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Appointment Details

  • Priority Area: Race, Racism, and Inequality
  • Disciplines: Comparative Literature, Poetry, Translation in the Francophone and Anglophone World, Postcolonial Literature and Theory  
  • Mentors: Dr. Evie Shockley and Dr. James Swenson
  • Mentors' Disciplines: African American and African Diaspora Literature, Especially Poetry: Twentieth Century/Contemporary Poetry and Poetics; Black Feminist Thought, Gender and Sexuality; Black Study; Visual Culture (Dr. Evie Shockley) | Eighteenth-Century Literature and Intellectual History, and Twentieth-Century Criticism and Theory (Dr. James Swenson)
  • School: School of Arts and Sciences 
  • Department: French & English

About Baba Badji

Dr. Baba Badji is a Senegalese/American poet, translator, and comparatist whose multi-dimensional research studies Transnational Black Cultures, Critical Translation, and Poetry and Poetics in The African Diaspora. Dr. Badji obtained his Ph.D in Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis. His work pursues an interdisciplinary analysis of Négritude that allows for a recognizing of the differences of people, cultures, and the systems of colonization within Africa and beyond. Dr. Badji’s dissertation, The Narrative history of Négritude: Black Poetic Imagination in Anglophone and Francophone Cultures undertakes a position that defends, traces, and contextualizes the concept of Négritude so that it appears as relevant in today’s thoughts of Postcolonial Literatures for the Black diaspora transnationally. It shows how Négritude, from its inception, was multisided and dynamic, elucidating that we should not disregard the commitments of Négritude as a concept of freedom that is alive and vibrant and still holds for the Black diaspora today. As a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Badji will be working on turning the dissertation into a manuscript: Négritude Polemics: Rethinking the Black Poetic Ingenuity in the African Diaspora, it refigures the Négritude movement as an unfinished project in the context of a globalized Blackness. It meditates with Négritude as more than poetics thoughts and philosophies, but rather, as an epistemology that formulates Blackness in ways that continue to be relevant for the enduring Black struggles. Dr. Badji’s time will be focused on polishing up the scholarly manuscript and securing its publication.

Dr. Badji’s first full-length poetry manuscript, Ghost Letters, was longlisted for the 2021 National Book Awards. And during his time as a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Badji will work on securing a publisher for Ghost Letters Volume II, and a novel, Madame Diawara. Read a chapter from the novel here: that is in progress. 

Aside from being a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Badji was an inaugural Postdoctoral Fellow with the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice (ISGRJ) and Comparative Literature in New Brunswick. Dr. Badji was also an Inaugural James Baldwin Artist and Scholar in Residence at The University of Virginia Department of French. Dr. Badji was a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow at Washington University St. Louis, MO, and an Edward A. Bouchet Honor Society Fellow.

In the Spring of 2024, Dr. Badji will teach Francophone Cultures: Images and Texts in Sénégal & Algeria with the Department of French. In Fall 2024, Dr. Badji will teach Intro to Creative Writing: The Craft of Poetry: Creative Mind and Poetic of Space with the Department of English, Rutgers in New Brunswick.

As part of ongoing mentoring and teaching activities, Dr. Badji is an Executive Committee Member and Faculty Mentor for the Rutgers Global Justice Fellows Initiative (an ongoing collaboration with The Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice—ISGRJ—and the Office of Study Abroad) Rutgers, in New Brunswick.

Dr. Badji is the co-founder and Project Manager for The Dakar Translation Symposium, a 5-days international, interdisciplinary, multilingual scholarly meeting centered on the African diaspora. The second edition of the Dakar Translation Symposium is scheduled for Jun.3-7, 2024, and it will be held in Ghana. Dr. Badji is also the co-founder of the Center for Translation Studies and Cultures at Assane Seck University in Ziguinchor, Casamance, Senegal. Dr. Badji’s translations, essays, poems, and various scholarly articles are forthcoming elsewhere.