Wesleyan portrait of Casey  Hayman

Casey Hayman

Visiting Assistant Professor of African American Studies


BA University of Massachusetts Amherst
MA University of Massachusetts Amherst

Casey Hayman

Casey's research focuses on contemporary African American literature and popular culture. He particularly focuses on music, with emphasis on hip hop music and culture. He is particularly interested in the question of the continuing relevance of blackness as identity in the post-Civil Rights era--how and why does blackness continue to "matter" in the 21st century? He also examines, in his research and his teaching, the ways that contemporary black cultural creators engage with and make use of representations of "blackness" as they circulate in the cultural imaginary via mass-mediated technologies. His work has appeared in the African American Review, MELUS, The Massachusetts Review, and American Studies.

About Me: Before arriving in academia, I was a hip hop artist and performer for over a decade, touring and recording extensively. I brought my passion for hip hop to my graduate studies, completing my dissertation, "'The Blackness of Blackness': Meta-Black Identity in 20th/21st Century African American Culture" and receiving my Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in September 2017. Transitioning from emcee to professor, I have taught courses ranging from African American literature and popular culture, to Modern American Poetry, and Race/Ethnicity in the Digital Age at UMass Amherst and Springfield College. I consider it a true privilege to work with my students on these exciting texts and ideas, generating new knowledge together in a collaborative classroom setting.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Fall 2017: Tues 12-1:30, Weds 1-2:30