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
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
,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,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

Fri Aug 31

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room 3132

Fri Sep 7

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room TBD

Thu Sep 13

3:30 PM

Fri Sep 14

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room TBD

Fri Sep 21

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room 3132

Fri Sep 28

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room TBD

Fri Oct 5

3:00 PM

Fri Oct 12

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room 3132

Fri Oct 19

3:00 PM

Mon Oct 22

Tue Oct 23

Fri Nov 2

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room 3132

Wed Nov 7

Fri Nov 16

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room TBD

Fri Nov 30

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room TBD

Fri Dec 7

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room 3132

Wed Feb 13

7:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Ulrich Recital Hall

Wed Mar 13

Thu Apr 25

Fri Apr 26

News

May 22, 2018
Emily J. Orlando was promoted to the rank of Professor of English at Fairfield University, five years after earning tenure.
May 21, 2018
Abbey Morgan was awarded the Ann G. Wylie Semester Dissertation Fellowship. Abbey also attended NeMLA (2018) at the University of Pittsburgh and presented her paper " Voicing the Color-Line: Linguistic Whiteface in Richard Pryor's Black Ben the Blacksmith."
May 21, 2018
Congratulations to PhD student Aqdas Aftab who has been awarded the Rodler-Wood Scholarship from LGBT Studies in recognition of their work on decolonial trans and queer studies.
May 21, 2018
Bill Peterson's article "William Pickering and the Quakers" will appear in the June issue of Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America. It is an account of the Quaker background (hitherto unknown) of one of the most important English publishers of the nineteenth century.
May 21, 2018
Bob Levine has recently published essays on Frederick Douglass in History Now, the Howard Journal of Communication, and Humanities: The Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has essays forthcoming in The New Melville Studies and A Question of Time: American Literature from Colonial Encounter to Contemporary Fiction, both to be published soon by Cambridge UP. He recently gave an invited talk on Hannah Crafts at Indiana University and he's speaking next month at the University of Texas on "What Is the American Literary Tradition: An Editor's Perspective." 
May 21, 2018
Brian Richardson published several pieces: “Experimental Fiction and Narrative Theory,” in Frontiers of Narrative Studies, “The Status of Historical Characters in Drama: Ontological, Aesthetic, Verisimilar” in Letras de Hoje (Brazil); “De la narratologie non naturelle [“On Unnatural Narratology”]” in Introduction à la narratologie postclassique; “Unusual Voices and Multiple Identities” in Pronouns in Literature; “Reale und implizite Autoren” [‘Real and Implied Authors’]” in Grundthemen der Literaturwissenschaft: Erzählen; “The Rhetoric of Knowledge and the Rhetoric of Pleasure,” is in the current issue of Style, and an interview with Li Minrui on narrative theory in Foreign Literature Studies (China). He also edited a special issue of the journal, Frontiers of Narrative Studies (Winter 2017).
May 21, 2018
Christopher Suarez's essay, "Robert Penn Warren's Panoramic Ecology in Audubon: A Vision," has been accepted for publication by Literary Imagination (Oxford University Press). Chris would like to give special thanks to professors Joshua Weiner and Gerard Passannante for their help. The essay was drafted in their course on ecopoetics.
May 21, 2018
Gerard Holmes was appointed to the Modern Language Association's Committee on the Status of Graduate Students in the Humanities, for the period July 2018-June 2021.
May 21, 2018
It is with great sadness for us to inform you that Janet Duncan, former English Department Office Manager and Staff Supervisor, passed away on May 7, 2018. She worked with several department chairs, including Gene Hammond, Theresa Coletti, and Chuck Caramello.
May 21, 2018
Margaret Fell, Women's Speaking Justified and Other Pamphlets, edited by Jane Donawerth (emerita) and Rebecca M. Lush (UM PHD) is forthcoming in fall 2018 from The Other Voice Series with the University of Toronto.