Ph.D., University of Miami (2017)
M.A., University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2012)
B.A., North Georgia College and State University (2010)
Dr. Harris is currently a lecturer in English at Clemson University. She teaches courses on multicultural American literature, African American literature, and composition through a cultural studies lens. Her research focuses on initiatives of multi-racial coalition-building in Appalachia as modes of resisting federal acts of dispossession.
Her first monograph, The American Dispossessed, asserts that Appalachia is not now nor has it ever been a monolithic, mono-racial territory as authors, media, and pundits from outside the region often suggest. Framed through the Appalachian ethos of helping one’s neighbor, the book traces evidence of historic inter-racial intimacies and solidarities from the early 1800s to the contemporary. Mapping an expanse from West Virginia to the northeast all the way to Alabama to the southwest, incredibly diverse in its experiences yet unified as the historic territory of the Cherokee Nation, the work thinks through slavery, Cherokee removal, WWI internment, mine unionizing, and nuclear power construction to examine how resistance to these federal impositions have crossed boundaries of race, class, and gender. The American Dispossessed highlights these moments of counteraction in contemporary historical novels, arguing that authors provide a model for collective resistance to our current, highly-divisive political ecosystem.
Her second book, Rednecks and Redlegs, investigates why narratives of whiteness in the Caribbean almost always exclude poor whites. The work compares representations of poor whites in the Caribbean and Appalachia, working through the significant differences in colonialism and black sovereignty to posit a greater understanding of racial formation in the hemispheric South.
She has also co-edited a special issue of Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal entitled “Looking for Black Miami.” This issue brings together reflections from leading black academics born or raised in Miami in order to center this global, cosmopolitan city in the American academy and to reframe discussions of Miami’s multiculturalism that often exclude its black populations.