Magdalena J. Zaborowska


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Professional Title

Professor, American Culture and Afroamerican and African Studies, LSA


Afroamerican & African Studies
American Culture
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA)


Magdalena J. Zaborowska (B.A., M.A., Warsaw University, Poland [1987]; Ph.D., University of Oregon [1992], USA), Professor, Departments of American Culture and Afroamerican and African Studies, John Rich Humanities Faculty Fellow at the Institute for the Humanities 2017-18, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Research and teaching fields: literary and cultural studies approaches to intersections of social space and transatlantic discourses on race, nationality, (queer) sexuality, and gender; African American literature (esp., James Baldwin), immigrant ethnicities, feminist, and critical race theory; post-totalitarian East-Central Europe. 

Prof. Zaborowska has taught and been a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Oregon, Furman University, Tulane University, Aarhus University in Denmark, University of Italy in Cagliari (Sardinia) and Université Paul-Valéry in Montpellier, France. 

Books: Me and My House: James Baldwin’s Last Decade in France (Duke UP, 2018), the MLA award-winning: James Baldwin’s Turkish Decade: Erotics of Exile (Duke UP 2009) and How We Found America: Reading Gender through East European Immigrant Narratives (University of North Carolina Press, 1995); edited and co-edited collections: Other Americans, Other Americas: The Politics and Poetics of Multiculturalism (Aarhus University Press, 1998), The Puritan Origins of American Sex: Religion, Sexuality, and National Identity in American Literature (Routledge, 2001), and Over the Wall/After the Fall: Post-Communist Cultures in the East-West Gaze (Indiana University Press, 2004). In addition to numerous articles and chapters published in the US and Europe, her current projects include a general-audience biography of James Baldwin, Being Better than the World (Yale UP, 2024), digital humanities-based writer’s house-museum exhibits at the University of Michigan and the NMAAHC/Smithsonian in Washington D.C., a digitally-published volume, Archiving James Baldwin’s House, and a new book on museums and transcultural proliferation of U.S., notions of race, gender and sexuality in post-Cold War Eastern Europe, Memory Wars.

Research Interests

community-based research
digital studies
violence (sexual/gender/other) ethnography
Jewish and East European Studies