Kenneth Kelly, English
Faculty Mentor: Professor Macy Todd, English
Kenneth is a senior majoring in English and expecting to graduate in the spring of 2020. His focus has primarily been in studies of Caribbean Literature, Afrocentric Thought, and African rooted folk tales. Upon completion of his Bachelor's degree, he will pursue a Master’s degree at the University of Chicago and intends to complete his academic career with a Ph.D. in English.
During his research, Ken found clear parallels between southern African American, Bahamian, and Yoruban folktales. These indicate social and cultural connectors that further unify Afrocentric thinkers, those who subscribe to Pan-Afro thought, and Black individuals whose cultural and ethnic heritage are rooted in African tradition. Through studying folklorist and nineteenth-century poets, Kenneth found specific methods within their records and poems that highlight oppressive Eurocentric literary functions. His research revealed how concepts of Pan-Afro thought can be utilized within varying Eurocentric institutions to give agency and provide unity amongst Black individuals and underrepresented peoples who exist within them. He intends to propose his work for publication.