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
,Angel
Peepal Tree Press,2011
Co-Editor with Caroline F. Levander,A Companion to American Literary Studies
Wiley-Blackwell,2011
,The Ladies are Upstairs
Peepal Tree 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
,Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City
Yale University 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
,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
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

Upcoming Events

Thu Sep 28

10:30 AM

Tue Oct 3

12:30 PM
MITH Conference Room, Room 0301 Hornbake Library North

Fri Oct 6

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room 3136

Tue Oct 10

12:30 PM
MITH Conference Room, Room 0301 Hornbake Library North

Wed Nov 1

Fri Nov 3

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room 3136

Thu Dec 7

Fri Dec 8

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room 3136

Wed Feb 7

Wed Mar 14

Wed Apr 4

2:00 PM

News

September 14, 2017
Lindsay Bernal, whose poetry collection What It Doesn't Have to Do With is forthcoming from the University of Georgia Press, has been selected for the 2017 National Poetry Series competition.
September 13, 2017
The Tessera--the NSF-funded game Kari Kraus and her collaborators launched last spring--will be showcased as an Indiecade 2017 Official Selection at this year's festival (press release here). 
September 13, 2017
Michael Olmert lectured on “18th Century Architecture and the Creation of Sacred Spaces,” at Historic St. Martin’s Church (built 1756-63), Worcester Co., MD.,  Sept. 9, 2017.  This talk was adapted from a chapter of his forthcoming book, "Space, Meaning, and Intention in 18th Century Architecture."
September 12, 2017
Tyler Mills, a graduate of the MFA Program in Creative Writing, was recently selected by Oliver de la Paz for the 2017 Akron Poetry Prize. Her manuscript ​Hawk Parable is forthcoming in 2019.  
September 6, 2017
PhD student, Dominique Young, was recently featured in an article about the graduate school's mentoring and diversity initiatives. 
September 6, 2017
Christin Taylor '13 recently got a book contract with the University Press of Mississippi for a version of her dissertation, directed by David Wyatt. The book is tentatively titled Labor Pains: New Deal Fictions of Race, Work and Sex. It reconsiders the use of an imagined working class black folk across genres of southern modernism during the New Deal and Popular Front eras.
September 5, 2017
Judith Krummeck spoke with Rudy about his forthcoming book, Imagined Homelands: British Poetry in the Colonies (Johns Hopkins UP, December 2017). 
August 28, 2017
Emily Johnson graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland in spring 2017 with a double major in English and Linguistics. While on campus, she completed an Honors College citation, was admitted to Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society, and received the Dean's Scholarship. She is currently interning at Her Mind magazine and is in search of a career in editing or publishing. This summer, Johnson gained admission to a Folger Institute workshop on digital archives at the Folger Shakespeare Library. — Editor's Note
August 24, 2017
This summer Simone Drake was promoted to full professor and awarded the Youngberg Distinguished Professor chair in the Department of African American and African Studies at The Ohio State University. She is affiliate faculty in the Department of English as well as Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is also the principal investigator for an $130, 000 Arts & Humanities Discovery Theme grant at Ohio State University that focuses on Transnational Black Citizenship.
August 8, 2017
Professor Zita Nunes received a three-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities