Diego Millan Assistant Professor of English and Core Faculty in Africana Studies

Diego Millan

Washington 110


Ph.D. English Literature, Tufts University
M.A. English Literature, Tufts University
B.A. English Literature, Bowdoin College


Nineteenth and Twentieth Century American literature and culture; Black Studies; Performance Studies; theories of laughter and comedy


ENGL 266 Introduction to African American Literature
ENGL 293 19th Century American Gothic Literature
ENGL 293 Urban, Rural, Frontier: Space and 19th Century American Literature
ENGL 295 Funny Women
ENGL 346 Early African American Print Culture
ENGL 366 Make a Body Riot: Laughter, Resistance, and African American Literature
ENGL 393 (Re)Negotiating the 19th Century
ENGL 393 The Global 19th Century
WRIT 100 Homeward Bound

Selected Publications


“Joking at the Limits of Protest in Chester Himes’s If He Hollers, Let Him Go.” Black Laughter Matters, special issue of Studies in American Humor, Guest Eds. Darryl Dickson-Carr and Lawrence Howe, vol. 8, no. 2, 2022, pp. 337-59.

“‘Voice Might Discover Him’: Representations and Failures of Voice in Frank J. Webb’s The Garies and Their Friends. MELUS, vol. 45, no. 2, Summer 2020, pp. 46-69.

“Intimacy and Laughter in Nella Larsen’s Passing.” Nella Larsen’s Passing at Ninety, special issue of South Atlantic Review, vol. 84, no. 2-3, Summer/Fall 2019, Guest Editor, Donavan L. Ramon, pp. 106-25.

Chester Himes. “On the Use of Force” edited with introduction. “Little-Known Documents,” PMLA, vol. 132, no. 2, 2017, pp. 471-6.

“Wit’s End: Frantz Fanon, Transnationalism, and the Politics of Black Laughter.” Black Transnationalism and the Discourse(s) of Cultural Hybridity, special issue of South Atlantic Review, vol. 82, no. 4, Winter 2017, Guest Eds., Kameelah L. Martin and Donald M. Shaffer, pp. 9-30.


Book Reviews

“Sitting with the Matter of Black Life” Review of The Matter of Black Living: The Aesthetic Experiment of Racial Data, 1880-1930, Art Journal, vol. 82, no. 1, Spring 2023, pp. 93-96

Birth of an Industry: Blackface Minstrelsy and the Rise of American Animation by Nicholas Sammond,” Studies in American Humor, vol. 3, no. 1, 2017, pp. 127-130.

Comic Venus: Women and Comedy in American Silent Film by Kristen Anderson Wagner & Specters of Slapstick and Silent Film Comediennes by Maggie Hennefeld,” Studies in American Humor, vol. 5, no. 2, 2019, pp. 413-419.

Awards and Honors

2023 Lenfest Summer Research Grant, Washington and Lee University
2022 Lenfest Summer Research Grant, Washington and Lee University
2021 Career Enhancement Fellowship, The Institute for Citizens and Scholars 
2019 Lenfest Summer Research Grant, Washington and Lee University
2016 Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship, Brown University
2015 Dissertation Completion Grant, SSRC Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives
2014 Graduate Student Enhancement Grant, SSRC Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives
2014 MMUF Travel and Research Grant, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
2014 Outstanding Graduate Student Contribution to Undergraduate Education, Tufts University
2013 Pre-Doctoral Research Development Grant, SSRC Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives
2007 Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, Bowdoin College
2007 Freeman Fellowship, Bowdoin College
2003 Posse Leadership Scholarship, The Posse Foundation