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Six Questions for Melanie Masterton Sherazi

Melanie Masterton Sherazi has a fascination with Rome. Not the iconic Rome of the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum. Rather, Sherazi’s focus—and the theme of the book she is currently writing—is the literature, visual culture, and performance art produced by African Americans in Rome during the Cold War. Sherazi, the Howard E. and Susanne C. Jessen Postdoctoral Instructor in the Humanities at Caltech, became interested in this field of study through the work of the late African American expatriate author William Demby. Intrigued by Demby’s work after reading his semiautobiographical experimental novel The Catacombs (1965), Sherazi went on to edit his final completed manuscript, King Comus, after his death in 2013. The novel was published by Ishmael Reed Publishing Company in 2017.

Read Sherazi's full Q&A with Caltech Magazine here.