Carina Hoffpauir

Assistant Professor of English

Areas of expertise

African American Literature and Culture / Feminist Studies / Race & Ethnicity Studies

Carina Evans Hoffpauir specializes in African-American literature and culture.  Her courses include topics in African-American literature, U.S. ethnic literatures, and American literature more broadly. She also teaches in the Feminist Studies, Race and Ethnicity Studies, and First-Year Seminar Programs. She is also a member of the "Americas: North by South" Paideia interdisciplinary teaching and research cluster.

Her research is on neo-slave narratives, focusing on works written by Octavia Butler, Charles Johnson, Toni Morrison, Ann Allen Shockley, and Sherley Anne Williams.  Her manuscript, Loving Blackness: The Neo-slave Narrative and Contemporary Revisions of Slavery, interrogates the ways in which contemporary novels about slavery represent romantic love as a strategy for healing the trauma of enslavement. 

She also studies the literature and history of enslavement in Central Texas, and more information about her recent research endeavors can be found here: "Hidden History: Southwestern English Professors are Researching and Sharing the History of Slavery in Williamson County"

Writing-centered pedagogy is integral to her work inside and outside of the classroom, and since 2013 she has served as Interim Faculty Director of the Debby Ellis Writing Center supporting both student learning and faculty development.


MA/PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara 2009


Assistant Professor of English
Southwestern University
August 01, 2008 - present

Interim Faculty Director of the Debby Ellis Writing Center
Southwestern University
August 01, 2013 - July 31, 2015

Teaching Philosophy

"The academy is not paradise. But learning is a place where paradise can be created. The classroom with all its limitations remains a location of possibility. In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labour for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress. This is education as the practice of freedom." (bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress. Education as the Practice of Freedom)

Previous Courses

American Literature

American Ethnic Literature

Black Women Writers

Capstone: Theorizing Identity

Introduction to Literary Studies (Literary Analysis & Methods)

Texas Slavery

American Neo-slave Narratives

Introduction to Literature

First-Year Seminar: Where Dreams Come True: A Cultural Analysis of the World of Disney

College Writing


Representations of gender, romance, and family in slave and neo-slave narratives; the literature and history of enslavement in Central Texas


Loving Blackness: The Neo-Slave Narrative and Contemporary Revisions of Slavery. (Manuscript in progress)

""‘You-all in this together': Feminist Alliances in Dessa Rose." Meeting Points in Black/Africana Women's Literature. Edited by Helen O. Chukwuma and Preselfannie W. McDaniels. Africa World Press, 2015.

"Fictive Imaginings: Constructing Biracial Identity in Danzy Senna's Caucasia;" Crossing Lines: Race and Mixed Race Across the Geohistorical Divide. Edited by Marc Coronado et al. Lanham, MD: Altamira Press, 2005.

Seminars & Presentations

Selected Participant in the Council of Independent College's American History Seminar on Slave Narratives. Yale University, 2015.

"A Kind of Family: Interracial Female Relationships in A Mercy." Pacific Ancient and Modern Languages Association Conference, Claremont, CA, 2011.

"Teaching Black Sexual Politics: African American Literature and the Liberal Arts." Associated Colleges of the South Women's and Gender Studies Conference, Richmond, VA, 2011.

"'Alien Procedures': Science Fiction and Slavery in Butler's 'Bloodchild.'" Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Conference, Honolulu, HI, 2010.

"'this / a Harlem done / took / a beating': Urban Pathology in Sapphire's Push." Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States Conference, Scranton, PA, 2010.

"'You-all in this together': The Neo-Slave Narrative Friendship Plot in Dessa Rose." Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Conference, San Francisco, CA, 2009.

"'An Uncommon Affinity': Queer Interracial Desire in Ann Allen Shockley's 'The Mistress and The Slave Girl.'" Associated Colleges of the South Women's and Gender Studies Conference, Memphis, TN, 2009.

"Revising Romance: Cultural Trauma and Love in Beloved." Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association, Riverside, CA, 2006.

Honors & Awards

Faculty-Student Research Grant 2012-2013

Mellon Integrated Scholarly Community Grant, 2010

Finalist for Southwestern University Teaching Award, 2010

UCSB Office of Residential Life Outstanding Educator Award, 2005

UCSB Pearl Butler Evans Award for Scholarship on African-American Literature, 2003

UCSB Doctoral Scholars Fellowship, 2000

Phi Beta Kappa, 2000