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Assistant Professor

University of Central Oklahoma

Education and Certifications

Ph.D. University of Nevada, Las Vegas - American Literature

M.A., North Carolina A&T State University - English/African American Literature

B.A., North Carolina A&T State University - Professional English


Tajanae Barnes, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of English and the director of the film studies minor housed in the English department at UCO. She currently studies Black women's literature, with a special interest in Black women's trauma and healing narratives and contemporary films written, produced, and/or directed by Black creatives. Her current work exposes the silences many Black women must sometimes endure and perform through an in-depth analysis of Nia DaCosta's Candyman

Before taking on the world of horror, Barnes primarily focused on satire and racial performances. Her published work, "Plagiarizing Blackness: Racial Performance and Passing in Frances E. W. Harper's Iola Leroy, or, Shadows Uplifted, assesses and criticizes passing for and performing Blackness in 21st-century popular culture and how to teach this novel in a contemporary classroom.

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