The Department Welcomes Chad Infante!

March 13, 2018

The English Department is delighted to announce that Professor Chad Infante will be joining us this fall as Assistant Professor of English at the University of Maryland.


Chad's dissertation, “Cool Fratricide: Murder and Metaphysics in Black and Indigenous U.S. Literature” offers syncretic and comparatist readings of canonical Black and Native literary texts, and engages feminist and queer theory to examine how the trope of racial revenge works in both traditions. He draws the phrase “cool fratricide” from James Baldwin’s work and uses it to interrogate Black and Indigenous depictions of retributive murder against the white colonizer. The first part of Chad’s dissertation analyzes literary and philosophical texts from the eighteenth through the twenty-first centuries, he then pairs key Black and Native American literary works, such as Octavia Butler’s Kindred and Louise Erdrich’s The Round House; Audre Lorde’s The Black Unicorn and Leslie Marmon Silko’s Storyteller to examine an array of queer and feminist characters who reorient violence to ask metaphysical questions about the afterlife of Black slavery and Indigenous conquest. In addition to his manuscript, Chad has an article under review at Callaloo and two pieces forthcoming in anthologies of Black and Indian literatures. In reshaping how we understand the relation between contemporary Native American and African American literature, Chad's research significantly impacts several fields, including American Indian Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies, and twentieth-and twenty-first-century U.S. literary studies, as his scholarship bridges some of the impasses that have emerged in theorizing the intersections of race and colonialism and slavery and genocide in U.S. history.

Chad's commitment to Indigenous Studies extends beyond his scholarship. Noticing the absence of Indigenous scholarship at Northwestern, he spearheaded several Native American and Indigenous initiatives, first, organizing students to study and publicize the connections between Northwestern’s founder John Evans and the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre of Native Americans. Along with another graduate student, he created the Colloquium on Indigeneity and Native American Studies and was the first president of this group. As part of the Colloquium, under Chad’s leadership, Northwestern established the Native American and Indigenous Research Center, which opened in the fall of 2017. This spring, he is co-organizing with Northwestern University Press an event that will bring Black and Native artists and scholars together to discuss intersections between critical and creative work.

Here at UMD, Chad will make strong contributions to the African American and Diaspora cohort and is also poised to develop our research strengths and course offerings in new directions. His areas of research expertise and teaching interests include: Black American, Native American, and Caribbean literatures and cultures; race and colonialism; critical theory, political philosophy, and metaphysics; globalization, sovereignty, and the law; theories of murder and retributive violence.