Biko Caruthers

Biko Caruthers is an artist, former high school history teacher, and Afro-American Studies PhD candidate in the W. E. B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

His dissertation, The Uncanny Genius of the African Child engages key conversations within critical Black studies that foreground questions about antiblackness, the category of the human, and the long durée of slavery. He examines how Black cultural producers deployed the figure of the Black child to critique Enlightenment’s Man as well as the Human. He reads literary and visual texts from writers like Harriet E. Wilson, Toni Morrison, and artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, to name a few.

He's received support for his research and writing from the Du Bois Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the New York Public Library-Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. When he’s not writing or reading for his dissertation. He finds time for art, comic books, photography, and looking mysterious in coffee shops.

In the English Department at Rice University, he teaches Intro to African American Literature and Slavery in 20th Century Film and Fiction.

Research Areas

African American and Black Diasporic Literature; 19th and 20th C. African American Literatures; Black visual culture, Women Gender Sexuality Studies, Slavery Studies, Histories of Slavery, Afropessimism, and Black Critical Theory.


M.A., Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst

M.A., History, University of Central Oklahoma

B.A., Social Studies Education, Oklahoma Christian University


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