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
,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
,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
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

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

Fri Nov 2

3:00 PM
Tawes Hall, Room 3132

Wed Nov 7

Thu Nov 15

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

July 25, 2018
Ray will teach AP Language & Composition students at Bowie High School (Prince George's County, Maryland) about Renaissance Commonplace books so that they may create and maintain their own.
July 24, 2018
The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress sponsors the annual fellowship in Digital Studies to support scholars exploring how “groundbreaking technological innovations” can serve as “agents of broad and profound [societal] change.”  The 11-month residency, established in 2000, aims to bridge the gap between academia and government and to help the library chart new directions in scholarly research. 
June 26, 2018
Reynolds '05 featured on TERP for his eleven books and successful career as NY Times best-selling author.
May 31, 2018
Program Grants (spring 2017; fall 2016; spring 2016; fall 2015; spring 2015; fall 2014; spring 2014; fall 2013; spring 2013; winter 2013; fall 2012) | Faculty Research & Writing Group Awards (AY 2017-18; AY 2016-17) | Beyond the Classroom Awards (spring 2017; fall 2016)
May 31, 2018
Baltimore Pride will screen Wild Nights With Emily, a new film about Emily Dickinson, which draws heavily from our own Martha Nell Smith's work on Dickinson. Smith, who acted as a consultant on the film, will join the writer/director Madeleine Olnek for a Q&A after the showing. Olnek dedicated her award-winning film to Smith, noting that it is her "scholarship [that] helped bring the relationship between Susan and Emily to light."
May 31, 2018
The National Endowment for the Arts announced that Elissa Washuta, who graduated from UMD with a BA in English in 2007, would receive one of their prestigious 2018 Creative Writing Fellowships. Washuta is one of only 36 writers across the nation to receive such an award. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to provide crucial funding to support these writers in their creative endeavors and to continue expanding the range of ideas and viewpoints available to readers,” stated the NEA Director of Literature, Amy Stolls.
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.