Dr Nicole King

Staff details

Position Lecturer
Email n.king (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7717 2952
Dr Nicole King

Dr Nicole King was appointed by Goldsmiths in 2017, having previously been Lecturer in American and Caribbean literature at the University of Reading, visiting lecturer at Brunel University, Associate Professor of African American and Caribbean literature at the University of California, San Diego, and Assistant Professor of African American and Caribbean literature at the University of Maryland.


Dr Nicole King is the author of C.L.R. James and Creolization: Circles of Influence (University Press of Mississippi, 2001) and is currently writing Black Childhood in Modern African American Fiction (2022) which is under contract with Edinburgh University Press.  She has published essays on African American identities and literature, detective fiction, Caribbean literature, Black British fiction and teaching literature in higher education.  In 2019 she appeared on the BBC Two television series, ‘Novels That Shaped Our World’ and served as the historical consultant on the acclaimed London production of Death of a Salesman.’  Since 2014 she has been a Trustee and Fellow of the English Association and she serves on the Board of Moon Lane Ink, a not-for-profit company dedicated to raising equality in children’s books.

Academic qualifications

  • A.B English Literature, Princeton University
  • MA English Literature, University of Pennsylvania
  • PhD English Literature, University of Pennsylvania
  • Principal Fellow, Higher Education Academy


Dr Nicole King has extensive teaching and examining experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, in seminars and lectures, on modules she has devised as well as on colleagues’ modules as part of a team. Recently she has convened ‘Modern American Literature’ (second and third-year UG module), ‘African American Literature: The Short Story’ (final-year UG module), the Work Placement module (second and third-year UG module) and ‘Contemporary African American Literature’ (MA Option module).  She has also contributed to the teaching or examining of ‘Introduction to American Literature and Culture’ (first-year UG module), ‘Approaches to Text’ (first-year UG module), ‘Inventing the Nation: American Literature in the mid-19th century’ (second-year UG module), ‘Caribbean Women Writers’ (second-year UG module), ‘Further Studies in American Literature and Culture’ (second-year UG module), ‘The Emergence of Modern American Literature 1890-1940’(final-year UG module), ‘Interculturality, Text, Poetics’ (MA module) and American Literature and Culture: Critical and Theoretical Concepts (MA module).

Areas of supervision

I have supervised PhD theses on 18th century transatlantic colonialism; 19th century narratives of black U.S women's activism and 20th century Caribbean cultural discourse. To date I have supervised three PhD students to completion.

I would particularly welcome PhD student applications in any of my areas of research including African American Literature and culture, Caribbean and Caribbean diaspora literature and culture; 20-21st century literatures of the Americas and literary representations of youth and racialisation. 

Current Administrative Duties

Chair, Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Committee
Department Lead: Teaching Excellence Framework
Programme Coordinator for the BA English and Drama degree


Research Interests

Nicole’s current research is concerned with the literary representations of children, young adults, blackness and modernity in the United States and the Americas.  She also writes about the literature of the Caribbean, the Caribbean diaspora and on Black British literature. Her primary focus is on the 20th and 21st centuries but, as with her teaching, she relies on earlier texts and historical contexts for her work. Her current book project, Black Childhood in Modern African American Fiction, offers a comparative historical analysis of racialisation and young people in novels and short stories from the mid-20th century onwards. She most recently addressed the American Literature Research Seminar at the University of Glasgow on this topic in January 2020 and is a regular presenter at the British Association for American Studies annual conference.  She has contributed essays concerning women and the black transatlantic, focused on Ida B. Wells and Zadie Smith respectively, to Black Victorians/Black Victoriana (2003) and to a special issue of Women: A Cultural Review (2009).  Pedagogical theory and how literature is taught is an additional research interest for Nicole that developed during her time at the English Subject Centre (Royal Holloway (2006-2011)) and the Higher Education Academy (York, 2011-2014). She regularly presents on teaching topics and has contributed an essay on teaching African American crime fiction to Teaching 21st Century Genres (Palgrave 2016) and an essay on teaching African American literature and critical thinking to Teaching Literature (Palgrave 2017). 

Publications and research outputs


King, Nicole. 2001. C. L. R. James and creolization: circles of influence. Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press. ISBN 978-1-934110-49-2

Book Section

King, Nicole. 2017. 'Getting in Conversation': Teaching African American Literature and Training Critical Thinkers. In: Ben Knights, ed. Teaching Literature: Text and Dialogue in the English Classroom. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, pp. 81-98. ISBN 9781137311085

King, Nicole. 2016. Teaching Crime Fiction and the African American Literary Canon. In: Katy Shaw, ed. Teaching 21st Century Genres. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, pp. 47-65. ISBN 9781137553898

King, Nicole. 2008. ‘Performance and Tradition in Earl Lovelace’s A Brief Conversion: The Drama of the Everyday’. In: Bill Schwarz, ed. Caribbean Literature After Independence: The Case of Earl Lovelace. London: Institute for the Study of the Americas, pp. 111-129. ISBN 9781900039918

King, Nicole. 2006. ‘C.L.R. James, Genre and Cultural Politics.’. In: Christopher Gair, ed. Beyond Boundaries: C.L.R. James and Postnational Studies. London: Pluto Press, pp. 13-38. ISBN 9780745323428

King, Nicole. 2003. ‘“A colored woman in another country pleading for justice in her own”: Examining Ida B. Wells in the United Kingdom’. In: Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, ed. Black Victorians/Black Victoriana. Rutgers University Press, pp. 88-109. ISBN 978-0813532158


King, Nicole. 2019. Black/Jewish imaginaries and children’s literature: reading resistance and intersectionality in A Pickpocket’s Tale. Jewish Culture and History, 20(3), pp. 248-262. ISSN 1462-169X

Dossett, Kate; Joseph-Gabriel, Annette K; Jeffries, Hasan Kwame; King, Nicole; Plath, Lydia; Rice, Alan and Salt, Karen. 2018. Teaching African American Studies in the US and the UK. Journal of American Studies, 52(2), 528 -554. ISSN 0021-8758

King, Nicole. 2017. Response to Deborah Willis's “The Black Civil War Soldier: Conflict and Citizenship”. Journal of American Studies, 51(02), pp. 331-338. ISSN 0021-8758

King, Nicole. 2009. ‘Creolisation and On Beauty: form, character and the goddess Erzulie'. Women: A Cultural Review, 20(3), pp. 262-276. ISSN 0957-4042

King, Nicole. 2002. ‘“You think like you white”: Questioning Race and Racial Community through the Lens of Middle Class Desire(s).’. Novel: A Forum on Fiction, 35(2/3), pp. 211-230. ISSN 0029-5132

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