Kinohi Nishikawa specializes in twentieth- and twenty-first-century African American literature, book history, and popular culture. At Princeton he teaches undergraduate courses on African American humor and African American literary history and graduate seminars on Black archive studies and Black aesthetic theory.
Nishikawa’s first book, Street Players: Black Pulp Fiction and the Making of a Literary Underground, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2018. His major work in progress is Black Paratext, a study of how book design has influenced the production and reception of African American literature from the rise of the modern paperback in the 1940s to the contemporary book arts scene. Nishikawa has published widely on modern African American print culture, with a particular emphasis on newspapers, magazines, and independent presses.
Nishikawa is curator of the Black Independent Film series for the Princeton Garden Theatre and Renew Theaters’ Deep Focus seminars. He is also advisor to the Sites of Memory exhibition of the Toni Morrison Papers at the Princeton University Library, which is lead curated by Professor Autumn Womack. Nishikawa is collaborating with Professor Womack on a book that considers how Morrison’s archiving practices played a key role in her development as a writer, critic, and multimedia artist.
Recent publications include an essay on Percival Everett’s novel Telephone, which was issued in three versions simultaneously, in Novel: A Forum on Fiction (2022) and an article on the design and redesigns of editions of Ishmael Reed’s novel Mumbo Jumbo in Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (2022). Nishikawa has also contributed chapters to the edited collections Are You Entertained? New Essays on Black Popular Culture in the Twenty-First Century (Duke, 2020); Ralph Ellison in Context (Cambridge, 2021); and Race in American Literature and Culture (Cambridge, 2022).