I am pleased to announced that Dr. Allison E. Francis will join Hawaii Reporter as Arts and Culture Editor. Her beat will include writing cinematic and theatrical reviews as well as covering the musical and fine arts scene.

Currently, an Associate Professor of English and Coordinator of the English Department at Chaminade University of Honolulu, Allison has a distinguished and eclectic career as an educator and a journalist.

Prior to moving to Hawaii in 2003, she taught literature at the American University in Baku, Azerbaijan, and American Studies at the University of Leicester in England.  She has also been an independent researcher for the BBC Radio 4 in London, and a “talking head” for the BBC World Service, offering commentary on such topics as the writings of Toni Morrison, and Vodou practices as represented in media culture.

Allison has published academic papers on a range of topics which include Women’s Literature with a focus on science fiction and fantasy, Victorian Literature and Poetry, Vodou in Haiti, 19th century African American and Caribbean women’s literature, and representations of the “Black” body in pop culture.

Her love of culture also translates into a love of travel, whether to deliver talks on her fields of study, or to just taste the wind (and champagne) in a foreign climate. So, she has visited island nations like Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba, and travelled throughout most of Western Europe, as well as Russia and Finland.

She adores jazz music, especially piano virtuosos like Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson, or the dulcet tones of jazz singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Bill Henderson. However, she cannot stop herself from dancing if Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, or Bruno Mars blares through her earphones.

When not teaching or baking cupcakes and cookies for her blended family of six, Allison can be found reading at the beach–perhaps Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (for the 7th time), Swinburne’s searing Victorian poetry, or all the short stories, essays and novels of Zora Neale Hurston and Octavia Butler.

An accomplished poet and actor, she has been featured at venues in London, Edinburgh, New York, and Honolulu.

She loves ocean swimming, running, and league tennis.

She will be a terrific addition to our staff.

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