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
,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
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,George III and the Satirists from Hogarth to Byron
U of Georgia P,1990
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

There are no upcoming events

News

June 30, 2020
UMD English's courses prepare students to become ready for the world, resilient in times of change and trained in the most relevant skills needed for a rewarding and meaningful career. Explore Fall 2020 course themes to learn about race, power, storytelling, and more. 
June 15, 2020
To prioritize the health and safety of our community, the University of Maryland plans for a fall semester of hybrid in-person and remote instruction.New Fall 2020 Update from the Office of the President
June 15, 2020
Dhruva Someshwar, a senior in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, has been chosen as a 2020-21 Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar. Mark Forrester was listed as the faculty mentor who had the greatest impact on Dhruva’s academic achievement.
June 6, 2020
In a recent interview with PEN America, Mark Doty, author of What Is the Grass: Walt Whitman in My Life (W. W. Norton & Company, 2020), expressed his admiration for the Emily Dickinson scholarship of Martha Nell Smith. Doty praised the "marvelous recent film Wild Nights with Emily, based in part on the brilliant work of my friend Martha Nell Smith, a crucial Dickinson scholar." Read the full interview here.
June 5, 2020
This Spring, lecturer Alexandra Calloway successfully adapted an innovative classroom project for her Technical Writing class funded by a grant from the Writing Program in order to meet the demands of new circumstances imposed by the COVID pandemic. 
June 5, 2020
Alysia's Sawchyn debut essay collection, A Fish Growing Lungs, will be published by Burrow Press on June 9. More information about the book is available here.
June 5, 2020
As Editor-in-Chief of Words Beats & Life: The Global Journal of Hip Hop Culture, Dennis L. Winston oversaw the publication of two issues of the journal this year: "Spaces and Places" (v7, i1): https://wblinc.org/publications/2016/3/23/blog-post-sample-4lehf-y8m9a and the special issue, "Street Lit" (v7, i2): https://wblinc.org/publications/2016/3/23/blog-post-sample-4lehf
June 5, 2020
Jess Enoch edited a "Cluster Conversation" in the journal Peitho that is dedicated to the centennial memorializations dedicated to the passing of the 19th Amendment--women's right to vote. The title of the conversation is "The Suffrage Centennial: How, Why, and on What Terms Should We Mark this Moment?" UMD PhD student Katie Bramlett contributed an essay to the conversation "Stories of Filipinia Suffrage: Remembering Marginal Histories in Colonial Contexts." https://cfshrc.org/peitho-journal/
June 5, 2020
This spring, Liam Thomas Daley presented material at seminars hosted by the Shakespeare Association of American and the Folger Shakespeare Library.
June 5, 2020
In May of this year, Liam Thomas Daley helped to co-organize a series of online readings of Renaissance history plays for Brave Spirits Theatre Company, directing one of the plays and providing the dramaturgy for two more.