Kimberly Takahata

Kimberly Takahata is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Her research examines the intersection of early American literature and Native American and Indigenous Studies. Her dissertation, “Skeletal Testimony: Bony Biopolitics in the Early Atlantic 1705-1836,” analyzes eighteenth-century colonial descriptions of indigenous bones to contend for an intimate relationship between colonial literary production and embodied indigenous practices. She argues that although colonial writers defined bones as scientific artifacts analogous to plants or pots in order to contain the possibility of indigenous agency, these descriptions actually attest to practices of indigenous kin and care that demonstrate ongoing and enduring indigenous life.

Kimberly’s work has been published in Common-Place and is forthcoming in Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture. She served as a co-editor for Digital Grainger: An Online Edition of The Sugar-Cane, a digital teaching edition of James Grainger’s West Indies georgic. Kimberly is the recipient of short-term fellowships and awards from the John Carter Brown Library, the American Antiquarian Society, and the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies. After teaching sections of “University Writing, Readings in American Studies,” she was selected as a department Teaching Scholar in 2017 to teach her upper-level seminar “Early American Bodies.” This year, she will serve as preceptor for “Literature Humanities: Masterpieces of Western Literature and Philosophy.”

Kimberly received her A.B. in English, cum laude, from Brown University (2014) and her M.A. (2015) and M.Phil. (2017) in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Academic Interests:
Early American literature, Native American and Indigenous Studies, natural history, history of science, medical humanities, material studies