Njelle Hamilton

Birthplace: Port Antonio, Jamaica

Relationship to PSU:

Assistant Professor, Anglophone Literatures

 

Personal and professional areas of interest:

-  I teach Postcolonial Literature, Currents in Global Literatures, and other multicultural Gen Ed offerings in the English Department.

-  My research focuses on African Diaspora literature and culture, particularly Caribbean literatures, music and oral narratives.

-  As a Jamaican woman of color, I have special personal and professional interest in issues of racial, ethnic and cultural diversity.

Goals and visions about diversity at PSU:

-  As a writer and teacher of literature, I believe that the purpose of human life is enlightenment through unexpected experiences and encounters that fundamentally change who we thought we were, how we see the world, and how we leave the world. I believe that all art is an invitation to encounter something outside ourselves that moves and changes us profoundly.

-  Not surprisingly, my perception of the value of literature in general, and multicultural literatures in particular, applies to what I see as the value of a robust and enriching society in which multiculturalism and diversity thrive — not just as token gestures to assuage uncomfortable histories, not merely to satiate our post/modern curiosity with the exotic and the different, but as a profound and deeply-held conviction that understanding, embracing and nurturing our differences and similarities, what makes us unique as peoples but alike as people, is what makes the world meaningful and beautiful.

-  I have a dream that PSU will become a campus that is genuinely, consistently and continually invested in creating and sustaining a community where multiculturalism and diversity thrive:

-  where students, faculty and staff of any color, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identification, religion, and ability can feel that they genuinely belong, that they are not objects of exoticism, curiosity, ridicule or objectification;

-  where frequent and ongoing educational, cultural and community initiatives foster a deep and genuine engagement with and understanding of multiculturalism and diversity, and provide a safe space to learn about and think through some of the associated thorny issues with which the wider society is currently grappling;

-  where course offerings reflect the vibrancy of cultures and experiences that make up and prepare students to be full participants in this fast-evolving society;

-  where these courses are not offered merely to fill a checklist of requirements, but rather fully permeate how we teach and learn and think and live as students and faculty.

I hope you will join me and the rest of the PCD in making this dream a reality, and I invite you to get in touch with me, Kyle, or other members of the Commission with your your thoughts, suggestions and ideas about how, together, we can make this a better PSU.