Zeba Shahbaaz

Assistant Professor khan thomas pic
Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy


Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington
M.A., North Carolina A&T State University
B.A., Florida State University

116 Humanities


Dr. Zeba Shahbaaz, formerly known as Dr. Khan-Thomas at TSU, is originally from Miami, Florida. Her Caribbean roots led her to research and learn more about herself and the African diaspora using literature, philosophy, and cultural inquiry. As both an Africana Studies and English literature and language scholar, Dr. Shahbaaz is enthusiastic about exploring global literary and cultural perspectives with students on the nuances of Black life and culture. She also works to prepare her students professionally with technical and transferrable writing, critical thinking, and public speaking skills through various assignments facilitated in her courses. Her research interests include, but are not limited to, African American and African diasporic literature and history, Literary Theory, Africana Studies, Caribbean Literature, Self-care and Identity, Black Feminist Thought, and Black Popular Culture and Music Studies.


Khan-Thomas, Zeba. "Conjuring Roots in Dystopia: Reconciling Transgenerational Conflict and Dislocation in Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring and Edwidge Danticat's Brother, I'm Dying." Mobility, Spatiality, and Resistance in Literary and Political Discourse, edited by Christian Beck, 1st ed., Springer Nature, 2021, pp. 73-90.

Selected Conference Presentations

“(Re)Imagining Black Women’s Self-Care in Virtual Reality.” Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies’ Herman C. Hudson Symposium: Speculative Blackness: Imagining Black Future(s). Bloomington, Indiana. March 30th, 2019.

“Explore Black History Month in Virtual Reality.” Black History Month Program. Monroe County Library Auditorium. Bloomington, Indiana. February 18th, 2019.

“Living on the Outside: The Complexity of Preserving the Black Self in ‘White’ America.”42nd annual National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) Conference. Atlanta, Georgia, March 15th-17th, 2018.

“Graduate Student Leadership and Research in Black Studies PhD Programs.” 102nd annual meeting and conference for the Association for the Study of African American Life & History (ASALH), September 28th, 2017.

"Repelling Machiavellian Archetypes and the ‘Master’ narrative in Baldwin and Tupac’s Expressions.” Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies’ Herman C. Hudson Symposium: Resistance: Theory and Practice Through the African Diaspora. Bloomington, Indiana. April 1st, 2017.

“Embodied Dystopia: The Prevalence of Severed ‘Roots’ and Transgenerational Conflict in Brown Girl in the Ring and Brother, I’m Dying.” The Department of Geography’s 11th Annual Indiana University Landscape, Space, and Place Conference. Bloomington, Indiana. March 2nd-3rd, 2017.

“Connoting ‘Darkness:’ Colonialism and the Dominance of Language in Chinua Achebe’s Man of the People, “English and the African Writer,” and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.” 42nd Annual Conference for the African Literature Association (ALA): Justice and Human Dignity in Africa and the African Diaspora. Atlanta, Georgia. April 6-9th, 2016.

“We or Me: Rejecting Racial Essentialism for Authenticity with the ‘Act’ of Passing in James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man, and Nella Larsen’s Quicksand and Passing.” Identity and Culture: Engaging Interdisciplinary Conversations Conference at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Greensboro, North Carolina. March 1, 2014.

“Teaching the Othello Complex: Student Writers Rewrite and Address the Postcolonial Narrative of “Othered,” “Subaltern,” & “Marginalized” Global Entities.” 85th Southern Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference. Atlanta, Georgia. November 8-10, 2013.

“Mobile to Immobile: Exploring Movement in Sutton E. Griggs’ Imperium in Imperio, Charles Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition, and Frank Webb’s The Garies and Their Friends.” Department of English’s Southern Graduate Conference at the University of Mississippi. Oxford, Mississippi. July 18-20, 2013.

Classes Taught TSU

Freshman English I (ENGL 1010)
Freshman English II (ENGL 1020) 
Black Arts & Literature I (ENGL 2013) 
Black Literature Short Story and Novel (ENGL 2023)
Critical Approaches (ENGL 3010)

Select University/Department Committees

LLP Ad Hoc Committee LOI MA
LLP Technology Committee
LLP Career Preparedness Committee