Zay Dale

Isaih Dale


B.A. San Francisco State University 

Areas of Interest:
20th Century African American Literature, Black Masculinity, Black and White Literary Racial Spaces, Transnational African American Literature, and Irish Drama 

Profile Zay Dale is a PhD student and a recipient of a University Presidential Fellowship in Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Notre Dame. He studies black masculinity and racialized spaces in Early to Mid-20th Century black texts. He is interested in studying the radical irruptions of black violence in 20th Century black texts, and studies how, where, and why violence happens in black texts. Zay argues that black writers use violence to deconstruct white masculinity as part of a process of identity-formation that reacts to and itself constructs whiteness. Zay looks at the aesthetics of black violence to examine the gendering and un/gendering of the black body. Zay uses the modality of violence in textiles to understand how the black body resisted the violent affair of slave textiles through the improvisation of what can and cannot drape the black body. Finally, he is interested in the transnational interruptions, irruptions, or improvisations of blackness in Irish Drama. 

Recent Scholarly Activity


“The Essence of the Black Man: An Exploration of Black Masculinity through Double Consciousness in Native Son.” In Reimagining Black Masculinities and Public Space: Essays on Race, Gender, and Social Activism. Editors: Dr. Mika'il Petin and Dr. Mark C. Hopson. (Lexington Press), November 2020.

Select Conference Presentations

“Who Sees Ghosts? Loss and Death of Whiteness in The Hairy Ape,” Eugene O’Neill Society International Conference, Suffolk University. July 2022.  

‘Sing for us a Negro Spiritual’: Black Radical Irruptions in Sean O’Casey’s The Silver Tassie, American Conference for Irish Studies (ACIS), Virtual National Conference. April 2022.  

“White Space, Black Bodies: The Creation of Black Violence in Native Son,” Society for the Study of Southern Literature (SSSL), Atlanta, Georgia. February 2022.

“The Black Male Utopic in Imperium in Imperio,” Midwest Modern Language Association (MMLA), Milwaukee, Wisconsin. November 2021. (Organizer and Presenter). 

“Master's Program as Uncommonplace: Navigating Differences of Race.” Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), Milwaukee, Wisconsin. March 2020.

“A Fragmented Neurotic Being: Biracial Bodies in Nella Larsen's Passing,” Midwest American Culture Conference (MPCA/ACA), Cincinnati, Ohio. October 2019. 

“The Immobility of Time and Liminal Memory in Marcel Proust's Swann's Way,” College English Association Conference (CEA), New Orleans, Louisiana. March 2019.