Justin L Mann

Visiting Research Scholar
Term 2022-2023

Justin L. Mann earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from George Washington University. His research and teaching are primarily concerned with the worldmaking and -breaking relationship between U.S. literature and state policy. His current manuscript in-progress, Breaking the World, argues that Black speculative fiction, including works by Octavia E. Butler, N.K. Jemisin, Janelle Monáe, and Colson Whitehead, are an essential but underexamined archive for understanding America’s security ambitions since the Reagan administration. Weaving together analysis of such texts with scrutiny of security policy guiding practices like missile defense, peacekeeping, biosecurity, covert operations and drone warfare, and climate security, Breaking the World shows that Black speculative works counter securitization—the process of increasing ideologies and infrastructures that allege more safety through increased surveillance and the curtailment of freedom—by imagining alternative modalities of social organization. These imaginaries, which often emerge by rending apart known structures, prompt audiences to reframe their own relationship to the notion of safety and security. Professor Mann’s teaching portfolio includes courses in twentieth century black literature and culture, black feminist and queer of color theory, speculative fiction studies, and security studies.

His work has been published in MELUS, Feminist Theory, Surveillance & Society, American Quarterly, Feminist Studies, and avidly.com.