Skip to content


Dawn Duke

Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
617 McClung Tower

Phone: (865) 974-7006

Dawn Duke is Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese. She is one of the administrators of the Africana Studies Program and faculty in the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program. Her graduate studies were completed at UNICAMP, the University of Guyana, and the University of Pittsburgh where she completed her PhD in 2003. Her research focuses on Afro-Latin American Literature with a special interest in women's writings. Her book, Literary Passion, Ideological Commitment: Toward a Legacy of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian Women Writers (2008) proposes a tradition of Afro-Hispanic and Afro-Brazilian women's writings initiated primarily during the nineteenth century and continuing with ever-increasing success into the twenty-first century. In 2016 she published A escritora afro-brasileira: ativismo e arte literária, (Nandyala Press), an edited volume of interviews, essays and literature by Brazilian women writers.


  • Literary Passion, Ideological Commitment: Toward a Legacy of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian Women Writers. Lewisburg PA: Bucknell University Press, 2008.


  • “ “Follow Me” and My Footsteps in Baraguá: Caribbean Influences in Afro-Cuban Women’s Literature and Film.” Cincinnati Romance Review.  40 (Spring 2016): 87-105.
  • “Beyond the Quilombo. The State of Zumbi’s “Palmares” According to the Poets.” Obsidian III. Literature in the African Diaspora.  13, 1 (Spring/Summer 2012): 37-60. Released April 2014.
  •  “Literatura afro-femenina en la República Dominicana. ¿Una indefinitud que la define?Revista Iberoamericana.  LXXIX, 243 (abril-junio 2013): 559-576. Released March 2014.
  • “La mujer negra y el popularismo cubano en María Antonia de Eugenio Hernández Espinosa.” Revista de Lenguas Modernas. 17 (julio-diciembre 2012): 23-39.
  • “Black Movement Militancy in Panama: SAMAAP’s Reliance on an Identity of West Indianness.” Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies. 5, 1 (March 2010): 75-83.
  • “O Desenrolar de uma Literatura Afro-Brasileira Comprometida.Conexão Movimento Negro para Movimento Negro Literário.” Ethnos Brasil.6, 1 (jun. 2008): 81-95.
  • “Así se va aclarando: Construcciones imaginarias de generaciones de mujeres negras en Vejigantes y Tenda dos Milagres.Negritud: Revista de Estudios Afro-Latinoamericanos.  1 (nov. 2007): 243-263.
  • “Poetic Valuing of the Female Self. Selected Women’s Writings from Brazil, Cuba and Guyana.” Obsidian III. Literature in the African Diaspora.  6, 1 (Spring/Summer 2005): 90-111.
  • “Poetic Valuing of the Female Self. Selected Women’s Writings from Brazil, Cuba and Guyana.” Utah Foreign Language Review, Race, Ethnicity and Literature. XIV (June 2005):69-87.
  • “Alzira Rufino and Miriam Alves: Afro-Brazilian Writers/Activists and Issues of Race, Gender, Class, and Writing.” África.  22/23 (1). 1999/2000/2001. (September 2004): 267-278.
  • “Alzira Rufino’s Casa de Cultura da Mulher Negra as a Form of Female Empowerment: A Look at the Dynamics of a Black Women’s Organization in Brazil Today.” Women’s Studies International Forum. 26, 4 (July-August 2003): 357-368.


  • “Introdução: Narrativas Afrofemininas no Brasil.” A Escritora Afro-Brasileira:Ativismo e Arte Literária. Ed. Dawn Duke. Belo Horizonte: Nandyala, 2016. 11-32.
  • “The Triumph Within: Carolina Maria de Jesus and Strategies for Black Female Empowerment in Brazil.” Critical Perspectives on Afro-Latin American Literature. Ed. Antonio Tillis. New York, Oxford: Routledge, 2012. 184-205.
  • “From “Yélida” to Movimiento de Mujeres Dominico-Haitianas: Gendering Problems of Whiteness in the Dominican Republic.” At Home and Abroad: Historicizing Twentieth-Century Whiteness in Literature and Performance. Ed. La Vinia Delois Jennings. Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 2009. 61-92.
  • “How She Strikes Back: Images of Female Strength in Esmeralda Ribeiro’s Writing.” The Afro-Brazilian Mind. Eds. Niyi Afolabi Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2007. 99-120.


  • A Escritora Afro-Brasileira:Ativismo e Arte Literária. Editor: Dawn Duke. Belo Horizonte: Nandyala, 2016.
  • Artefatos da Cultura Negra no Ceará. Formação de Professores. Editors: Henrique Cunha Junior Cicera Nunes, Reginaldo Ferreira Domingos, Maria Saraiva da Silva, Rita de Cassia Felix Batista, Dawn Alexis Duke, Juliana de Holanda. Fortaleza, Ceará: Universidade Federal do Ceará et. al., 2013.


  • Oshun’s Daughters: The Search for Womanhood in the Americas. W. K. Valdes. In: Hispania. 98, 4 (December 2015): 838-839.
  • Disconnect Desencuentro, N. Alonso. In: Hispania. 96, 4 (December 2013): 804.
  • Considering Woman I & II. Short Stories, V. Pollard. In: Caribbean Writer. Literary Gem of the Caribbean. 26 (2012): 229-231.
  • Caribbean Perspective on Modernity – Returning Medusa’s Gaze, M. C. Fumagalli. In: Caribbean Writer. 25 (2011): 381-384.
  • Writing Identity. The Politics of Contemporary Afro-Brazilian Literature by E. K. F. Oliveira. In: Ellipsis. 8 (2010): 159-161.



  • “Miriam Alves” (vol.1, 81-82), Geni Guimarães (vol.2, 483-4), Esmeralda Ribeiro (vol.3, 801-2), Alzira Rufino (vol. 3, 808-9).”  In: The Encyclopedia of African Diaspora: Origins Experiences, and Culture. Ed. Carole Boyce Davies. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, Inc. 2008.
  • “Black Feminism in Brazil.” In: Encyclopedia of Race and Racism. Ed. John Hartwell  Moore. Detroit: MacMillan Reference USA. Vol.1. 2008, 193-195.
  • Research Assistant. The Caribbean Multilingual Dictionary of Flora, Fauna and Foods in English, French, French Creole and Spanish. Jeannette Allsopp. Kingston, Jamaica: Arawak Publications. 2003.


  • “Those Who Go,” Nexus,” and “Manjuarí.” Nancy Morejón. From Cuba. Boundary 2. 29, no. 3 (Fall 2002):159-162.


  • 3 film presentations: 1) Ribeiro: o último voo do flamengo 2) João Ganga: na cidade vazia 3) Zezé Gamboa: o  herói. IIV Artefatos da Cultura Negra. Universidade Federal do Cariri, Ceará, Brazil. September 16-25, 2016.
  • “The Black Consciousness Movement in Brazil: Cultural and Literary Configurations.” University of Guyana, Guyana. December 10, 2015.
  • “From Fugitive to Affirmative Action: A Strategic Configuration of the Black Consciousness Movement in Brazil.” MURAP 2015 Academic Conference. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. July 22-25, 2015.
  • “Las experiencias de una administradora de un programa de estudios negros.” Día Internacional de Lucha Contra la Discriminación Racial. Casa del Alba, La Habana Cuba. March 20, 2015.
  • “Esmeralda Ribeiro. An Afro-Brazilian Writer,” Alabama A & M University, Huntsville Alabama. April 21-23, 2014.
  • “Afro-Descendent Cultural and Literary Studies in Brazil Today Based on Abdias do Nascimento’s Quilombismo.” Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green KY. April 14-16, 2014.
  • “The Importance of International Engagement and Studying Abroad.” Fort Valley State University. April 6-9, 2014.
  • “Guide to Proposal Writing in the Humanities.” Faculty of Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria. June 28, 2013.
  • “Diversity within the University. Challenges.” Master of Education Program, Lincoln Memorial University, Knoxville TN. February 8, 2013.
  • “Caribbean Literature.” Two-day seminar at the School of Education, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil. October 5-14, 2012.
  • "Women, Writing, and Ideology: The Cuban Story,” United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. October 6, 2011.


  •  “Abdias do Nascimento, Quilombismo, and the Black Consciousness Movement in Brazil.” The Inaugural Pan African Colloquium, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados. January 12-15, 2016.
  •  “ “Follow Me” and “My Footsteps in Baraguá:” Caribbean Influences in Afro-Cuban Women’s Film and Literature.” Fifteenth International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations. The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR China. July 15-17, 2015.
  • “Magical Sisterhood: Exploring the Writings of Georgina Herrera and Teresa Cárdenas.” IV International Conference on Afro-Hispanic, Luso-Brazilian, and Latin American Studies (ICALLAS). University of Ghana, Accra Ghana. August 13-16, 2013.
  •  “Black Feminist Activism, Lesbianism, and Narrative in Rio de Janeiro:Olhares Diversos: Narrativas Lésbicas.” 54 International Congress of Americanists. July 15-20, 2012. University of Austria, Vienna, Austria.
  •  “Aproximaciones a la literatura afro-femenina. Una historia en tres movimientos: Panamá-Costa Rica, Haití-República Dominicana, Cuba-Brasil” Festival del Caribe, Simposio Teórico, Santiago, Cuba. July 7, 2011.
  •  “Re-inscribing Greatness: Literary and Militant Approaches to Female Historical
  • Remembering.” LASA. Toronto, Canada, October 6-9, 2010.
  • “El rol de la mujer afrocubana en María Antonia de Eugenio Hernández Espinosa.” Jornadas de Teatro. Espacio 1900, Puebla Mexico. July 6, 2010.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.