Hey there – I am Dr. Donavan Ramon, Assistant Professor of English at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

A native of Harlem, New York, I earned my B.A. in English and the Special Honors Curriculum from Hunter College of the City University of New York, and my Ph.D. in African American Literature from Rutgers University. Over the past decade, I have taught at institutions in New York, New Jersey, and Kentucky, and have published a range of scholarly and popular works. I specialize primarily in African-American Literature and literatures of the African Diaspora, including Caribbean and African Literatures. 

My first book project, Betraying Their Colored Descent: Psychoanalysis and Racial Passing in American Literature, will be published in 2021 by the University of Missouri Press. In it, I apply psychoanalysis to twentieth-century racial passing narratives, to explore the internal trauma and psychological consequences of jumping the color line, for real and fictional racial passers.

Contrary to critics who view psychoanalysis as irrelevant for African-Americans, I assert that Sigmund Freud created psychoanalysis to work through his own racial anxieties. I take as a point of departure that psychoanalysis began with an investment in race, which provides us with the impetus to use it to understand racial passing. By uncovering the psychoanalytic elements of passing narratives, each chapter in my book makes a provocative new claim about racial passing in twentieth-century American and African-American Literatures.

In addition to my academic pursuits, I am also a mentor, editor, and member of the Lexington Urban League Young Professionals. If you are interested in more of my work, or interested in hiring me to proofread/edit your work, please contact me here.

Select Awards:

  • Summer Institute for Tenure and Professional Advancement, August 2016 Duke University
  • Intern, Institute for Recruitment of Teachers, July 2008
  • Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, Hunter College, March 2007

Learn more about Donavan!