Dr Jason  Allen-Paisant

Dr Jason Allen-Paisant

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

Summary: I am Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the School of Modern Languages & the Centre for World Literatures.


My main research interests are interdisciplinary and aim to foreground decolonial critical apparatuses and ways of thinking. My current projects include: 1. a study of contemporary Haitian theatre 2. A book of essays provisionally entitled The empty stage: The Caribbean and post-humanism that studies Caribbean challenges to humanist metaphysics through the writings of such figures as Sylvia Wynter, Wilson Harris, Aimé Césaire, Suzanne Césaire, M NourbeSe Philip and Frankétienne.

In my current work on performance, decolonial epistemologies and dehumanism, I am interested in the phenomenon of ritual possession (specifically in the context of Haitian vodou and similar Afro-Caribbean practices) and how it functions in two interconnected ways: 1) as a mode of existing that sheds light on the workings of colonial power and its bio-ontological effects and 2) as an anti-epistemology; that is, as a corrective mode of thought and being whose drive is to neutralise the knowledge structures that ground imperialism. I explore this question through both theatre/performance and poetics.

A part of my Leverhulme project is the conference ‘Memory and Performance in African-Atlantic Futures’ (31 August-2 September, 2018), that brings together scholars and artists to 'reflect on how spaces and modes of performance are being used to energise both the particular and the entangled concerns of aesthetics, politics and epistemology within the memories linked to African-Atlantic colonialism and slavery'. This conference asks whether 'contemporary performances of memory, particularly those that point to  African and Afro-diasporic alternatives to Euro-Western modes and models', are reflecting 'historico-political and cognitive shifts in how the relationship between African-Atlantic pasts, presents and futures is conceived'. More information can be found here.

I have a number of published and forthcoming articles and essays in international peer-reviewed academic journals.

I am also a poet with work published or forthcoming in magazines such as sx salon, The Cossack Review, POUI, and Callaloo.


(2017) Théâtre dialectique postcolonial: Aimé Césaire et Derek Walcott. Paris: Classiques Garnier.

Reviewed by Fabula (in French):  https://www.fabula.org/lodel/acta/index.php?id=10829&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter


(2018) Reading Wilson Harris with Gilles Deleuze: Carnival, or the novel as theatrical space. The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, https://doi.org/10.1177/0021989418767492

(2017) Aimé Césaire and The Divine Comedy: Self-enlightenment and the dialectic of relation in And the Dogs Were SilentJournal of Postcolonial Writinghttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17449855.2017.1292182

(2017) Contraindre le chaos à devenir forme: le motif de la descente aux enfers dans Et les chiens se taisaient d’Aimé Césaire, https://doi.org/10.3828/AJFS.2017.14

(2014) Le corps créole, fonction de la Relation dans Drums and Colours de Derek Walcott. Études anglaises, 67.2 

(2010) Daniel Boukman: un regard caribéen sur le théâtre. Nouvelles Études Francophones, 25.1


Obituary: Wilson Harris (1921-2018), Journal of Commonwealth Literatures


Raising the ghosts of justice: Staging, time, and the memory of Empire The Trial of Governor Eyre. Cultural Dynamics (forthcoming) 

Horizons of enchantment: The poetry of Anthony McNeill.

Aimé Césaire: Possession as paradigm of consciousness. 

Haunting and memory in the theatre of Derek Walcott. 

Chemin de fer de Julien Mabiala Bissila:Écriture scénique du traumatisme, écriture scénique transnationale


CFP open till 23 November: Misperformance: Staging law and justice in the African diaspora


Postcolonial Dante. The Oxford Handbook to Dante. Oxford University Press (forthcoming) 

Archeology of Caribbean Theatre. Caribbean Literature in Transition Volume 2. Cambridge University Press (forthcoming)