René Kooiker

René Kooiker's picture
5th Year Graduate School Student


After my undergraduate studies in Amherst and ENS Paris, I joined the Department of Comparative Literature at Yale University in 2019. Broadly speaking, I work on 20th-century Caribbean literature in English, Dutch, French, and Spanish. My dissertation is a cultural-literary history of the Caribbean 1970s, centered around performance practices and events such as Carifesta. In all my writing, I attempt to maintain a Pan-Caribbean, regionalist perspective. My article on Carifesta in relation to the life and work of Edward Kamau Brathwaite appeared in archipelagos in 2022. In recent years, I have shared my work in progress with audiences at the West Indian Literature Conference and the American Comparative Literature Association. 

I maintain an interest in public criticism and reviewing. Writing in Dutch, I have published in De Fusie and the Dutch Review of Books. My commitment to translation also stems from my undergraduate years at Amherst, where I worked with Professor Laure Katsaros to translate a book-length essay from French for the Massachusetts Review. In 2020 and 2021, I convened the Caribbean Studies Working Group here at Yale. Throughout my time in college, as well as at Yale, I have tutored students in Dutch at various levels (from basic conversation to advanced reading skills).

Research Interests

20th Century Caribbean literatures, Postcolonialism, Translation, Performance Studies, Cultural Studies, global African Diaspora

Working Languages

 English, Dutch, French, Spanish