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Lindsey Andrews PhD


Department of English

Tompkins Hall G114A


I teach courses on American, African-American, and Black Diaspora literature and culture as they relate to science and medicine. Gender and class analysis are also central to these courses. I employ a comparative, interdisciplinary approach in order to investigate the shared epistemological, political, and aesthetic concerns of art and science in their historical contexts.


A Speculative History of Women on Their Backs (academic monograph, in preparation) brings together black studies, disability studies, and gender and sexuality studies in order to consider issues specific to women’s horizontal labor, including childbirth, sex work, illness and recovery. Reconceiving of the feminine as a literal position (horizontality), this text offers a theory of literary and historical women as laborers involved in a collective strike against normative injunctions to be upright.

Horizontal & Hysterical (completed manuscript) is a work of autotheory that investigates the medical history of hysteria in relation to black women’s literary and artistic production, with a particular focus on twentieth-century writer Gayl Jones.

Letters to the Other World (completed manuscript) is a hybrid text that theorizes an unexpected continuity between the mobilization of blackness and invisibility in the epistemologies of quantum physics (particularly Einstein’s pursuit of quantum realism) and the published writings of novelist Ralph Ellison and political prisoner George Jackson.

Research Publications


“Words Are Flesh: Lindsey Andrews on Frank Bidart,” The Operating System: NaPoMo 30/30/30 (April 2018).

From Inside a Black Box: Entangling Albert Einstein, Ralph Ellison,  and George Jackson,” Lute & Drum 8 (Fall 2016).

Reading the Image of Race: Psychiatry, Diagnostic Technologies, and Literary Intervention” (with Jonathan Metzl, co-author). The Edinburgh Companion to the Critical Medical Humanities. Eds. Angela Woods and Anne Whitehead. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh Univ. Press (2016).

Black Feminism’s Minor Empiricism: Hurston, Combahee, and the Experience of Evidence,” Catalyst: A Journal of Feminism, Theory, and Technoscience 1:1 (2015).

“The Queer Science of Self-Experimentation: William Burroughs and Addiction’s Experimental Economies” (Under consideration).

“Gayl Jones, Black Hysteric,” (Under Consideration for Expansive Reflections: Returning to the Feminisms of the 1970s (edited collection))


Review of Lundy Braun’s Breathing Race into the Machine: The Surprising Career of the Spirometer from Plantation to GeneticsConfigurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology 23:1 (2015).

Indeterminacy: Politics, Form, and Method: On Ralph Ellison in Progress: From Invisible Man to Three Days Before the Shooting. . . by Adam Bradley.” Novel: A Forum on Fiction 45:3 (2012).

Review of Badia Sahar Ahad’s Freud Upside Down: African American Literature and Psychoanalytic Culture and Miriam Thaggart’s Images of Black Modernism: Verbal and Visual Strategies of the Harlem RenaissanceAmerican Literature. (2012).



“Horizontal & Hysterical; or, The University Is Killing Me,” Grinnell College, Departments of Womens and Gender Studies and English, May 2017.

Invited Respondent to Jess Issacharoff, “Familiar Cells: Domestic Prisons/Carceral Homes,” Duke Literature Colloquium, Duke University, Spring 2016.

“Empiricism and Black Modernism,” University of Sussex, School of English and Program in American Studies, June 2014.

“The Experience of Evidence: Zora Neale Hurston, Carson McCullers, and the Combahee River Collective,” Princeton University Department of English and Center for African American Studies, January 2014.

“Empiricism and Experience: The Combahee River Collective,” Politics of Health Conference at Vanderbilt University, October 2013.

Invited Respondent to Elizabeth Wilson’s presentation, “Affect and Artificial Intelligence.” History of Science and Literary Form Working Group, Duke University, 2010


“A Talent for Cancer: Critical Theory and Black Study in the University,” accepted for the American Studies Annual Conference, 2018.

“Minor Science and the Strategies of Law,” accepted for the National Women’s Studies Association Conference 2017.

“Gayl Jones: Black Hysteric,” American Studies Association Annual Conference 2017.

“Matter of Black Thought: Einstein, Ellison, Jackson,” American Comparative Literature Association Conference, May 2015.

“Speculative Planning,” Performance Study Group, The New Museum, New York, New York, March-May 2015.

“Feeling Experimental: Intolerable Sensations and the Weird Science of Autobiography,” American Studies Association Annual Meeting, November 2014.

The University and the Undercommons Roundtable,” Cultural Studies Association Annual Conference, May 2014.

“The Time of Minor Empiricism: Black Feminism and Experimental Study,” American Comparative Literature Association Conference, March 2014.

“’Valuable Experiments’ in Science and Literature,” Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Conference, October 2013.

“Documentary Photography, Semiotic Objectification, and the Limits of Critical Reading,” MIT Media in Transition 8 Conference, April 2013.

“Some Fragments on Critical Reading, Hearing Photography, and Synaesthetic Experience in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man,” UCD Clinton Institute for American Studies, 2012.

“Imagining Communities: Literature, Minority, and the Matter of Thought,” American Comparative Literature Association Conference, 2012.

“Self-Experiments in William Burroughs’s Junky and Queer.” Futures of American Studies Institute, Dartmouth University, Summer 2011

“Melville’s Missing Women and the Cosmopolitan Intent: Melville, CLR James, and Moby-Dick’s Society of Men.” American Comparative Literature Association Conference, 2010


Ph.D. English, Certificate in Feminist Studies Duke University 2013

Area(s) of Expertise

American, African-American, and Black Diaspora Literature and Culture, Women’s and LGBTQ Literature, Science Studies, Medical Humanities, Race and Gender Theory, Institutional Studies (Prison, Hospital, School), Disability Studies, Literary and Critical Theory, Modernisms, Visual Studies, Genre Studies, Interdisciplinarity, Science Fiction, Film.