Dennis Tyler

Dennis Tyler, English Faculty


Associate Professor (On Leave Fall 2024)

BA, Stanford University; MA and PhD, University of California, Los Angeles

Research Interests: African American literature and culture; nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature; disability studies; critical race theory; performance studies; and popular culture


  • Dennis Tyler is an interdisciplinary scholar specializing in African American literature and culture, disability studies, critical race studies, popular culture, and performance studies. He is the author of Disabilities of the Color Line: Redressing Antiblackness from Slavery to the Present (NYU Press, 2022; winner of the Phi Beta Kappa Christian Gauss Book Award for Literary Scholarship or Criticism and a finalist for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History [ASALH] Book Prize). The book examines how the color line has been shaped as much by disability as it has by race, sexuality, gender, geography, photography, and sound, and it analyzes how Black writers and activists have rigorously engaged disability both as a response to forms of discrimination and in the twin pursuit of racial and disability justice. 

    His essays and reviews have appeared in African American ReviewJournal of Literary & Cultural Disability StudiesGender: SpaceThe Feminist WireOxford BibliographiesAmerican Literary History Online Review, and elsewhere. His work has been recognized with grants and fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and the University of Virginia’s Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies. He has taught courses on Oprah’s Book Club, African American autobiography, Black disability studies, Black women novelists, literary adaptations, and Black protest.