New English Department Faculty in 2022

Read about our new faculty
Pink flowers against East Hall
Sara Deniz Akant

Professor of the Practice of Poetry Sara Deniz Akant, is a Turkish-American poet, educator, and performer. She is the author of Babette, winner of the Rescue Press Black Box Poetry Prize, Parades, winner of the Omnidawn Chapbook Prize, and Latronic Strag, from Persistent Editions. Hyperphantasia⁠, a collection of fourteen-line verse forms, is forthcoming from Rescue Press in Fall 2022. Her performances have included a video installation for the Poetry Project, a collaboration at NYU's Kimmel Gallery, and a solo show at the Gunder Exhibitions in Chicago. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a PhD in English from the CUNY Grad Center, and co-curates the Kan Ya Makan reading series in Brooklyn. Her recently defended dissertation, Once There Was and Once There Wasn’t: The Poetics of Flicker, traces cross-cultural documentary impulses, and her hybrid manuscript-in-progress, The Kingdom Book of Perihan, uses family archives to blur the boundary between criticism and creation.  


Tonhi Lee

Tonhi Lee comes to Tufts from the University of Michigan as an Assistant Professor specializing in English literature and drama of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. His dissertation, Migration and Mimesis in the English Renaissance, 1492-1668, traces a literary history of migration in the early modern world; it explores the relationship between migrancy and fictionality in some of the major genres of the period, such as romance, utopian fiction, tragedy, and pastoral. He is also currently working toward a second book project, Theater of Migration in the Age of Shakespeare, which will examine the history of English popular drama––from its beginning in medieval religious and moral dramas to Elizabethan-Jacobean dramas produced by the professional theaters––from the perspective of human movement. His additional research and teaching interests include post-Reformation public culture; conversion; citizenship; migration and empire; classical reception; world literature; and the phenomenology of theater.

Sarah Robbins

Sarah Robbins, Assistant Professor of Early American Multi-Ethnic Literature, completed a PhD in English at Yale University in 2021. Her research focus is in nineteenth-century African American literature, and her current book project, based on her dissertation, Re(-)Markable Texts: Making Meaning of Revision in 19th-Century African American Literature, addresses authors who revised their own work. She considers revision from a material standpoint, adapting theories and methods from textual scholarship, genetic criticism, and editorial theory in order to reconstruct the processes that constitute black revisionary labor. Her work has been enriched through her participation with the Black Bibliography Project and as a junior fellow in the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography. Her friends know her as a cat-less cat lady and a proselytizing Whitmaniac. 


Anna V. Q. Ross

Anna V. Q. Ross has an MFA from Columbia University and has taught at Emerson C, Stonehill C, and other Boston area institutions. Her most recent book, Flutter, Kick, won the 2020 Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award and will appear in September 2022. Her previous collections include If a Storm (winner of the Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry); Figuring (Bull City Press); and Hawk Weather (winner the New Women’s Voices Prize from Finishing Line Press and the Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award from the New England Poetry Society). A recipient of fellowships from the Mass Cultural Council, the Fulbright Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Vermont Studio Center, her recent work appears in The Nation, Poetry Northwest, Southern Humanities Review, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. She is poetry editor for Salamander Magazine, and lives in Dorchester, where she runs the poetry and music series Unearthed Song & Poetry and raises chickens.