Marisa K Henderson


Marisa is a practice-based PhD student in the department of English and Humanities at Birkbeck University, London.

She was awarded the CHASE Stuart Hall Foundation ARHC studentship in 2022 to continue her research which explores the violence and death wrought by Empire in Caribbean history and the integral role of grief practices in Black cultural identity, to intervene in critical race theory and Black literary studies through an encounter between theory and the creative practice of writing a novel. The project takes up Christina Sharpe’s model of ‘wake work’, through which Black people can restructure and resist the afterlives of slavery and formulates it as both creative practice and critical strategy to ask new questions about the cultural specificities of grief. The research will draw on archival history and collaborative storytelling emerging from narrative interviews to reanimate a lost archive of Caribbean diasporic voices. Examining the relationship between the dead and the living, cultural identity and transnational heritage, the research will interrogate identity debates and develop a new aesthetic and critical understanding of mourning.

Marisa’s aim in this project is to construct a new critical paradigm out of marginalised, hidden and concealed voices that articulates new ways of knowing from the traces of lost experiences and stories.

You can find out more about her PhD journey here.