Oliver Layman

Ph.D. Student in Africana Studies


Oliver Layman is a first-year Ph.D. student in Africana Studies at Cornell University. He is broadly interested in three distinct but overlapping areas: cultural and social analysis, intellectual histories, and theory. His current project proposes to focus on the ways in which twentieth-century Black cultural workers sought to interpret, challenge, and offer alternatives to ‘the modern’/modernity. In doing so, he seeks to explore how ideas pertaining to freedom and liberation were constructed as well as their material implications. Oliver completed an M.A. in Political Studies at the University of Cape Town and has been the recipient of the Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) and the Archie Mafeje Research Scholarship in Critical Decolonial Humanities.