Tayana Hardin

Associate Professor

Professional Biography

Tayana L. Hardin is an Assistant Professor of African American Literature. Her teaching and interdisciplinary research bridge the literary, the embodied, and the historical, and rely on the disciplinary insights of African American and American studies, feminist and gender studies, and performance studies. Dr. Hardin's commitments to teaching, reflexive pedagogical practices, and intellectual community-building were recognized by the University of Denver when she was named the 2017 William T. Driscoll Master Educator. Prior to joining the DU faculty in 2013, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow of African American and African Diasporic Literatures at Rutgers University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the following journals: Dance Chronicle; The Black Scholar; Journal of Transatlantic Studies; Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture; and Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture.


  • Ph.D., American Culture, University of Michigan, 2012
  • MA, Pan-African Studies, University of Louisville, 2004
  • BA, Liberal Studies, University of Louisville, 2000

Licensure / Accreditations

  • NIA White Belt Instructor

Professional Affiliations

  • American Studies Association
  • Modern Languages Association


My research reveals my preoccupation with books, bodies, and the bygone, and, by extension, with literature, performance, and the archive. My academic publications—which include peer-reviewed single-authored and multi-authored articles and first-person essays—bring the interpretive practices of literary studies into the purview of historical research, in order to explicate black bodies as dynamic sites of lived and discursive experience. This intellectual work hinges on unwieldy conceptions of time, temporality, and blackness.


  • “The I Who Arrives: A Meditation on History, Inheritance, and the Literature Classroom”
  • "Artist Jacob Lawrence and the Burdens of Historical Narrative"
  • “Time and Black Desire: Scenes from Current Research”
  • Placing the Archive: The Legacies and Futures of Historical Knowledge
  • The Silent Treatment: Dance, Archive, and Katherine Dunham’s _Southland_ (1951)


  • William T. Driscoll Master Educator Award, DU