
  • American Comparative Literature Association

Research groups and institutes

  • French