Eastern Michigan University
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Dr. Toni Pressley-Sanon

Assistant Professor

Dr. Toni Pressley-Sanon 614G Pray Harrold




Dr. Toni Pressley-Sanon holds a PhD. from the Department of African Languages and Literatures with a minor in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also holds an M.A. in Liberal Studies and Anthropology from the New School for Social Research and a B.A. in Comparative Literature with a minor in African-American Studies from Hamilton College.

Interests and Expertise

Dr. Toni Pressley-Sanon’s work dwells on the intersections of memory, history, and cultural production in both Africa and the African diaspora.

Dr. Pressley-Sanon’s manuscript, Istwa across the Water: Haitian History, Memory, and the Cultural Imagination, is forthcoming with University Press of Florida. The work reads the historical and contemporary relationship between Dahomey/Benin Republic, Kongo and Saint Domingue/Haiti tidalectically; that is, as a "long conversation" that is facilitated by the ebb and flow of the ocean's waves. She argues that this relationship is anchored in memory and manifest through material culture on both sides of the Atlantic divide.



The Haitian Peasantry through Oral and Written Literature: Roumain, Alexis, Endore, Carpentier, and Fountain (Caribbean Studies Press, 2016)

Raoul Peck: Power, Politics, and the Cinematic Imagination, co-editor (Lexington Books, 2016)

Zombifying a Nation: Race, Gender and the Haitian Loas on Screen (McFarland Press, 2016).

Peer-Reviewed Journal Publications

“Reading the Spirits in Julia Alvarez’s A Wedding in Haiti.” Tesserae: Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies (Forthcoming Fall 2016)

“‘Addressing the Negro Problem’: Rethinking the ‘Coon’ and the ‘Mammy’ in King of the Zombies and Revenge of the Zombies.” Black Camera: An International Film Journal (Forthcoming Fall 2016)

“Wounds Seen and Unseen: The Workings of Trauma in Raoul Peck’s Haitian Corner and Edwidge Danticat’s The Dew Breaker.” Journal of Haitian Studies vol. 22, no. 1 (Fall 2016): 40-66.

 “‘A Lion at Pendleton’: Charles Johnson’s Reimagining of a Moment.” Obsidian: Literature and Arts of the African Diaspora 41.1-2 (Spring 2016): 195-208.

“The Fight for the Nation in Arnold Antonin’s Zombi candidat à la présidence … ou les amours d’un zombi.” Sites: Contemporary French and Francophone Studies. Special Issue, Eds. Martin Munro and Charles Forsdick. 19. 3 (June 2015): 284-292.

“Haitian (Pre)Occupations: Ideology and Discursive Repetitions: 1915-1934 and 2004 to Present” Caribbean Studies Journal (June-December 2014): 115-153.

“Up Through the Cracks: Raoul Peck’s Moloch Tropical and the Ghosts of Haitian History.” Cultural Dynamics (November 2014): 1-27.

“Watching You Watching Me: The Work of the Gaze in Two Dany Laferrière Films.” Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 31:6 (2014): 597-610.

“Witnessing as Revolutionary Praxis in Raoul Peck’s Films.” Black Camera: An International Film Journal. 5.1 (October 2013): 34-55.

“One Plus One Equals Three: Marasa Consciousness, the Lwa and Three Stories.” Research in African Literatures, 44.3 (Fall 2013):118-137.

“Exile, Return, Ouidah, and Haiti: Vodun’s Workings on the Art of Edouard Duval-Carrié.” African Arts Journal. 46.3 (August 2013): 40-53.

“Lucid Cameras: Imaging Haiti After the Earthquake.” Journal of Haitian Studies. 17.2 (Fall 2011): 6-31.

“Raoul Peck’s The Man by the Shore”: Orality, Film and Repression.” Critical Interventions: Journal of African Art History and Visual Culture. No. 8 (Fall 2011): 154-168.

“Acting Out: Performing Memory of the Slave Trade in Ouidah, Benin Republic.” Journal of Pan-African Studies, 4.5 (September 2011): 57-79

Other Journal Publications

“Imagining the Unimaginable: Visual Art and Memory in Ouidah, Benin Republic.” Africa e Mediterraneo: Cultura e Societa, 67.1(2009): 34-38.

Published Artwork

“Sacred Stillness” ProudFlesh: Body Politics: Representations and the Impact of Black Women in Music. Ed. Cherise Charleswell (Forthcoming Fall 2016)

Cover Art as well as several works within the journal, ProudFlesh: New Afrikan Journal of Culture, Politics and Consciousness. Issue 8. Ed. Opal Palmer Adisa, October 2013.

World Literature Today. University of Oklahoma, May/June Vol. 89, No. 3 (2013): 36, 39-40.

You can find some of her art and read her reviews of African and African diasporic literature at: