Ph.D., University of California, Davis
B.A., Duke University
Ashley Sarpong is Yale University Presidential Visiting Fellow for 2022-2023. Dr. Sarpong earned her PhD in English from University of California-Davis in 2021; before Davis, Dr. Sarpong earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in English with the Highest Distinction from Duke University in 2010 and a Masters of Arts in English from University of Delaware in 2013. Her research interests center on ecological transformation during the early modern period and the ways ecology can help us better understand the legacies of colonialism and the construction of racial difference.
Her book project, Making Land, Making People: Rhetorics of Value and Improvement in Early Modern English Literature, explores early modern English conceptions of land use and agriculture as they appear in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century agricultural treatises and poetry. She argues that the overlap we see between agriculture and poetry reveal how early modern English conceptions of land, property, and possession functioned within genealogies of racial capitalism. In this way, her project invites an understanding of early modern ecology as interpenetrated with the formation of racial capitalism.