A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Louis M. Maraj thinks, creates, and converses with theoretical black studies, rhetoric, digital media, and critical pedagogies. He is an Assistant Professor of Writing Studies whose scholarship specifically addresses anti/racism, anti/blackness, and expressive form. Maraj’s book Black or Right: Anti/Racist Campus Rhetorics (2020)–which received an Honourable Mention for the 2021 Rhetoric Society of America Book Award–explores notions of blackness in historically white educational institutions. It asks how those racially signifying “diversity” at these institutions make meaning in the everyday, performatively arguing that black folk must continuously invent “otherwise” in reiterative escape from their oppressive spaces. Other projects question dominant frames of antiracist thought, analyze the eco-logics of antiblackness, critique epistemic violence in rhetoric and writing studies, and navigate the meaning-making possibilities of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Maraj’s most recent essays can be found in Precarious Rhetorics (2018), Prose Studies (2019), and Women’s Studies in Communication (2020), while forthcoming work will appear in a range of rhetoric and writing studies spaces—like Self+Culture+Writing (2021)—and interdisciplinary fora—such as The Routledge Handbook of Police Brutality in America. With Pritha Prasad, Maraj is currently co-authoring the forthcoming monograph The Benevolent Gaslight: A Technology of Whiteness that examines how acts of white racial dominance are reframed for well-meaning pedagogical purposes or “teaching moments.” When used for antiracism, the benevolent gaslight re-centers whiteness that it supposedly critiques. The book explores the application of this technology across epistemological orientations, educational history, academic disciplines, university race management, popular culture, and politics.
Women’s Studies in Communication (2020),
Precarious Rhetorics (2018)
Prose Studies (2019)