Photo of Sarah Phillips Casteel

Sarah Phillips Casteel

Degrees:B.A. (University of Toronto), M.A., M.Phil. (Columbia University), Ph.D. (Columbia University)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2306
Office:201J St. Patrick's Building

Research Interests

  • diaspora and postcolonial literature and theory
  • global Holocaust studies
  • memory studies
  • hemispheric American studies

Current Research

My research interests are in diaspora and postcolonial literatures with a particular emphasis on Caribbean and Jewish writing. My most recent monograph, Calypso Jews: Jewishness in the Caribbean Literary Imagination (Columbia UP, 2016), is the first book-length study of representations of Jewishness in Caribbean literature. Calypso Jews broadens our understanding of Black-Jewish literary relations beyond the U.S. national frame and enriches the cross-cultural project of Caribbean literary criticism. To further advance the emerging conversation between postcolonial and Jewish/Holocaust studies, I have co-edited with Heidi Kaufman Caribbean-Jewish Crossings: Atlantic Literature and Culture, forthcoming from the University of Virginia Press in Fall 2019. My current book project is entitled The Global Itineraries of Holocaust Memory: Black Victims of Nazi Persecution in Literature and Art.

Previous publications include Second Arrivals: Landscape and Belonging in Contemporary Writing of the Americas (U of Virginia P, 2007), which examined rural and wilderness spaces as sites of diasporic emplacement, and Canada and its Americas: Transnational Navigations (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2010), co-edited with Winfried Siemerling.

I am a co-founder and co-director of CTCA: the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis (, a Carleton University Research Centre that fosters the development of transnational approaches to the study of culture. I am cross-appointed to the Institute of African Studies and the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture and I serve on the Steering Committee of Carleton’s Migration and Diaspora Studies initiative.

Professional Honours and Awards

  • Visiting Fellow, Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC, 2019-2020
  • Visiting Fellow, Zentrum Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin, June-July 2019
  • Research Achievement Award, Carleton University, 2019-20
  • Research Award, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Carleton University, 2018-19
  • Silberman Seminar participant, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC, June 2018
  • Visiting Professor, Institut für Anglistik, University of Vienna, 2017
  • Canadian Jewish Literary Award, 2016
  • Research Award, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Carleton University, 2011-12
  • Fellow, Posen Foundation Summer Seminar, 2011
  • John Charles Polanyi Prize for Literature, Government of Ontario, 2007
  • Carty Research Fellowship, Carleton University, 2006
  • Horst Frenz Prize, American Comparative Literature Association, 2004


  • SSHRC Insight Development Grant, 2017-19
  • Development Grant, Carleton University, 2016-18
  • SSHRC Standard Research Grant, 2008-12


Selected Recent Publications

  • “Caribbean Literature and Global Holocaust Memory.” Holocaust Memory and Racism in the Postwar World. Ed. Avril Alba and Shirli Gilbert. Wayne State UP. (forthcoming)
  • “Teaching Blacks and Jews in Transnational Perspective.” MLA Options for Teaching Jewish American Literature. Ed. Rachel Rubinstein and Roberta Rosenberg. (forthcoming)
  • “Triangulating Memory: Sephardism in Caribbean Literature.” The Sephardic Atlantic: Colonial Histories and Postcolonial Perspectives. Ed. Sina Rauschenbach and Jonathan Schorsch. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. 277-98.
  • “Swan Street, Visual Memory and the Archive.” American Jewish History 2 (April 2017): 237-40.
  • “David Dabydeen’s Hogarth: Blacks, Jews, and Postcolonial Ekphrasis.” The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry 1 (January 2016): 117-133.
  • “Landscapes: America and the Americas.” The Cambridge History of Jewish American Literature. Ed. Hana Wirth-Nesher. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2016. 413-31.
  • “Writing Under the Sign of Anne Frank: Creolized Holocaust Memory in Michelle Cliff and Caryl Phillips.” Modern Fiction Studies.  4 (Winter 2014): 796-820.
  • “Port and Plantation Jews in Contemporary Slavery Fiction of the Americas.” Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters. 37.1 (Winter 2014): 112-129.
  • “Calypso Jews: Holocaust Refugees in the Caribbean Literary Imagination.” Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History. 19.2 (Autumn 2013): 1–26.
  • “Sephardism and Marranism in Native American Fiction of the Quincentenary.” MELUS2 (Summer 2012): 59-81.

Recent Invited Talks

  • “Hidden Histories: Surinamese Artist Josef Nassy’s Visual Diary of Nazi Persecution.” KITLV: Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies.” Leiden, Netherlands. June 6, 2019.
  • “Global Itineraries of Holocaust Memory: The Jewish Caribbean and Nazi Persecution in Literature and Art.” Arnold Band Distinguished Lecture in Jewish Studies, UCLA. Los Angeles. May 2, 2019.
  • “Jewishness and Caribbean Diversity through a Literary Lens.” Latin American and Caribbean Studies Carnival Week. Bridgewater University. Bridgewater, Massachussetts. March 27, 2019.
  • “Telling the Untold Story: Jewish Wartime Refuge in Haiti in Dalembert’s Avant que les ombres s’effacent.” Symposium on Twenty-First Century Jewish Writing and the World. U. of Illinois. Champaign-Urbana. March 29, 2019.
  • “Holocaust Memory in Caribbean and African Diaspora Literature and Art.” Zentrum Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg. Berlin, Germany. June 29, 2017.
  • “Holocaust Memory in Caribbean and African Diaspora Literature and Art.” Vienna Center for Canadian Studies. University of Vienna. Vienna, Austria. June 19, 2017.
  • “The Holocaust in Caribbean Literature and Art.” Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies and the Centre for Jewish Studies. University of Toronto. Toronto. October 20, 2016.
  • “Caribbean Literature and Jewish Historical Trauma.” Cultural Memory Studies Initiative. University of Ghent. Ghent, Belgium. April 28, 2015.
  • “Revisiting the ‘Black-Jewish Monologue.'” The Wiener Library. London, UK. January 14, 2014.

 Recent Conference Presentations

  • “Jazz Fiction and the Holocaust: Valaida Snow’s Creative Self-Fashioning.” Afroeuropeans: Black In/Visibilities Contested. Lisbon, July 4-6, 2019.
  • “Valaida Snow in Literary and Graphic Narrative.” Lessons and Legacies. Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University. St. Louis, November 1-4, 2018.
  • “Broken Citizenship: Hans J. Massaquoi’s Survivor Memoir and Its Literary Influence.” Transnational Perspectives on Black Germany. Innis College, University of Toronto. Toronto, May 23-25, 2018.
  • “The Literary Afterlives of Black Victims of the Nazis.” Beyond Camps and Forced Labour: Current International Research on Survivors of Nazi Persecution. Pears Institute. University of London and Wiener Library. London, UK. January 10-12, 2018.
  • “African Diaspora Cultural Production and the Archive of Holocaust Memory.” “Errant Encounters: Decolonizing European Archives.” ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry. 10th anniversary conference. June 29-July 1, 2017. Berlin, Germany. Invited presentation.
  • “Black Holocaust Fiction: Esi Edugyan’s Half-Blood Blues.” African American Intellectual History Society. Vanderbilt University. Nashville, TN. March 24-25, 2017.
  • “Globalizing Holocaust Memory in Contemporary African Diaspora Fiction: John A. Williams’ Clifford’s Blues.” Association for Jewish Studies. Washington D.C., December 2017.
  • “Jewishness, Caribbean Literature and Hemispheric American Studies.” Association of Jewish Studies. San Diego, CA. December 18-20, 2016.
  • “Blacks, Jews and Postcolonial Ekphrasis in David Dabydeen’s Hogarth Novels.” American Comparative Literature Association. Harvard University. Cambridge, Mass. March 17-20, 2016.
  • “Writing the Jewish Atlantic: Plantation Jews in Postslavery Literatures of the Americas.”   Vancouver.  January 11, 2015.
  • “Sephardism in Caribbean Literature: Derek Walcott’s Tiepolo’s Hound.” MLA. Chicago. January 9-12, 2014.

 Graduate Seminars

  • Caribbean Postslavery Literature (University of Vienna)
  • ENGL 5004/CLMD 6102: Holocaust Representation and Global Memory
  • ENGL 5004/CLMD 6102: Diaspora Theory
  • ENGL 5606: Blacks and Jews: Comparative Diasporas in Transnational Perspective
  • ENGL 5004: The Figure of the Jew in Multicultural and Postcolonial Literatures
  • ENGL 5004: Literatures of the Americas
  • CLMD 6900: Research and Professional Development

Completed Doctoral Supervisions

  • Sarah Waisvisz (English), “Dissident Diaspora: Genres of Maroon Witness from the Anglophone and Francophone Caribbean”
  • Gabrielle Etcheverry (Canadian Studies), “Cultures of Coloniality: Latina/o Writing in Canada”
  • Aliesha Hosein (English), “From Slaveships to Cruiseships: Ships, Boats and Sailing Vessels in Caribbean Literature”