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

  • African and Jewish diaspora literature and culture
  • global Holocaust studies
  • memory studies
  • Caribbean and hemispheric American studies
  • space and place

Current Research

My research is situated at the intersection of Black studies and Jewish/Holocaust studies. My most recent monograph, Calypso Jews: Jewishness in the Caribbean Literary Imagination (Columbia UP, 2016), is the first book-length examination 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 studies, I co-edited with Heidi Kaufman Caribbean Jewish Crossings: Literary History and Creative Practice (University of Virginia Press, 2019). Currently, I am writing a book entitled Making History Visible: Black Victims of Nazi Persecution in Literature and Art.

My earlier publications contributed to the fields of diaspora studies and hemispheric American studies. They include Second Arrivals: Landscape and Belonging in Contemporary Writing of the Americas (U of Virginia P, 2007) and Canada and its Americas: Transnational Navigations (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2010), co-edited with Winfried Siemerling.

At Carleton, I am a founding member of CTCA: the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis and MDS: Migration and Diaspora Studies. I am cross-appointed to the Institute of African Studies, the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture, and the Bachelor in Global and International Studies. Beyond Carleton, I’m a member of the advisory board of Bloombury Academic’s Comparative Jewish Literatures series and the editorial board of

Recent Professional Honours and Awards

  • Marston LaFrance Fellowship, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Carleton University, 2021-22
  • Potsdam Postcolonial Chair in Global Modernities, University of Potsdam, Germany, 2021
  • Visiting Fellow, Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC, 2020 [delayed until 2022]
  • Research Achievement Award, Carleton University, 2019-20
  • Visiting Fellow, Zentrum Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin, 2019
  • Research Award, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Carleton University, 2018-19


  • SSHRC Insight Grant, 2021-26
  • SSHRC Insight Development Grant, 2017-19
  • Development Grant, Carleton University, 2016-18
  • SSHRC Standard Research Grant, 2008-12


Recent Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Making History Visible: Dutch Caribbean Artist Josef Nassy’s Visual Diary of Nazi Internment.” Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism 64 (March 2021): 28-46. (forthcoming)
  • “Jazz Fiction and the Holocaust: Reading History for Clues in the Novels of John A. Williams and Esi Edugyan.” Holocaust and Genocide Studies 34.2 (Fall 2020): 206-224.
  • “The Caribbean.” Handbook of Anglophone World Literatures. Ed. Stefan Helgesson, Gabriele Rippl, and Birgit Neumann. De Gruyter Press, 2020. 395-414.
  • “Teaching Blacks and Jews in Transnational Perspective.” MLA Options for Teaching Jewish American Literature. Ed. Rachel Rubinstein and Roberta Rosenberg. Modern Languages Association, 2020. 90-98.
  • “Caribbean Literature and Global Holocaust Memory.” Holocaust Memory and Racism in the Postwar World. Ed. Avril Alba and Shirli Gilbert. Wayne State UP, 2019. 240-71.
  • “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.

Recent Invited Talks

  • “Outside the Frame: The Josef Nassy Collection, the Sephardic Caribbean, and the Boundaries of Holocaust Art.” Greenfield/Lynch Lecture. Department of English and Program in Jewish Culture and Society. University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. April 12, 2021. (online)
  • “Decolonizing Holocaust Memory in Caribbean Literature: Haitian Writer Louis-Philippe Dalembert’s Avant que les ombres s’effacent.” Western Galilee College, Israel. Nov. 18, 2020. (online)
  • “Jewish Studies and Postcolonial Studies: Methodological Reflections.” Selma Stern Zentrum für Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg. Berlin. June 12, 2019.
  • “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.

 Recent Conference Presentations

  • “Blyden and Pissarro on St. Thomas: Pan-Africanism, Zionism and the Sephardic Caribbean.” Association for Jewish Studies. San Diego, December 2019.
  • “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.

  Graduate Seminars

  • Memory and Migration; Blacks and Jews in Caribbean Literature; Global Holocaust Memory (University of Potsdam)
  • 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”