Tayana Hardin

Associate Professor

Director of Graduate Studies

  • Faculty


African American literature, American culture

Professional Biography

Tayana L. Hardin is an Associate Professor of African American Literature. Her teaching and interdisciplinary research take up some of the pressing questions in the fields of Black Studies, Gender and Women's Studies, and Performance Studies. Her current work is a meditation on the urgency of the archive in Black Studies research, past and present. More specifically, she reckons with the field’s archival imperative and asks how it subsequently shapes scholars' capacity to produce stories that revel in black love, black living, and black affection. Dr. Hardin's commitments to teaching, reflexive pedagogical practices, and intellectual community-building were recognized by the University of Denver when she was named the 2017 William T. Driscoll Master Educator. Prior to joining the DU faculty in 2013, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow of African American and African Diasporic Literatures at Rutgers University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the following journals: Dance Chronicle; The Black Scholar; Journal of Transatlantic Studies; Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture; and Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture.


  • Ph.D., American Culture, University of Michigan, 2012
  • MA, Pan-African Studies, University of Louisville, 2004
  • BA, Liberal Studies, University of Louisville, 2000

Professional Affiliations

  • American Studies Association
  • Modern Languages Association


My research reveals my preoccupation with books, bodies, and the bygone, and, by extension, with literature, performance, and the archive. My academic publications—which include peer-reviewed single-authored and multi-authored articles and first-person essays—bring the interpretive practices of literary studies into the purview of historical research, in order to explicate black bodies as dynamic sites of lived and discursive experience. This intellectual work hinges on unwieldy conceptions of time, temporality, and blackness.


Tayana Hardin, "The Upper Room", Dener, CO, The Dikeou Pop Up Space Literary Series, 1969.


Hardin, Tayana. “"The I Who Arrives: A Meditation On History, Inheritance, And The Literature Classroom"” Louisville Conference On Literature And Culture Since 1900, Louisville, KY, USA, University of Louisville, Department of English, 2018.
Hardin, Tayana. “"Artist Jacob Lawrence And The Burdens Of Historical Narrative"” Western Association Of Women Historians, Denver, 2016.
Hardin, Tayana. “"Time And Black Desire: Scenes From Current Research" ” Research And Development (Rad) Roundtable, DU Dept. of English , 2016.
Hardin, Tayana. “Placing The Archive: The Legacies And Futures Of Historical Knowledge” The Fun And The Fury: New Dialectics Of Pleasure And Pain In The Post-American Century, Los Angeles,CA, American Studies Association , 2014.
Hardin, Tayana. “The Silent Treatment: Dance, Archive, And Katherine Dunham's _Southland_ (1951) ” Dancing The African Diaspora -- Theories Of Black Performance, Duke University--Durham, NC, Collegium for African Diasporic Dance, 2014.


  • William T. Driscoll Master Educator Award, DU