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

  • Black and Jewish diaspora literature and culture
  • global Holocaust studies
  • memory studies
  • Caribbean and hemispheric American studies

Current Research

My research is situated at the intersection of Black studies and Jewish studies. My forthcoming book, Black Lives Under Nazism: Making History Visible in Literature and Art (Columbia UP), draws attention to a largely unrecognized body of artwork that challenges the erasure of Black wartime history. Like my previous monograph, Calypso Jews: Jewishness in the Caribbean Literary Imagination (Columbia UP, 2016), it probes the boundaries of Holocaust memory and representation while expanding the discussion of Black-Jewish literary relations beyond the U.S. national frame. 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 (U of Virginia P, 2019).

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 the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis and MDS: Migration and Diaspora Studies. I am cross-appointed to the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture and the Institute of African Studies. Beyond Carleton, I serve on the Academic Council of the Holocaust Educational Foundation of Northwestern University, the advisory board of Bloombury Academic’s Comparative Jewish Literatures series, and the editorial boards of Jewish Historical Studies: A Journal of English-Speaking Jewry and

Selected Professional Honours and Awards

  • Norman Raab Foundation Fellow, Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC, 2022
  • Marston LaFrance Fellowship, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Carleton University, 2021-22
  • Potsdam Postcolonial Chair in Global Modernities, University of Potsdam, Germany, 2021
  • Research Achievement Award, Carleton University, 2019-20
  • Visiting Fellow, Zentrum Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin, 2019
  • Canadian Jewish Literary Award, 2016
  • John Charles Polanyi Prize for Literature, Government of Ontario, 2007
  • Horst Frenz Prize, American Comparative Literature Association, 2004


  • SSHRC Insight Grant, 2021-26
  • SSHRC Insight Development Grant, 2017-19
  • SSHRC Standard Research Grant, 2008-12


Recent Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Blyden and Pissarro on St. Thomas: Pan-Africanism, Zionism, and the Sephardic Caribbean.” Unacknowledged Kinships: Postcolonial Studies and the Historiography of Zionism. Ed. Derek Penslar, Stefan Vogt, and Arieh Saposnik. Brandeis University Press. (forthcoming)
  • “Outside the Frame: The Josef Nassy Collection and the Boundaries of Holocaust Art.” Jewish Social Studies 1 (Winter 2022): 43-82.
  • “‘Close Your Eyes and Imagine a German’: The Alps as a Postmemorial Landscape of Black Europe in Maud Sulter’s Photomontages.” Survey Practices and Landscape Photography Across the Globe. Ed. Sophie Junge and Erin Hyde Nolan. Routledge, 2022. 231-250.
  • “Josef Nassy’s Tittmoning (1944): Blackness, Jewishness, and Holocaust Art.” AJS Perspectives: The Art Issue (Fall 2021): 66-67.
  • “Telling the Untold Story: Jewish Wartime Refuge in Haiti in Louis-Philippe Dalembert’s Avant que les ombres s’effacent.” American Literary History 33.4 (2021): 756-776.
  • “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.
  • “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. E 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.

Selected Blogs

Recent Invited Talks

  • “Making History Visible: Black Lives Under Nazism in Literature and Art.” Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Toronto. February 2023.
  • “Art, Memory and Resistance.” Keynote talk at the graduate student conference “Global and Migrant Memories.” University of Potsdam, Germany. June 2022.
  • “Creolizing Holocaust Memory: The Jewish Caribbean and Nazi Persecution in Literature and Art.” Parkes Institute and Center for Imperial and Postcolonial Studies, University of Southampton, UK. October 2021.
  • “Bringing Together Postcolonial and Holocaust Studies in the Classroom.” Transatlantic World History Project. Columbia University, New York. July 2021.
  • “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
  • “Decolonizing Holocaust Memory in Caribbean Literature: Haitian Writer Louis-Philippe Dalembert’s Avant que les ombres s’effacent.” Western Galilee College, Israel. November 2020.

 Recent Conference Presentations

  • “Literary Narratives of Jewish Wartime Refuge in the Caribbean: Felicia Rosshandler’s Passing Through Havana.” Association for Jewish Studies, Boston. December 19, 2022.
  • “Entangled Histories: Surinamese Artist Josef Nassy’s Visual Diary of Nazi Internment.” Lessons & Legacies, Ottawa. November 14, 2022.
  • “Creolizing Holocaust Art: The Josef Nassy Collection.” Consent not to be a single being: Worlding the Caribbean.” Tate Museum, London UK. Dec. 1-3, 2021.
  • “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.
  • “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.

 Recent Workshops

  • Co-organizer (with Jacqueline Nassy Brown) of “Black Lives under Nazism.” Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C. June 7-16, 2023.
  • Co-organizer (with Nicole Waller) of “Globalizing Holocaust Studies: Pedagogical Approaches.” University of Potsdam, Germany. July 21, 2021.
  • Co-organizer (with Sina Rauschenbach) of “Jewish Studies and Postcolonial Studies: Do We Need to Talk?” Zentrum Jüdische Studien Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin. June 12, 2019.

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”
  • Lale Eskicioglu (Cultural Mediations), “Beyond Postcolonialism: The Urban and Social Realist Turn in Indian and Nigerian Literatures”
  • Victoria Nolte (Cultural Mediations), “One Place and Another: Worldmaking in Asian Canadian Contemporary Art” (co-supervisor)
  • Marie-Catherine Allard (Cultural Mediations), “Reshaping Memory: Counternarratives in Kindertransport Literature”