Photo of Philip Kaisary

Philip Kaisary

Associate Professor

Degrees:M.A. (B.A.) Hons. Eng. Lit., Edinburgh; M.A. Postcolonial Studies, Sussex; Ph.D. Eng. & Comp. Lit., Warwick; G. Dip. Law & G. Dip. Legal Practice, Oxford Brookes. Registered Solicitor of England & Wales (non-practising).
Phone:613-520-2600 x 4181
Office:D485 Loeb Building

Philip Kaisary is the 2023–25 Ruth and Mark Phillips Professor in Cultural Mediations and an Associate Professor in the Department of Law & Legal Studies, the Department of English Language & Literature, and the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art & Culture. Philip is a legal, literary, and cultural comparativist and his work brings questions of resistance and struggle to bear on legal and cultural forms, theorizes and critically appraises alternative modes of being in the world, and addresses the intersections of law, politics, and culture. He is the author of The Haitian Revolution in the Literary Imagination: Radical Horizons, Conservative Constraints (University of Virginia Press, 2014) and his next book, From Havana to Hollywood: Slave Resistance in the Cinematic Imaginary, is forthcoming with SUNY Press. During his tenure as Ruth and Mark Phillips Professor, Philip will be leading a law and literature teaching and research project that, evoking the work of Benita Parry on postcolonial theory, is titled, “Directions and Dead Ends in the ‘Law and Literature’ Movement.” This project has as its goal the development of a materialist and worldly approach to ‘Law and Literature.’

Philip welcomes inquiries from prospective graduate students. He is especially interested in supervising projects addressed to materialist questions in law and literature; law, culture, and the humanities; critical theory; and those bringing a materialist approach to the study of legal, literary, and filmic texts generated by the histories of African descended peoples throughout the Atlantic world.



The Haitian Revolution in the Literary Imagination: Radical Horizons, Conservative Constraints, (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2014).

Book chapters and journal articles

“The Slave Narrative and Filmic Aesthetics: Steve McQueen, Solomon Northup, and Colonial Violence,” in: The Films of Steve McQueen, ed. Thomas Austin, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press).

“Langston Hughes and the Haitian Revolution,” in: Langston Hughes in Context, eds. Vera Kutzinski & Anthony Reed, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022): 129–139.

“Socioeconomic Rights and the Haitian Revolution,” in: Social Rights and the Politics of Obligation in History, eds. Charles Walton & Steven Jenson, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022): 82–98.

“The Haitian Revolution and Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s La última cena (The Last Supper, 1976),” in: Racialized Visions: Haiti and the Hispanic Caribbean, ed. Vanessa K. Valdés, (Albany: SUNY University Press, 2020): 113–133.

“Haiti, Principle of Hope: Parallels and Connections in the works of C.L.R. James, Derek Walcott, Aimé Césaire, and Édouard Glissant,” (Co-author with Prof. Mariana Past.) Atlantic Studies, Vol. 17, No. 2, (2020): 260–280.

“Black Agency and Aesthetic Innovation in Sergio Giral’s El otro Francisco.” PALARA: Publication of the Afro-Latin/American Research Association. No. 23, (2019): 22–32.

“‘To break our chains and form a free people’: Race, Nation, and Haiti’s Imperial Constitution of 1805,” in: Race and Nation in the Age of Emancipations, eds. Whitney Stewart and John Garrison Marks, (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2018): 71–88.

“The Slave Narrative and Filmic Aesthetics: Steve McQueen, Solomon Northup, and Colonial Violence,” MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, Vol. 42, No. 2, (2017): 94–114.

“‘From freedom’s sun some glimmering rays are shed that cheer the gloomy realms’: Dessalines at Dartmouth, 1804.” (Co-author with Prof. Julia Gaffield.) Slavery & Abolition. Vol. 38, No. 1, (2017): 155–177.

“Hercules, the Hydra, and the 1801 Constitution of Toussaint Louverture.” Atlantic Studies, Vol. 12, No. 4, (2015): 393–411.

“Human Rights and Radical Universalism: Aimé Césaire’s and C.L.R. James’s Recuperations of the Haitian Revolution.” Law and Humanities, Vol. 6, No. 2, (2012): 197–216.