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Photo of Joe Lewis, taken by Sarah Boyd

Teaching Assistant Professor

2019, Ph.D. English, Wayne State University

2016, Specialized Certificate, The School of Criticism and Theory, Cornell University

2007, MA Africana Studies & Literature, New York University

2003, BA English Arts, Hampton University


Dr. Joseph L. Lewis investigates Blackness and embodiment at the intersection of literary studies and composition studies. As a literary theorist, Dr. Lewis uses gothic horror texts as sites of analysis, focusing on realism and existentialism in nineteenth and twentieth-century American and African American literature. As a composition specialist, Dr. Lewis utilizes rhetorical theory and historiography to research protest movements. His dissertation interrogates Blackness and the rhetoric of racism in contemporary student protest movements in the United States and South Africa. Currently, Dr. Lewis is writing a trilogy. The first book in this trilogy theorizes Black Horror as a conceptual framework for reimagining monstrosity in Black life.


  • Lewis, J.L. (2019). In The Sunken Place: A Review of Jordan Peele’s Get OutReligious Studies Review 45.1, 43-44.
  • Lewis, J.L. (2018). Reflexive Terrors: Utilizing Horror to Teach Multiculturalism and Invention in Undergraduate Writing about Literature Courses. In Mark Fabrizi (Ed.) Fantasy Literature: Challenging Genres Series. Boston: Sense Publishers.
  • Lewis, J.L. (2012). Monsters and Heroes: The Ironies of Black Subjectivity in Stephen Crane’s The Monster and Richard Wright’s The Man Who Lived Underground. Caliban French Journal of English Studies, 31, 161-172.


  • Consortium for Faculty Diversity Pre-Dissertation Fellow, Denison University (2018-2019)
  • Educational Travel Award, Department of English at Wayne State University (2016)
  • King Chavez Parks Future Faculty Fellow, Wayne State University (2014-2019)
  • Graduate Professional Scholar, Wayne State University (2014-2017)
  • Peter Boyse Presidential Scholar, Delta College (2008-2011)

Courses Taught:

  • English 129: Literature and Diversity: Black Horror: Descent, Ghosts, and Monsters in Black Literature, Black Film, and Black Life
  • English 105: Composition and Rhetoric


Curriculum Vitae / Resume