Hellen Wainaina (she/her) is a PhD student in the English department and a scholar in the Graduate Scholars Program through the Access, Diversity & Inclusion Office. In her research and writing, Hellen is interested in postcolonial narratology, black aesthetics, and critical resistance to reductive readings of postcolonial literature, particularly the tendency to categorize postcolonial work as either magical realist or historically realist texts. Prior to undertaking graduate studies, Hellen was an assistant editor at the Sewanee Review and completed professional certification for editing at the University of Chicago Graham School. She holds a B.A. in English and Music from Sewanee: The University of the South.
"I am determined to be a good steward of my time and the talents I have been granted and those I have nurtured; to author meaningful scholarship in Black literary studies; and to reach back and around to help others in the pursuit of their intellectual inquiry. I am a University Administrative Fellow, collaborating with the GradFUTURES team to launch a new podcast.
I signed up for Dean James Van Wyck's office hours after attending the GradFUTURES presentation at orientation. It was one of the best things I did my first week at Princeton. Dean Van Wyck not only broadened my perspective as to what was possible for professionalization opportunities but also was gracious enough to introduce me to offices and buildings on campus I had not yet seen or visited. I left the meeting energized about my next steps and also with a better orientation of campus spaces."