Emily is an academic, author and poet. She is of Martinican and British heritage and has lived in Leeds for twenty years. She is a Reader in Postcolonial Literature at the School of Cultural Studies at Leeds Beckett University. She teaches courses on African-American, Caribbean, African and Black British literature. Her research specialisms are Caribbean literature and Caribbean carnival cultures. She is an expert on the trickster figure in the folklore, oral cultures and literature of the African Diaspora and has published widely in these fields. She has also established a Caribbean Carnival Cultures research platform and network that aims to bring the critical, creative, academic and artistic aspects of carnival into dialogue with one another.
Emily hosts and curates literary and cultural events and has organised international conferences on the literature and cultures of the African diaspora. She is a regular contributor to BBC radio discussions on racial politics and Caribbean culture. She is also active in consulting organisations and institutions on issues of diversity and inclusion. Her books focus on the role of the trickster in Caribbean and African American cultures; her first book, Anansi’s Journey: A Story of Jamaican Cultural Resistance (2012) was published by the University of the West Indies Press and her second book, American Trickster: Trauma Tradition and Brer Rabbit, was published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2019.
Emily develops creative work alongside her academic writing. She has had poems published in the Peepal Tree Press anthology Weighted Words (2021), Magma (‘The Loss’, Issue 75, 2019), Smoke Magazine (Issue 67, 2020) and The Caribbean Writer (Vol 34, 2020, Vol 35, 2021 & Vol 36, 2021). She is Vice Chair of the David Oluwale Memorial Association, a charity committed to fighting racism and homelessness, and a Creative Associate of the art-based youth charity The Geraldine Connor Foundation.