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 an Associate Professor in the Department of Law & Legal Studies, and cross-appointed to the Department of English Language & Literature and the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art & Culture (ICSLAC). His research interests are informed by his multidisciplinary training, first in English and comparative literary studies and then in law and legal studies. These interests include: ‘Law, Culture, and the Humanities’; black diaspora studies; postcolonial studies; critical social theory, esp. Marxism and the Frankfurt School; capitalist modernity and modernism; rights theory and historiography. More specifically, to date, his research has interrogated the forms and values of legal, literary, and filmic texts generated by the histories of African descended peoples throughout the Atlantic world, with special reference to the Haitian Revolution.

Philip’s first book, The Haitian Revolution in the Literary Imagination: Radical Horizons, Conservative Constraints was published by the University of Virginia Press in 2014. It addresses the literary impact of the Haitian Revolution of 1791–1804 from the 1930s onward. Focusing on a corpus of literary texts and cultural works produced in the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, the United States, and Britain, it examines how these primary materials recuperated the Haitian Revolution from its prior denouncement as unregenerate in proslavery propaganda.

Philip’s current research comprises two projects: The Haitian Revolution and Rights: Law, Liberation, Poetics, which considers the productive capacities and limitations of conceiving of the Haitian Revolution as an alternative, radical human rights project; and a comparative study of filmic representations of slavery, foregrounding examples drawn from the wider Caribbean and Latin America.

Philip taught previously in the School of Law at the University of Warwick where he was also an affiliated faculty member of the Centre for Caribbean Studies and Director of the Death Penalty Project in the Centre for Human Rights in Practice.

In 2015–16, Philip was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Vanderbilt University Law School and the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities.


Peer Reviewed Books

2014        The Haitian Revolution in the Literary Imagination: Radical Horizons, Conservative Constraints. University of Virginia Press. 256 pp.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

2020         “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: pp. TBC.

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

2017         “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: 94–114.

2017          “‘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: 155–177.

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

2012           “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: 197–216.

Peer Reviewed Book Chapters

2020            “The Haitian Revolution and Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s La última cena.” Racialized Visions: Haiti and the Hispanic Caribbean ed. Vanessa K. Valdés, SUNY University Press. In press.

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

Edited Peer Reviewed Journals

2020                Co-editor and introduction co-author (with Prof. Umut Özsu). “Rethinking Resistance with C.L.R. James’ World Revolution,” special issue of The CLR James Journal. Slated for Fall 2020.

2019                Co-editor (with Prof. Michaël Roy).  “Slavery on Screen,” special issue of Transatlantica. Slated for Winter 2019.

Book Reviews

forthcoming   Randall Stevenson, Reading the Times: Temporality and History in Twentieth Century Fiction. Edinburgh University Press, 2018. Ix + 262 pp. Law & Humanities.

2019                C.L.R. James, Toussaint Louverture, edited by Christian Høgsbjerg. Duke University Press, 2013. Xii + 222 pp. Slavery & Abolition. Vol. 40, No. 1: 202–04.

2018                Charles Forsdick & Christian Høgsbjerg (eds.) The Black Jacobins Reader. Duke University Press, 2017. Xxiv + 438 pp. Slavery & Abolition. Vol. 39, No. 2: 440–42.

2017                Jeremy Matthew Glick, The Black Radical Tragic: Performance, Aesthetics, and the Unfinished Haitian Revolution. NYU Press, 2016. 296 pp. SX Salon. No. 26, October.

2017                Maria Cristina Fumagalli. On the Edge: Writing the Border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Liverpool University Press, 2015. xviii + 430 pp. New West Indian Guide. Vol. 91, Nos. 1–2: 143–144.


2015                “An Interview with Kimathi Donkor.” Lacuna Magazine. February.

2014                “The Black Atlantic: Notes on the Thought of Paul Gilroy.” Critical Legal Thinking: Law and the Political. September.

2012                “¡Tricampeones! Spain complete their cycle.” Soccer Politics. July.


2017                Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant (IDG) (2017–20). Project title: “The Haitian Revolution and The Making of Freedom in the Postcolonial Atlantic.”

2015                U.S.–U.K. Fulbright All-Disciplines Scholar Award: 12-month fellowship held at Vanderbilt University.