DaMaris B. Hill, PhD

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  • Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and English Literature
  • Faculty Affiliate for Writing, Rhetoric and Digitial Studies
  • Faculty Affiliate for African American Studies
  • Faculty Affiliate for Gender and Women's Studies
  • American Studies
  • English
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies
  • African American and Africana Studies
  • Center for Equality and Social Justice
(859) 257-7006
Research Interests:
Office Hours Fall 2018: MW 1-2

I sought to strengthen my creative writing with PhDs in English, Creative Writing and another in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Kansas. As a graduate student, I was fortunate enough to create an archival system for The Project on the History of Black Writing. I also worked as a program assistant with the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities and a grants coordinator with The Lied Center for the Performing Arts, the "Kennedy Center" of the Plains Region. 

Doctor of Philosophy:                                            University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (2012), English - Creative Writing

Graduate Certification:                                          University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (2011), Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Master of Arts:                                                       Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD (2005),  English

Bachelor of Arts:                                                    Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD (1999), English. and Psychology


DaMaris B. Hill, PhD is a writer. She has terminal degrees in English-Creative Writing and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Hill serves as an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. She is the author of The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartlandan edited collection of essays, and chapbook of poems entitled \ Vi-zə-bəl \ \ Teks-chərs \(Visible Textures)Her memior in verse, A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing (Bloomsbury 2019), is forthcoming. 

Similar to her creative process, Dr. Hill’s scholarly research is interdisciplinary and examines the intersections between literary criticism, cultural studies, and digital humanities.  She has collaborated with other artists, such as Jennifer Rivera, in order to create companion paintings inspired by Hill's literary works.

Blog Log

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Fall 2013





This statement of research underscores my creative writing, scholarly activity, and contributions as an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Kentucky.  I am a writer and interdisciplinary scholar. The Americanist scholar Lawrence Buell reminds us that world history is “the narrative of space becoming place”.  With this in mind, my projects are research intensive narratives where creative writing, nationalism, and collective memory intersect to explore “America” as a nation state and “Americaness” as a cultural construct. Much of my work has been influenced by legacies of American literature and the innovations of 21stcentury digital culture. My research investigates how Americanness is negotiated in literary and digital environments.  Key questions in my work ask: 

1.     How do narratives that affirm Americanness create a sense of permanence?

2.     How are the various theories concerning what it means to be American destabilize narratives associated with national identity?

3.     How is Americanness as a form of national identity performed in a world that blends physical, psychological and digital spaces, particularly when each of these spaces are rapidly shifting and seemingly eroding?


I was hired in July 2013 and have published continuously, over 18 works. The major books include a memoir in verse entitled A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing(Bloomsbury 2019) and an edited collection entitled The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the Heartland(Rowman and Littlefield 2016, 2018 paperback). Other major poetry projects include the innovative “Shut Up In My Bones: A Remix” (MusiqologY 2017) and \ Vi-zə-bəl \ \ Teks-chərs \ (Visible Textures), short collection of poems, (Mammoth Publications 2015). My creative nonfiction publications include “Concrete”. This essay was published as a book chapter in Introduction to Women’s Studies (Oxford University Press 2017). I plan to continue to publish creative writing and scholarly research throughout my career.


My major published works from 2013 to 2018 are summarized below:



A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing

My most significant book, A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing, explores Americanness within the context of race, gender, and current events.  A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing is a memoir in verse that honorsAfrican American women that have had experiences with incarceration. Some of these women have organized resistance movements over the last two centuries, like Harriet Tubman, Assata Shakur, and Sandra Bland. poems in this book also question what are the ripple effects and loses of the immediate inequalities and killings associated with the Black Lives Matter Era in the United States. The book, like much of my other work, uses pastiche and archival photos to communicate the beauty and complexity of the women in the book. In some ways, this book is in conversation with the histories Angela Davis documented in Women, Race, and Class. In that book Davis examines the women’s movement in relationship to the long Civil Rights Movement. 

A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thingis my most important accomplishment and is forthcoming in January 2019 with Bloomsbury Publishing. It is currently available for pre-order in the United Kingdom.  Bloomsbury Publishing is a leading independent publishing house with companies world-wide, in London, Oxford, New York, Sydney and New Delhi.   I am the first living American poet to be published with Bloomsbury.  A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thingwill be the lead book in the Bloomsbury Adult Trade catalogue. The book will also be featured in the Bloomsbury Academic and Professional Division catalogue and the Macmillan Publishers Academic catalogue.

The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartland

The ideas concerning Americanness that are expressed in A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing extends theories I examined in my edited collection The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartland (Lexington Books 2016, paperback 2018).  The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartlandexplores theories associated with intersectional American identities in context of environmental memory. Wherein, I argue that the over simplification and reduction of the racial and gender inequalities has resulted in an erasure of the long history of the Civil Rights Movement. This erasure contributed to the defensive political ideologies expressed in the Black Nationalist Movement, and the subsequent culture wars. The essays in this book extend Heartland histories beyond the promises of the American Creed into specific histories that explore the connections between environmental memory, intersectional identities, and political engagement.

The book was my vision and as editor I sought contributors that intimately understood the nuances the American Heartland histories. The contributors are also deeply invested in exploring theories concerning intersectional identity. I wrote three chapters of this book including the “Introduction”, “Editor’s Note: Claims of Memory and Space”, and the “Conclusion”.  The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartlandwas published by Lexington Books in June 2016 and republished in a paperback edition in March 2018. Lexington Books is an imprint of Rowman and Littlefield, a prominent publisher of African American and gender studies books.  It was the first book since Nell Irvin Painter’s Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction (Knopf 1977) to examine African Americans in a non-urban Mid-western context.  

Creative Non-Fiction


I have published creative non-fiction in national and international venues. My creative non-fiction essay, “Concrete” details how my religious convictions intersect with my American and intellectual identities. These intersections result in the morally based assertiveness that is evident in my writing. The essay is featured as a chapter in Introduction to Women’s Studies, a textbook and reader, edited by L.A. Saraswati, Barbara Shaw, and Heather Rellihan (Oxford University Press 2017). This reader is one of the foremost books on intersectionality and widely distributed in academic circles. 

“Only Boys Have Fans”

In addition, my creative non-fiction essay “Only Boys Have Fans”was published with espnW. The “Only Boys Have Fans” essay details my admiration for Florence Griffith Joyner (Flo-Jo) and her stellar wins as a member of the US Olympic Team.  In honor of Black History Month, espnW decided to run a weekly personal essay about the influence of black female athletes.The essay was the first to be published in this series and continued to be published by various outlets throughout The Walt Disney Corporation in partnership with Hearst Corporation, including ESPN, ABC and several others. 

Digital Publications and Innovations

      I spend a considerable amount of my creative energy exploring how theories associated with Americaness intersect with creative writing and 21stcentury digital tools. I appropriate digital archives in my creative writing to emphasize the negotiations of American identity and collective memory. The recontextualizing of digital material is one of the ways I stake "claim to history." My appropriation of digital media allows me to show the complexities of race advancement and social justice in American culture.  Using a limitless digital archive, the literary techniques used in my projects resemble the artistic practices associated with pastiche and remix. Therefore, my work stands in the crossroads of literary (in the form of linguistic text), visual (archival photos and genre manipulation), cultural (abstracting/recontextualizing the historical narratives) and other forms of American/New World knowledge, logic and expression.

“Shut Up In My Bones”

My most innovative creative project was born out of A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing entitled “Shut Up in My Bones.” The digital poem is a remix of a literary poem of the same name. It was published and republished by three venues: The Project on the History of Black Writing, Mammoth Publications, and MusiqologYat the University of Pennsylvania. A recent review of my work as a form of digital poetics compared the digital poem to the work of other artists like Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar, describing my work as “Afro-postmodernism, which uses pastiche, intertextuality, and irony as strategies of identity formation to remember and honor a specific cultural past, while at the same time working to construct visions of a better future.” 

\ Vi-zə-bəl \ \ Teks-chərs \ (Visible Textures)

My most experimental literary project is Visible Textures, a chapbook of approximately 25 poems. This project uses digital tools to contrast an 1854 Indian Reservation map of Kansas with a 2013 highway map of Kansas. The poems are inspired by methodologies familiar in digital humanities and geography disciplines. Using GPS (global positioning software) technologies,I explore the public histories of Kansas and the iconic Santa Fe Trail. These poems about memory and migration are in conversation with public histories and the American imagination about the frontier. I elected to publish with Mammoth Publications, a small Indigenous press that is highly selective press with many decorated authors, including Xanath Caraza winner of the 2015 International Poetry Award. The press releases 3 to 5 publications a year.    The chapbook was released in April 2015. Visible Textureshas garnered some critical attention.   

Fellowships, Conferences, and Invited Lectures

   In addition to publishing with highly selective peer reviewed venues, I have received nine grants, over nine fellowship opportunities and several special invitations to present my research. I would consider the The MacDowell Colony Fellowship the most prestigious among them.  The MacDowell Foundation is one of the most highly competitive fellowship opportunities available to national and international artists.  MacDowell spends over $400 a day to host an individual artist. MacDowell generously offered me an eight week fellowship. While there I established lasting friendships with other artists and collaborators.  I also made significant progress on A Bound Woman Is A Dangerous Thing

   The Furious Flower Poetry Center was one of the first institutions to invest in A Bound Woman Is A Dangerous Thingby granting me the inaugural Poet-In-Residence fellowship. The Center is housed at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. It is the largest archive of African American poetry.  In addition to the two aforementioned fellowships, I have benefited from fellowships and the institutional support of over eight other national and international institutions, including Vermont Studio Center, The Watering Hole Poetry Retreat, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences, Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Urban Bush Women Leadership Institute, Writers in Paradise, Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evans College and others.

   My work evokes the American literary tradition and innovations of 21stcentury literacies, much of it incorporates photo archives to act as a type of “proof”, a way to negotiate competing ideas about what it means to be American. Therefore, many national and international academic conferences invite me to share in my research. My most prestigious experience was with Black Portraiture{s} II: Revisitedin February 2016 and again in November 2016 with Black Portraiture{s} III: Reinventions Strains of Histories and Cultures in Johannesburg, South Africa.  The conferences are co-sponsored by New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts and Harvard University’s Department of African and African American Studies. In addition to the Black Portraitures Conferences, I acceptedinvitations to read, speak, and facilitate workshops at  over ten other institutions like the bell hooks Institute at Berea College, Marshall University, Carnegie Center for Literacy, the European Association for American Studies Women’s Studies Working Group, New Hampshire’s Writers Day, Maryland Institute College of the Arts, The Writers’ Place of Kansas City and other venues. 


Graduate Training


University of Kansas, PhD in English - Creative Writing                                                                      2012

Dissertation title:  Willows in the Spring

Certificate: Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies                                                                           2011

Morgan State University, MA in English                                                                                              2005

                  Thesis title:  Knowing: Lucille Clifton and the Great Mother’s Guiding Light

Morgan State University, BA in English, Minor Studies in Psychology                                                1999



Holocaust Educators Network (HEN), City University of New York and Lehman College      2010

       Research Administration 101; KU Research and Graduate Studies,  University of Kansas   2008

       Teacher Consultant Certification, National Writing Project, Towson, Maryland                       2004

Selected Publications: 
1. A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing, memoir in verse/poetry (forthcoming by Bloomsbury Publishing)
2. The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartland. Lexington Books, 2016. 
3. Hill, DaMaris B. and Nicole LaMonaca National Writing Project 2008 Professional Writing Retreat Anthology. National Writing Project, 2009.
\ Vi-zə-bəl \ \ Teks-chərs \ Visible Textures. Lawrence: Mammoth Publications, April 2015. 
1. “Concrete.” Introduction to Women’s Studies. L.A. Saraswati, Barbara Shaw, and Heather Rellihan, Eds.  New York: Oxford University Press. February 2017.
2. “Introduction”. The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartland. Lexington Books, 2016. 
3. “Editor’s Note: Claims of Memory and Space”. The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartland. Lexington Books, 2016. 
4. “Conclusion”. The Fluid Boundaries of Suffrage and Jim Crow: Staking Claims in the American Heartland. Lexington Books, 2016. 


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