Meredith Kelling

Graduate Student, English Literature

Meredith examines Black and leftist women’s writing at mid-century, with attention to how such writers operated under certain feminized or domesticated “covers” for radical identities and modes of expression. She examines how writing circulated by working class Black women has functioned as a site of Black Liberationist and feminist subversion, precisely because of normative tendencies to overlook domestic workers as politically acquiescent and intellectually inferior. Her research theorizes on the “passable”: leaning on that word’s simultaneous meanings of mobility and mediocrity, Meredith traces apparently unremarkable writing for its circulatory powers. Passable writing, she argues, contains opportunities that Black women writers facing race-, gender- and class-based oppression have counted on to survive, negotiate circumvent surveillance under white supremacy.