Joint Ph.D. candidate, English and Interdisciplinary Humanities
Kameron Austin Collins (A.B. Harvard, 2009) entered the Department of English in 2009 and is pursuing a joint Ph.D. as a fellow of Princeton's Interdisciplinary Humanities (IHUM) program as of 2011, with an emphasis on American legal theory and history. His work has been supported by a President's Fellowship, IHUM, and Princeton's Program in American Studies. As well, he is an associate of the program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) and has taught courses through both the English department and the Center for African American Studies (CAAS) at Princeton.
To what extent has the concept of a rights-bearing "legal person" been sustained by conflicts over what it means to have and articulate a body? How has legal discourse's investment in personhood, a concept at once discrete and abstract, actively or inadvertently disengaged or iterated certain forms and languages of this body? My dissertation, a diverse set of standalone legal- and literary-critical essays on the poetics of law, embodiment and identity, explores these questions while arguing overall for the keen importance of anti-categorical, even incorporeal and invisible bodies and forms -- ghosts, orphans, trespassers of legal identity, women and minority legal academics, and others -- to broader formations of legal personhood and subjectivity in the modern U.S.
Teaching/research interests relevant to but perhaps beyond the immediate scope of this project include the intersection of Constitutional law, history and theory with fields like bioethics, phenomenology and modern digital life.
Advisors: Daphne Brooks, Anne Cheng, Imani Perry (CAAS), and Gayle Salamon