Kathleen De Guzman

De Guzman, Kathleen
Assistant Professor
Literature Advisor
(415) 338-1886
Building: Humanities
Room Number: 538
Office Hours: 
Tuesday: 2:15 pm-3:15 pm
Thursday: 2:15 pm-3:15 pm


I joined the department in 2016 after teaching for five years at Vanderbilt University, where I completed my Ph.D. in English. My research and teaching focus on postcolonial literature, particularly twentieth-century and contemporary Caribbean literature, Caribbean and British cultural entanglements, and the novel.

At SF State, I teach courses such as Postcolonial Literature, Literature in English III (the twentieth-century literature survey), and Junior Seminar. I’ve also developed new courses for the curriculum such as Global Cities and a graduate seminar on Caribbean literature. Beyond the classroom, I enjoy meeting with current and prospective Literature majors and minors in my role as a Literature Advisor. I am also trained as a campus Safe Zone Ally to offer confidential support services to students who identify as LGBT+.

My current research project is a book manuscript titled "Small Places: The Anglophone Caribbean, Victorian Britain, and the Forms of Atlantic Archipelagoes.” The Caribbean is popularly known today as a tropical tourist paradise, but I depart from such island imagery because it positions the region as remote and disconnected. Instead, my research turns to the analytic of the archipelago--defined most simply as landmasses grouped together by water--to highlight the Caribbean’s longstanding and complicated relationship with one of its former colonizers across the Atlantic Ocean: Victorian Britain. Britain, of course, can also be understood as an island--a detail often neglected precisely because of its imperial exploits around the world. The framework of the archipelago therefore offers a language for analyzing the unexpected confluences and intimacies between two regions conventionally opposed as colony and metropole. Examining the work of writers ranging from Jamaica Kincaid and George Lamming to John Ruskin and George Eliot, my book project challenges geographical, historical, and disciplinary divisions to ultimately reconsider what we think we know about the legacies of colonialism.

My interests in postcolonial and archipelagic studies have also recently expanded to include the Philippines and its diaspora. One of my forthcoming publications focuses on the problem of “the unwatchable” and examines the 2016 film Ma’Rosa and the work of Manila-based photojournalist Raffy Lerma. I was also recently invited to participate in the Filipinx Literary Symposium organized by the Pilipinx American Library (PAL) and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

Please visit my website if you are interested in reading my publications or learning more about my research and teaching.