Dr Jak Peake

Senior Lecturer
Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Dr Jak Peake
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 874460

  • Location

    5NW.6.5, Colchester Campus



Jak joined the Department in 2011 while completing his doctorate at Essex, which formed part of the AHRC-funded ‘American Tropics’ project. His principal research covers American literature in the continental sense, including United States and Caribbean literature in particular, from around the nineteenth century to the twenty first century. His research interests also include the ‘New Negro’, the Black or Harlem Renaissance, postcolonialism, colonialism, black diaspora and black British writing, travel writing and ecocriticism. His book, Between the Bocas: A Literary Geography of Western Trinidad, examines writing of and about Trinidad from the nineteenth to the twenty first century. This study places works by well-known authors such as V. S. Naipaul and Samuel Selvon, alongside writing by Michel Maxwell Philip, Marcella Fanny Wilkins, E. L. Joseph, Earl Lovelace, Ismith Khan, Monique Roffey, Arthur Calder-Marshall and the largely neglected novelist, Yseult Bridges, who is almost entirely forgotten today. His most recent research focuses on the New Negro and Black Modernism (or the Harlem Renaissance) in the 1910-1940 period – what’s commonly termed the jazz age. In particular he is interested in trans-American connections and networks between the United States and the Caribbean as manifested in early twentieth-century print culture: illustrated magazines, journals, anthologies, books, newspapers, pamphlets and so on. Jak would particularly welcome PhD applications in the following areas: • Caribbean literature • United States literature • Black Modernism or the Harlem Renaissance (1910s-1940s) • Modernism • Twentieth-Century Print Culture • Postcolonial/Colonial Studies • Black diaspora / Black British writing • Travel Writing • Ecocriticism


  • BA London

  • MA London

  • PhD Essex

Research and professional activities

Conferences and presentations

J. A. Rogers, the Harlem Renaissance and the Threat of Fascism

Invited presentation, Post45 Editorial Board Symposium, Canterbury, United Kingdom, 19/6/2015

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Dangerous Ideas: Essays and Manifestos as Social Criticism Capstone (CS301)

  • Dangerous Ideas: Essays and Manifestos as Social Criticism (CS305)

  • Contemporary Texts and Contexts (LT109)

  • Text Up Close: Reading for Criticism (LT182)

  • Criticism: Practice and Theory (LT204)

  • Rights and Wrongs: Literatures of Slavery and Emancipation (LT228)

  • There is a Continent Outside My Window : United States and Caribbean Literatures in Dialogue (LT380)

  • Independent Literature Project (LT831)

  • Continental Crossings: Caribbean and US Literature and Culture (LT965)

  • Literature - Completion (LT997)

  • Independent Creative Writing Project (LT832)

  • Introduction to United States Literature (LT161)

Previous supervision

Maysaa Jihad Alwan Al-Abas
Maysaa Jihad Alwan Al-Abas
Thesis title: Cultural Identity and the Dilemma of 'In-Betweenness' in Selected Arab-American and Jewish-American Novels
Degree subject: Literature
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 5/7/2019
Eleanor Naomi Kingsford
Eleanor Naomi Kingsford
Thesis title: Island Rewrites: Postcolonial Caribbean, British and Irish Revisions
Degree subject: Literature
Degree type: Master of Arts (by Dissertation)
Awarded date: 13/6/2019
Maria-Irina Popescu
Maria-Irina Popescu
Thesis title: American Made: The Homegrown Terrorist and 9/11 Myths in the Contemporary US Novel
Degree subject: Literature
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 29/5/2019
Paul Terence Harper
Paul Terence Harper
Thesis title: The Story Less Told: Representations in the Inter-War Years of the American White Working Class By Four Female Authors
Degree subject: Literature
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 21/4/2017
Helen Marie Turner
Helen Marie Turner
Thesis title: Gender, Madness and the Search for Identity in Selected Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald
Degree subject: Literature
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 10/6/2016


Journal articles (6)

Peake, J. and McMahon, W., (2019). American Networks: Radicals under the Radar (1840–1968). Comparative American Studies: An International Journal. 15 (3-4), 99-116

Peake, J., (2018). "Watching the Waters": The Harlem Renaissance, Black Internationalism and Other Currents. Radical Americas. 3 (1)

Peake, J., (2016). Pathologies of Paradise: Caribbean Detours, written by Supriya M. Nair. New West Indian Guide. 90 (1-2), 153-154

Peake, J., (2015). Book Review: Ismith Khan: The Man & his Work, written by Roydon Salick. New West Indian Guide. 89 (1-2), 180-181

Peake, J., (2013). Rebels for Justice: Pirates, Prostitutes, Maroons and Fugitives in Nineteenth Century Trinidad. Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings. 13 (1), 102-117

Peake, J., (2011). Literary Routes into Sub-Urban Western Trinidad: Reading the Port, City and Country. Sargasso, A Journal of Caribbean Literature, Language, and Culture. 201011 (I & II), 69-87

Books (1)

Peake, J., (2017). Between the Bocas: A Literary Geography of Western Trinidad. Liverpool University Press. 9781781382882

Book chapters (5)

Peake, J., (2018). Caribbeans, Radicalism and Internationalism in Harlem and Beyond. In: Teaching the Harlem Renaissance. Editors: Patton, VK., . MLA

Peake, J., (2014). Froude, Kingsley and Trollope: Wandering Eyes in a Trinidadian Landscape. In: Postscripts Caribbean Perspectives on the British Canon from Shakespeare to Dickens. Editors: Rampaul, G. and Lalla, B., . University of the West Indies Press. 98- 123. 978-976-640-462-8

Peake, J., (2013). Dark Thresholds in Trinidad: Regarding the Colonial House. In: Surveying the American Tropics: A Literary Geography from New York to Rio. Editors: Fumagalli, MC., Hulme, P., Robinson, O. and Wylie, L., . Liverpool University Press. 9781846318900

Peake, J., (2012). Imperial Cartographies in Trinidad?s Wild West. In: Going Caribbean. New perspectives on Caribbean Literature and Art. Editors: Van Haesendonck, K., . Hu?mus. 61- 75. 9789898549068

Peake, J., (2011). Remapping the Trinidadian Short Story: Local, American and Global Relations in the Short Fiction of Earl Lovelace and Lawrence Scott. In: The Caribbean Short Story: Critical Perspectives. Editors: McWatt, M., Evans, L. and Smith, E., . Peepal Tree Press. 183- 198. 9781845231262

+44 (0) 1206 874460


5NW.6.5, Colchester Campus