Kristen Lillvis

Dr. Kristen Lillvis '04 explores the art of powerful women of color from Janelle Monáe to Toni Morrison.

Humanities grad publishes book on contemporary black women artists

July 9, 2018

Kristen LillvisBW English and philosophy alumna Dr. Kristen Lillvis '04 explores the arts and impact of powerful women of color, from Janelle Monáe and Toni Morrison to Octavia Butler and Julie Dash, in her new book, "Posthuman Blackness and the Black Female Imagination."

The University of Georgia Press-published book explores "how posthuman theory can inform black visual art, film, music, and literature."

Cover of the book Posthuman Blackness and the Black Female ImaginationLillvis, an associate English professor at Marshall University, explained that part of the challenge as she approached the material was facing her privilege as a "white woman academic writing about black women creators." She added, "I use my privilege to bring more attention to these creators and amazing scholars and theorists of color...who write about issues of race, gender, sexuality, and other identity factors."

Humanities Foundation

Looking back at her time at BW, Lillvis recognized the significance of her first publication with BW's literary magazine, The Mill, as well as the constructive faculty members who helped her hone her writing abilities.

In fact, Lillvis was introduced to her first theory course with Dr. Terry Martin, an undergraduate course she credits as the one "that made me realize how much I love theory."

From Theories to Technology

In addition to her teaching position, where she incorporates advanced theory, modern literature and social justice themes such as multiculturalism and representation, she has recently accepted an additional position as Marshall University's Director of Digital Humanities, bridging the gaps between humanities and digital tools and technologies.

Lillvis has an impressive publication history in social justice, feminism and fiction genres. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Kansas.