- Ph.D., English, University of Wisconsin-Madison , 1992
Minor: Afro-American Studies
- M.A., English, University of Wisconsin-Madison , 1986
- B.A., English and Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison , 1984, with distinction
Areas of Interest
My areas of research interest include African American and American literatures, especially contemporary black poetry. My recent book of substantial interviews with eight contemporary African American poets was published by University of Georgia Press in December, 2010; prior to that, I published a scholarly monograph on the poetry of Rita Dove with University of Illinois Press in 2003. My current work on poets Brenda Marie Osbey and Natasha Trethewey is complemented by an ongoing interest in highlighting the poetic achievements of Wanda Coleman. I recently gave a keynote lecture at the Polish Association for American Studies conference in Białowieża, Poland, in October 2014, speaking on Trethewey and Coleman.
Selected Publications and Presentations
Into a Light Both Brilliant and Unseen: Conversations With Contemporary Black Poets. University of Georgia Press, 2010. http://www.ugapress.org/upload/F10Catalog_LO.pdf
Rita Dove’s Cosmopolitanism. Chicago, IL : University of Illinois Press, 2003.
Embodying Beauty: Twentieth-Century American Women Writers’ Aesthetics. In series Literary Criticism and Cultural Theory: The Interaction of Text and Society. New York: Routledge (formerly Garland), 2000.
Selected Recent Articles:
“Re-Reading Trethewey through Mixed Race Studies.” Special Issue on Natasha Trethewey. The Southern Quarterly: A Journal of Arts and Letters in the South 50.4 (Summer 2013): 123-152.
“Sister Seer and Scribe: Teaching Wanda Coleman’s and Elizabeth Alexander’s Poetic Responses to Sylvia Plath.” Plath Profiles. Inaugural Issue (August 2008). http://www.iun.edu/~plath/vol1/index.shtml: 280-90.
“`The Poet in the World, the World in the Poet’: Cyrus Cassells’ and Elizabeth Alexander’s Versions of Post-Soul Cosmopolitanism.” African American Review Special Issue on the Post-Soul Aesthetic 41.4 (Winter 2007).
Selected Recent Papers Presented at National/International Conferences:
“Crossing Race and Class: Natasha Trethewey’s Mixed Race Interrogations in Beyond Katrina.” MESEA conference. Saarbrücken, Germany, May 28-31, 2014.
“African American ‘Unhomely’ Diasporic Citizenship in the Poetry of Rita Dove, Brenda Marie Osbey and Natasha Trethewey.” African Americans, ‘Race,’ and Diaspora Conference. Montpellier, France, June 13-15, 2013.
“Brenda Marie Osbey’s Interrogations of France.” The Collegium for African American Research Conference, Atlanta, GA, March 14-17, 2013.
“Rita Dove’s Paris in Mother Love.” The Collegium for African American Research Conference, Paris, France, April 6-20, 2011.
“Producing a New, Post-Black Arts Movement Subject (and a New Idea of American Poetry): Wanda Coleman’s Poetic Negotiations of Transcultural Space in ‘Retro Rogue Anthology’.” Collegium for African American Research Conference. Bremen, Germany, March 25-29, 2009.
“Sister Seer and Scribe: Sylvia Plath and Contemporary African American Women Poets.” The Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium Literary Conference. Oxford, England, October 25-29, 2007.
“Elizabeth Alexander’s Questions of Travel.” The Collegium for African American Research Bi-Annual Conference. Madrid, Spain, April 18-21, 2007.
“Elizabeth Alexander’s American Sublime .” The Louisville Conference in Literature and Culture Since 1900. Louisville , KY, February 22-25, 2007.
Selected Invited Presentations:
“Nellie McKay and the Art of Mentoring.” Modern Language Association Conference. Philadelphia, PA, Dec 27-30, 2006.
Nellie McKay and Black Women’s Studies: A Symposium. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Madison, WI, April 1, 2006.
- National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Research Fellowship, 2000
- Undergraduate Research Initiative Grant, UNC General Administration, 2006-07
African American Poetics; Teaching African American Literature; Contemporary African American Poetry (1980s-1990s); Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes; Twentieth-Century African American Poetics; Rita Dove; African American Literary Theory and Criticism; Modernist American Poetry; Major Black Poets; Introduction to English Studies.
African American Poetry; Oprah’s Books; Major American Author–Toni Morrison; Modern American Literature–1920 to present; American Literature survey ENGL 3300; Black Women Writers; Approaches to Literature ENGL 3100; Three African American Women Writers; Twentieth-Century Black Poetry and Drama; Twentieth-Century British and American Literature.
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte, English Department
- Professor, 2007-present
- Associate Professor, 1998-2007
- Assistant Professor, 1992-1998
- Affiliate Faculty, Africana Studies Department, 1992-present
- Adjunct Faculty, Women’s and Gender Studies, 2009-present
- Executive Director, Honors College, 2012 to present
- Chair, English Department, 2007-2012
- Interim Chair, Africana Studies Department, 2006-2007
- Learning Community Coordinator, English Department, 2005- 2007
- Undergraduate Coordinator, English Department, 1999-2003
- “Outstanding Faculty Member,” Student Support Services (TRIO), 2001
- “Outstanding Mentor ,” Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, 1995 and 1997