Hellen Wainaina

Doctoral Candidate
Department of African American Studies & Department of English

Hellen Wainaina (she/her) is a doctoral student in the Department of English. Her research examines the aesthetic innovation of twentieth century African, Caribbean, and African American literature and the efforts by African and African diasporic authors to decolonize the creative and critical discourses of Anglophone writing. She attends to the intersection between aesthetics and being where it concerns poetics of being and ideas of Blackness. Her research fields of interest include African, Caribbean, African American writing; Caribbean and African American poetry; postcolonialism; decolonization; Black aesthetics; Black feminist poetics; being; and joy as the needful subject of literature and inquiry.
Prior to Princeton, Hellen was an assistant editor and the executive podcast producer at the Sewanee Review. She holds a certificate in editing from the University of Chicago Graham School and a B.A. in English and music from Sewanee: The University of the South.