Photo: Allison PaynterAllison Paynter, Ph.D.

Professor, English
Division of Humanities and Fine Arts
Phone: (808) 735-4863


Writing, Poetry, Short Story and Novel, Women’s Literature, Gender and Ethnicity


Associate Professor of English, Allison E. Paynter, served as chair of the English department from 2006-2009, and was instrumental in re-formulating the curriculum. Gender, ethnicity, poetry and dance are recurring themes in her various guest lectures and published articles. As an engaged professor, Dr. Francis teaches the craft of writing to undergraduates every year in her classes. She fosters a sense of why good writing is important, through classes that are designed to be both fun and challenging. Dr. Paynter notes, “My students say I’m strict, but never boring,” because she expects them to develop respect for the writing process, and to always do their best. Since Dr. Paynter believes the spoken word is as important as the written word, she is a performance poet who performs at many venues in the state. She also is the facilitator for Aulama, the Chaminade student literary journal. Her chapter on black female writers in the 19th century marketplace will appear in the upcoming literary anthology, Imag(in)ing America: The Black Body in Literature.

Academic Degrees

Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, Thesis: “When The ‘Unprotected’ Body Speaks: The Narratives of Nineteenth Century Black Females in the Caribbean and the United States”
M.A., Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
B. A., University of California, Berkeley in English Literature


  • Haitian Studies Association (HSA)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA)
  • Pacific Ancient & Modern Language Association (PAMLA)

Awards and Honors

  • Summer Scholar-in-Residence, New York University, 2009
  • Principal Humanities Scholar, Hawai’i Council for the Humanities, 2006
  • Visiting Scholar, Manchester Harris College, Oxford University, UK 2006
  • Summer Faculty Resource Network Fellow, New York University, 2004-07

Selected Publications

“The Culture of Sentiments and the Black Female Body in the Nineteenth-Century Literary Marketplace,” Imag(in)ing America: The Black Body in Literature, Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2009.

“Traveling,” Chaminade Quarterly, 2009.

“In the Attic or Beneath the Floorboards: How confined spaces become sites of resistance in the works of Harriet Wilson, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Harriet Jacobs.” Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association, San Francisco, CA, November 2009.

“Serving the Spirit of Dance: A Study of Jean-Leon Destine, Lina Mathon Blanchet and Haitian Folkloric Traditions.” Haitian Studies Association, Montrouis, Haiti, November 2008.

“How the female body performs in The History of Mary Prince,” Swinging Her Breasts at History: Language, Body and the Caribbean Woman’s Text, Mango Publishing

“The Consequences of “unrestrained perusal of Novels and Romances” in Tabitha Tenney’s Female Quixotism.” Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association, Riverside, CA, November 2006.

“Manifesting Your Inner Joy,” Inspiration to Realization II: Real Women Reveal Proven Strategies For Personal, Business, Financial and Spiritual Fulfillment, Love Your Life Publishing, December 2005.

“Karla’s House,” Chaminade Quarterly, 2004.

Selected Conferences, Talks and Speaking Engagements

Fall 2007: Women’s Research and Resource Center, Spelman College Atlanta, Georgia. Guest Speaker: “The (De) Evolution of the Black Female Body from the 19th Century to Hip Hop”

Spring 2007: National League of American PEN Women, Honolulu Branch, Pineapple Room, Ala Moana, HI. Guest Speaker: “The Artistic Pause”

Fall 2006: The Center for Biographical Research: Brown Bag Biography University of Hawai’i, Manoa campus. Guest Speaker: “Gender, Ethnicity and Mary Seacole”

Fall 2005: History Department, Chaminade University. Guest Lecturer: “Slave Narratives and Resistance”

Service to the Profession

Academic Service

  • Member, Faculty Steering Committee, Chaminade University of Honolulu, 2007-2009
  • Keynote Speaker, Academic Convocation, Chaminade University of Honolulu, 2007
  • Advisor, Hip Hop Coalition, Chaminade University of Honolulu, 2006
  • Committee Member, WASC Accreditation, Chaminade University of Honolulu 2005-06
  • Chair, Academic Diversity Committee, Chaminade University of Honolulu, 2005
  • Advisor, Black Student Union, Chaminade University of Honolulu, 2005

Community Service

  • Writing Coach, Nā Kamalei-Ko’olauloa Early Education Program, Oahu, 2007-08
  • Board member, Hawai’i Healing Angels, Non-Profit, Oahu, 2006-08
  • Secretary, Circles of Light, Non-Profit Arts Program, Kauai, 2006-08
  • Samba Axe, Afro-Brazilian Dance Troupe, Oahu, 2005-2008
  • Judge, Hawai’i Teen Slam Poetry Competition, Oahu, 2006
  • Co-host, “re: VERSES Poetry Series, Oahu, 2005-06
  • Treasurer, Circles of Light, Non-Profit Arts Program, Kauai, 2004-09