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
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
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,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

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News

January 26, 2020
Brian Richardson read a paper, “Dying Again and Again: Unruly Ecologies of Plot in Contemporary Fiction,” at the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present in October in College Park. His article, “I, etcetera: The Poetics and Politics of Multiperson Narration“ was translated into Portuguese and published in Revista Ribanceira 14 (2018) 123-43. His book, A Poetics of Plot for the Twenty-first Century: Theorizing Unruly Narratives, was published in November by Ohio State University Press in their Theory and Interpretation of Narrative series.
January 26, 2020
he MFA Program in Creative Writing is pleased to announce our nominees for the Intro Journals Project (2020), an annual literary competition for the discovery and publication of the best new work by students currently enrolled in AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) member programs: https://www.awpwriter.org/contests/intro_journals_project_overview
January 26, 2020
MFA fiction student Jehane Sharah has been awarded a Sterling Watson MFA Fellowship to attend the Sixteenth Annual Eckerd College Writers' Conference in Florida in January 2020.
January 26, 2020
Konstantinos Pozoukidis received a $5,000 grant from the Gerondelis Foundation Inc.Konstantinos also will be presenting his roundatble contribution entitled "Emma's Detour" at the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (ASECS) conference in St. Louis, MO, March 2020.He presented his paper "Emma at Crossroads: Modernity and the Remains of History" at the East-Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (EC/ASECS) in  Gettysburg, PA, October 24 – 26, 2019
January 26, 2020
In October 2019, Leigh Ryan (Writing Center Director Emerita) presented at the International Writing Centers Association/National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing conference: “The (HE)ART of It All: What Departing Writing Center Directors Carry with Them.”  In September, she served as a mentor at York College of Pennsylvania’s annual Naylor Undergraduate Research Workshop. She also recently spoke at a local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution on “’To Do Right and Overcome’: The Plummer Family in Slavery and Freedom” and at Odenton Genealogists on “The Plummers: Honoring the Lives and Legacy of an Enslaved  Prince George’s County Family.”
January 26, 2020
Liz Arnold's sequence, "Effacement," was reprinted recently by PARIS REVIEW in their online daily journal. She has two poems coming out from OVERSOUND in the spring.
January 26, 2020
Mal Haselberger presented a conference paper at the American Printing History Association, "'[Shaping] up before my eyes and in my own loving hands': Jane Grabhorn's Jumbo Press and the Feminist Possbilities of Print," in October 2019. She also gave a talk, titled "Learning to Measure by Ems and Picas: A Letterpress Journey," at the Library of Congress for the Denker Fellows Symposium hosted by the American Printing History Association's Chesapeake Chapter in November 2019.
January 26, 2020
HeadStuff, the award winning Arts and Culture website, recently interviewed Mark Fitzgerald about his book, Downburst. To read the interview, click here. 
January 26, 2020
Maud Casey's story, "Bells of Loudun" appears in the current issue (7) of Bennington Review. Her essay, "Everything is Listening: The Sound of Silence in Fiction," is forthcoming in The Sewannee Review.
January 26, 2020
Nabila Hijazi presented a paper entitled, “Academic Death through Human Birth," as part of "RhetComp Mamas Speak: Autoethnographies of Everyday Maternal Activism" panel at the 2019 Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference at James Madison University on November 14, 2019.