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Sybil Cooksey

Clinical Assistant Professor
(212) 992-7759
604 - 1 Wash Pl

Office Hours
Tuesday BY APPT

B.A., Black Studies, Pomona College, 1995
M.S., Urban Studies, University of New Orleans, 1998
Ph.D., American Studies, New York University, 2010

Sybil Newton Cooksey is a scholar of afro-diasporic history whose research unfurls at the intersections of language and literature, music and sound studies, cultural studies and performance philosophy. She teaches courses on black existentialism, noir, critical humanism, and black marginal culture. Professor Cooksey is also co-editor of Afro-Gothic, a special issue of liquid blackness (2022), and is currently working on her first book, The Objective I: Black Life Writing and Inauthenticity in Post-Negrophilia Paris.  

Edited Volumes



Sybil Cooksey co-edited Afro-Gothic published by Liquid Blackness: Journal of Aesthetics and Black Studies, 6:2.

Teaching and Research Interests

black diaspora history and cultural studies; afro-modernism in the americas; black travel narratives and translations; oceanic studies; autobiography and subjectivity; object-oriented ontology; posthumanism  afro-pessimism and africana philosophies of existence; queer theory; black affect: anger  moodiness  depression; surrealism  noir; afrofuturism and speculative fiction; dance  music  performance and sound studies; ethics & erotics of archival research 

Recent News


NYU Center for the Humanities Faculty Fellowship. 2023-2024


“Afro-Gothic” (guest editor’s intro to special issue), liquid blackness: a journal of aesthetics and black studies, Vol 6, No. 2 (October 2022), Duke University Press.

“Revenant Motion: Danse Macabre in the Era of #BlackLivesMatter” (as contributor), liquid blackness: a journal of aesthetics and black studies, Vol. 6, No. 2 (October 2022), Duke University Press.

“Aestheticizing the Void: An Afro-Gothic Roundtable” (as moderator), liquid blackness: a journal of aesthetics and black studies, Vol. 6, No. 2 (2022), Duke University Press.


Presenter, “My Black Ass: Fleshy Pronouns and Phenomenology in New Orleans Bounce Music,” American Studies Association meeting, New Orleans, LA, November 5, 2022.

Panelist, “NYU BeTogether Scholars & Innovators Series: A Juneteenth Conversation Reflecting on the Legacy of Ralph Ellison,” New York University (online), June 16, 2021.

Moderator, “Jazz in Exile,” Freedom Abroad: The History of African Americans in Europe, online conference hosted by New York University and Case Western Reserve University, April 21, 2021.

Presenter, “Ellison and Flamenco,” Flamenco in the USA: From the Modernist Vanguard to the 21st Century, a symposium co-sponsored by the Foundation for Iberian Music and the Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation at CUNY, scheduled March 27, 2020 (postponed).

Chair and Commentator, “(Re)Visualizing Value: Explorations in the Black Urban Humanities,” American Studies Association annual meeting, Honolulu, HI, November 10, 2019. 

Invited talk, “On Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,” 17th annual Reel Voices Film Festival, Ridgewood Public Library, Ridgewood, NJ, October 21, 2019. 



Sybil Cooksey