Henry Washington, Jr.

Henry Washington, Jr.

Henry is a PhD Candidate in the Program in Modern Thought & Literature, and a PhD minor candidate in both the Department of Theater & Performance Studies and the Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. His research and teaching broadly explore how Black expressive culture attempts to trouble the raced, gendered violence that subtends capitalist democracy in the afterlife of slavery—violence that is routinely obfuscated in dominant discourses of knowledge. He is at work on a dissertation, Enfleshing the Criminal: Producing and Policing Black (Sexual) Deviance in the Criminological Imagination, 1865-1960, that explores how the putative picturability of sexual difference in Black female bodies enabled the trajectory of criminological “empiricism” in the United States. The project simultaneously attends to the ways that Black writers and artists from the period expressively experimented with the putatively objective terms on which racialized gender subsequently appeared in the logic of the law. Henry was an inaugural Graduate Fellow in the Program in African & African American Studies, and is a past recipient of their Outstanding Mentor and Teaching Award. His writing appears in Women & Performance.  

 Henry earned his B.A. (cum laude, with high distinction) in English and African & African American Studies from Duke University in 2017 and his M.A. in English from Stanford in 2020. 

Research Interests

Field of Interest
Black literatures; Black feminist, queer, and trans theories; Black art and visual cultures; performance studies; law; the history of science