African American/African Diaspora Studies

The University of Maryland is one of most highly rated centers for the study of African American and African Diaspora literature and culture.   The expertise of our award-winning faculty ranges from the 15th century to the 21st century.  We embrace an expansive vision of our field that moves across geographical and temporal borders.  To track these histories and geographies, we draw on a range of approaches: archival research, history of the book, digital and new media, rhetorical studies, folklore and vernacular traditions, gender and sexuality studies, critical race theory, postcolonial and transnational studies. Among our area group’s great strengths is our conception of ourselves as a federation, linking with American, Postcolonial, Caribbean, and the Hemispheric and Transnational area groups. As one of the areas of excellence in the department, and ranked by U. S. News and World Report as one of the top ten programs in African-American literary studies in the country, we attract and support an extraordinarily strong cohort of graduate students. Our graduate students have had a very successful record of winning grants and tenure-track jobs.Our departmental strengths are supplemented on campus by several archives and study centers, as well as by complementary departments and programs, including Comparative Literature, The Center for Literary and Comparative Study, Maryland Institute for the Humanities (MITH), the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of Visual Art and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora, African American Studies, Women’s Studies, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies.

Situated eight miles from our nation’s capital, the University of Maryland, College Park, is ideally located for anyone studying African American and African Diaspora literature and culture. In addition to the University’s own major research library, our students and faculty have access to major libraries, archives, and museums: the future National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, several Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, and the National Archives at College Park, Maryland.

Our Faculty

Faculty Bookshelf

Author,Fugitives, Smugglers, and Thieves: Piracy and Personhood in American Literature
The University of North Carolina Press,2018
Author,Race, Transnationalism, and Nineteenth-Century American Literary Studies
Cambridge University Press,2017
Co-Editor,Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies
Wiley,2016
Author,The Lives of Frederick Douglass
Harvard University Press,2016
Cover of "Racial Reconstruction"
Author,Racial Reconstruction: Black Inclusion, Chinese Exclusion, and the Fictions of Citizenship
NYU Press,2015
Cover Picture
Editor,The Killers: A Narrative of Real Life in Philadelphia
University of Pennsylvania Press,2014
Author,The Other Blacklist: The African American Literary and Cultural Left of the 1950s
Columbia University Press,2014
Editor,The New Cambridge Companion to Herman Melville (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
Cambridge University Press,2013
Editor,The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 1820-1865
W. W. Norton Publishing,2011
,Phillis Wheatley: Biography of a Genius in Bondage
University of Georgia Press,2011
Co-Editor with Caroline F. Levander,A Companion to American Literary Studies
Wiley-Blackwell,2011
,Angel
Peepal Tree Press,2011
,The Ladies are Upstairs
Peepal Tree Press,2011
,Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City
Yale University Press,2011
Co-Editor,The Works of James M. Whitfield: "America" and Other Writings by a Nineteenth-Century African American Poet"
University of North Carolina Press,2011
Editor,Clotel, or The President's Daughter, by William Wells Brown
Bedford,2010
,Our Conrad: Constituting American Modernity
Stanford University Press,2010
Editor,The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Harvard University Press,2010
,Neither Fugitive Nor Free: Atlantic Slavery, Freedom Suits, and the Legal Culture of Travel
New York University Press,2009
Author,Conspiracy and Romance: Studies in Brockden Brown, Cooper, Hawthorne, and Melville
Cambridge University Press,2008
,Dislocating Race and Nation: Episodes in Nineteenth-Century American Literary Nationalism
North Carolina Press,2008
,Liberating Language: Sites of Rhetorical Education in Nineteenth-Century Black America
Southern Illinois University Press,2008
,Cannibal Democracy: Race and Representation in the Literature of the Americas
University of Minnesota Press,2008
Contributor,Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora: Origins, Experiences, and Culture
ABC-CLIO,2008
Co-Author,Robert Johnson: Lost and Found (Music in American Life)
Music in American Life,2008
Editor,Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile, by Herman Melville
Penguin,2008
Editor, with Samuel Otter,Frederick Douglass & Hermann Melville: Essays in Relation
University of North Carolina Press,2008
Editor, with Caroline Levander,Hemispheric American Studies
Rutgers University Press,2008
Editor,The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Seventh Edition: Volume B: 1820-1865
W. W. Norton,2007
,Equiano, the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man
Penguin,2006
,Jook Right On: Blues Stories and Blues Storytellers
University of Tennessee Press,2005
Editor,The House of Seven Gables, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Norton Critical Edition,2005
Editor,The Secret Agent, by Joseph Conrad
Modern Library,2004
Co-Editor, with Carola Kaplan and Andrea White,Conrad in the Twenty-first Century: Contemporary Approaches and Perspectives
Routledge,2004
Editor,Unchained Voices: An Anthology of Black Authors in the English-Speaking World of the Eighteenth Century
University Press of Kentucky,2003
Editor,Victory, by Joseph Conrad
Modern Library,2003
Editor,The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings, by Olaudah Equiano
Penguin, Revised and Expanded Edition,2003
editor,Martin R. Delany: A Documentary Reader
University of North Carolina Press,2003
Editor,Almayer's Folly: A Story of an Eastern River, by Joseph Conrad
Modern Library,2002
Editor,Under Western Eyes
Modern Library Classics,2001
Editor,Complete Writings, by Phillis Wheatley
Penguin,2001
Editor,Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp, by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Penguin; rpt University of North Carolina Press,2000
,En-Gendering India: Woman and Nation in Colonial and Postcolonial Narratives
Duke University Press,1999
,"We Are Coming": The Persuasive Discourse of Nineteenth-Century Black Women
Southern Illinois University Press,1999
Editor,Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery, by Quobna Ottobah Cugoano
Penguin,1999
Editor,The Cambridge Companion to Herman Melville
Cambridge University Press,1998
,Martin Delany, Frederick Douglasss, and the Politics of Representative Identity
University of North Carolina Press,1997
Editor,With Pen and Voice: A Critical Anthology of Nineteenth-Century African-American Women
Southern Illinois University Press,1995
,"Doers of the Word": African-American Women Speakers & Writers in the North (1830-1880)
Oxford University Press,1995
Editor,Memory of Kin: Stories About Family by Black Writers
Random House,1991
Author,Virginia Piedmont Blues: The Lives and Art of Two Virginia Bluesmen
Publication of the American Folklore Society. New Series,1990
author,George III and the Satirists from Hogarth to Byron
U of Georgia P,1990
Editor,Black-Eyed Susans and Midnight Birds: Stories by and about Black Women
Doubleday/Anchor,1989
Editor,Invented Lives: Narratives of Black Women, 1860-1960
Doubleday/Anchor,1987
Author,Sounds So Good to Me: The Bluesman's Story
University of Pennsylvania Press,1984

News

November 6, 2019
On Thursday, November 7 and Friday, November 8, Patricia Roberts-Miller will visit UMD's campus to partake in various discussions regarding her book Demagoguery and Democracy. Demagoguery and Democracy is this year's First Year Book.
October 24, 2019
Poster Project and Showcase: “What I Wish My Teacher Knew About My Disability” Campaign is a research-based project that centers disability within the larger context of diversity and inclusion through visual representation and targeted conversation. 
October 14, 2019
Graduate School offers help writing a teaching philosophy statement
October 10, 2019
The English Department is delighted to announce that Emily Mitchell has been selected for an Arcan Semester Research Award (ASRA) for Spring 2020.  This semester leave from teaching and administrative responsibilities aims to support faculty at the rank of associate and full professor, with preference given to associate professors for whom the completion of a major project will lead to promotion to full professor.
October 9, 2019
The film "Deserted" exposes the sparse and unhealthy food choices in an economically disadvantaged Baltimore City neighborhood and the lifelong consequences this has on its residents. It also looks at innovative approaches to addressing food deserts, including a startup “social supermarket” in Baltimore.
October 4, 2019
ENGL 393Q students helped write stories for the NASA Goddard Tech Transfer Magazine
September 27, 2019
Professional Writing policy calls for faculty to return students’ major writing projects with feedback within two weeks of submission, and no later than before the next major assignment is due.
September 13, 2019
April Fuller and Laurel Bassett's "Got Gout? Eighteenth-Century Global 'Remedies' in Mary Kettilby’s Receipt Book" has bee published by the Folger Library's The Collation. Read the article here.
September 13, 2019
Dr. David Carroll Simon has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure. His first book, Light without Heat: The Observational Mood from Bacon to Milton (Cornell University Press, 2018), argues for the importance of careless inattention and open-ended receptivity to the literary and philosophical experiments of England's scientific revolution. He is now at work on a study of misogyny and comic experience in early modern literature and philosophy. Dr. Simon joined the University of Maryland faculty in Fall 2018.
September 13, 2019
Dr. Gerard Passannante has been promoted to the rank of Full Professor. His most recent book, Catastrophizing: Materialism and the Making of Disaster, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2019. This follows his first book, The Lucretian Renaissance: Philology and the Afterlife of Tradition (Chicago, 2011). While at the University of Maryland, Dr. Passanante has taught a range of classes from large lectures on Renaissance drama to smaller seminars on literature, philosophy, and science such as “Leonardo, Montaigne, and Shakespeare,” and “Early Modern Literature and Disaster.”