Margaret (Molly) Olsen specializes in Trans-Atlantic literatures of the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries, as well as Afro-Caribbean texts of the colonial and
contemporary periods. She believes that history is generally exclusive and incomplete,
and her central research focuses on textually recuperating discourses that have been
historically suppressed. Much of her research , for example, reveals the complex levels
at which peoples of African descent have participated in the writing of the New World.
Olsen is equally interested in how legacies of dominance inform the present reality of
many peoples across the globe. Most recently, she has found powerful tools of analysis in
the relationship between colonialism and ecocriticism as she explores discursive
struggles over land and nature. 

Professor Olsen has been teaching at Macalester since 2007. 

EDUCATION: B.A., M.A., Ohio State University Ph.D., Tulane University 


Contributions to Books


Somewhere between the Ideal and the Real, the Civic Engagement “Expert” Learns and Lets Go, Scientists, Experts, and Civic Engagement: Walking a Fine Line (2015)


The Gift of the New Orleans Second Line, Neoliberalism and Global Theatres: Performance Permutations (2012)

Journal Articles


Cartagena negra anuncia la crisis de la modernindad: Chambacú y La ceiba de la memori, Negritud: Revista de Estudios Afro-Latinoamericanos (2014)


Valor, agravio y mujer and the Spoils of Empire in Decline, Kentucky Foreign Language Conference (2011)

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Walking a Fine Line-Scientists, Experts and Civic Engagement: A Symposium in New Orleans (2010)

The Long Haul: Sharing the Lessons of Sustained, Long-Distance Engagement, Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, Eleventh Annual Conference (2010)