Jennifer Hayes

Associate Professor 
Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy
Jennifer Hayes

Ph.D., Middle Tennessee State University
MA, Tennessee State University
BA, University of Tennessee

118 Humanities


Dr. Jennifer L. Hayes was born and raised in Nashville Tennessee and earned her Master’s from TSU. As a graduate student at TSU, the staff, faculty, and alumni all instilled in her the value of service. Now as a professor, she takes pleasure in continuing that legacy by encouraging students to use their education to contribute to the lives of others. Dr. Hayes teaches African American Literature and Composition. Her research interests include 20th and 21st century African American Literature, Black Feminist Criticism, and Contemporary Drama. Her agenda as a professor of literature and composition courses is to equip students with skills to critically engage diversity within and outside the classroom. Her current research focuses on contemporary playwright Kia Corthron’s political use of disability. Dr. Hayes interprets Corthron’s thematic usage of disability as a continuation of the “blind seer” motif in Greek drama, where individuals with disabilities are often privileged with a capacity to “see” beyond the reality of their experience.

Book Manuscript

Teaching African American Literature through Experiential Praxis -African American Writers in Europe.  Palgrave MacMillan, 2020.

Selected Academic and/or Popular Press Publications

“Making Connections: Black Women’s Popular Fiction and the Cannon.” Review of Bragg, Beauty.  Reading Contemporary African American Literature: Black Women’s Popular Fiction, Post-Civil Rights Experience, and the African American Canon. CLA. Spring 2016. Print.

A Life’s Work. 10 minute play. Inspired by Melba Liston/365 women a year a playwriting Project. Fall 2015.

“Choral Aesthetics in Lynn Nottage’s Mud, River, Stone.” Lynn Nottage Anthology. Ed. Jocelyn  Buckner. Routledge, 2015. Print. (Forthcoming)

"Cornelius Eady.” Contemporary Poets Dictionary Literary Biographies. 2013. ed. Print.

“Moving Forward: Cultural Knowledge, Identity Politics, and the Academy.” Rev. of The Reorder of Things. by Roderick A. Ferguson and Object Lessons by Robyn Weigman.   WSQ. Fall 2013. Print.

Rev. of The Exile of Britney Spears: A Tale of 21st Century Consumption. by Christopher R. Smith.  Studies in Popular Culture. 34.1(2011): 149-152. Print.

“What interests you Ms. Lady?” Reflection. Bfemlit. 2012. Web.

Selected Conference Presentations

“A Rev Record: Revision and Memory in Lynn Nottage’s Crumbs From the Table of Joy.” CLA. March 2014.

“‘I Can Transform Ya’: Earthseed as Foundation for Welcoming New Complicated Identities in Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower” SAMLA. November 2012.

 “In the Blood Origins of the Welfare Mother/Queen Myth.” PCAS. September 2012.

“Subverting Biblical Myths in Gloria Naylor's Bailey's Café." MTSU EGSO. September 2011.

“The Tales We Tell: Legendary Romances in Katherine Anne Porter’s Old Mortality, Zora Neale  Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.” PCA. April 2011.

Classes Taught at TSU

Freshmen English I and II, Black Arts and Lit, Black Lit Short Story and Novel, Intro to Women's Studies










August 2011

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Languages, Literature, and Philosophy