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

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
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
,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
,Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak: In Other Words
Wiley Blackwell,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
Contributor,Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora: Origins, Experiences, and Culture
ABC-CLIO,2008
,Cannibal Democracy: Race and Representation in the Literature of the Americas
University of Minnesota Press,2008
Co-Author,Robert Johnson: Lost and Found (Music in American Life)
Music in American Life,2008
Editor, with Samuel Otter,Frederick Douglass & Hermann Melville: Essays in Relation
University of North Carolina Press,2008
Editor,Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile, by Herman Melville
Penguin,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
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 8, 2017
Praise for her second poetry volume -Crumb Sized- in the -Chicago Review of Books.-
October 31, 2017
English Major Sarah Schurman is the recipient of the 2017 Dean's Senior Scholar Award. The award committee cites her distinguished academic performance, leadership qualities, and commitment to community. 
October 30, 2017
Christopher Suarez presented "Jimi Hendrix and His Muse: "Manic Depression," "Little Wing," & "Voodoo Chile"' at the ALSCW Conference on October 26-29 at Dallas University, in Dallas, Texas.
October 26, 2017
With Julie Enszer (Maryland MFA; Maryland WMST PhD), Martha Nell Smith has coedited Everywoman Her Own Theology: On the Poetry of Alicia Ostriker (forthcoming U of Michigan Press Fall 2018).
October 25, 2017
Audrey Farley's essay "Psychoanalysis Via Comics: Alison Bechdel's Are You My Mother?" will be published in ImageText: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies. Her essay "Physiology Gone Wild: Oliver Sacks' Clinical Tales and Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower" will be published in Journal of Science Fiction. She also has a book review forthcoming in Public Books and a chapter in the upcoming volume, Illness and Disability in Asian America (Eds. Jennifer Ho and Jim Lee). 
October 25, 2017
Brian Richardson published “The Paradoxical Paradigm of Unnatural Narrative Theory,” in Emerging Vectors in Narratology, eds. Per Krogh Hansen, John Pier, and Wolf Schmid. His interview with Minrui Li was published in Foreign Literature Studies. His essay, “Silence, Progression, and Narrative Collapse in Conrad’s Plots,” was the runner up for the J. H. Stape award for the year’s best essay in Conradiana. He delivered a paper on “The Material Book and the Scene of Reading in To the Lighthouse” at the International Virginia Woolf Conference in Reading (UK) in July. He also evaluated the work of doctoral students and an international doctoral program in comparative literature based at the University of Lisbon.
October 25, 2017
Cameron Mozafari and Michael Israel presented a paper, "More than a Feeling: Frame Metonymy and Cultural Scripts in Persuasive Communication," at the 14th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, held in Tartu, Estonia.  The talk uses classical rhetorical concepts, corpus methods, and Cognitive Grammar to model how rhetors coordinate evaluations and beliefs with their audiences to make them recognize cultural knowledge about what makes people emotional. Cameron was also nominated for and accepted the position of Junior Scholar on the International Cognitive Linguistics Association governing board.
October 25, 2017
 Chuck Caramello recently published the monograph, Research Ethics Education for Graduate International Collaborations in the Council of Graduate Schools "best practices" monograph series. Chuck is currently John H. Daniels Fellow at the National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg, VA, where he is editing a volume of two 18C treatises on military equitation and working on a collection of essays on cavalry and the Great War.
October 25, 2017
Daune O'Brien presented at the Feminisms and Rhetoric's Conference in Dayton, OH on October 7, 2017. The title of the talk was "Dorothea Dix’s Legislative Memorial: Visual Rhetoric and Advocacy for the Mentally Ill"
October 25, 2017
Faculty, students, and alumni gavepapers at the October Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference at the University of Dayton.