Graduate Student, English and American Literature
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Crystal Payne’s research is concerned with migration, exiles, and returns. She primarily studies Caribbean literature and the literature of the Caribbean diaspora, particularly works that deal with identity, homelessness, and belonging (based on race, ethnicity, language, etc.) in Western metropoles. Her research is interdisciplinary, often historical and concerned with colonial politics, the remnants of which are felt in the writing of the Caribbean and other black diasporas. Additionally, her work veers into Hemispheric American studies, and she is particularly interested in the crossings between Latin America and the Caribbean, and the (temporary or permanent) collaboration between ethnicities and races for political and social visibility. As a graduate fellow for community engagement with the Center for Humanities, Crystal has been able to work with and in the North St. Louis community and learn about how politics and policies have perpetuated discrimination, disparities, and in many cases, cultural and historical erasure.