Portrait of Béalleka Makau
Béalleka is a Kenyan-born, Portland-based writer, storyteller, and a recovering academic. She began her academic career as an Assistant Dean of Admissions at Reed College in 1998. There, she specialized in underrepresented student recruitment and retention before leaving to complete her masters and doctorate in postcolonial literature and theory at The University of Texas-Austin. For a decade (as Lynn Makau) she taught African American literature, South Asian literature, American Studies, and Gender and Women's studies at Colgate University, Michigan State University, Willamette University, and The Catlin Gabel School. Her scholarly work examines the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in contemporary representations of American slavery and focuses on what she terms peculiar intimacies or the complex relationships occasioned by the so-called peculiar institution.