Associate Professor of English
Co-coordinator of Africana Studies
Director of Internships and Undergraduate Research

Office Hours
T/Th 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Courses Spring 2019:
ENG 294: Internship in English
ENG 302: SPEC Topics in Literature and Language
ENG 408: Advanced Studies in African-American Literature

African American Literature, Race and Ethnicity Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Popular Culture and Cultural Studies, Material and Print Culture, Public and Digital Humanities

Ph.D., English, University of Chicago, 2010
M.A., English, University of Chicago, 2004
B.A., English, Reed College, 2001

Books and Edited Volumes
Neo-Passing: Performing Identity after Jim Crow. Co-editor, with Vershawn Ashanti Young. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2018.

Articles and Book Chapters
“Sheep, Rats, and Jungle Beasts: Black Humanisms and the Protest Fiction Debate.” Arizona Quarterly 74.2 (Summer 2018): 39–62.

“Passing as Post-Racial: The Human Stain, Political Correctness, and the Post-Racial Passing Narrative.” Contemporary Literature 58.2 (Summer 2018): 233–261.

 “Introduction: The Neo-Passing Narrative.” First listed author, with Vershawn Ashanti Young. In Mollie Godfrey and Vershawn Ashanti Young (eds.), Neo-Passing: Performing Identity after Jim Crow. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2018. 1–40.

 “Celebrating Simms: Multiplying the Single Story in Community Engagement Projects.” First listed author, with Seán McCarthy. Public: A Journal of Imagining America, 5.1 (Winter 2018). <>

 “Making African American History in the Classroom: The Pedagogy of Processing Under-Valued Archives,” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture 16.1 (January 2016): 165-177.

 “Of One Blood: Humanism, Race, and Gender in Post-Reconstruction Law and Literature,” CLA Journal 59.1 (September 2015): 47–74.

 “Rewriting White, Rewriting Black: Authentic Humanity and Authentic Blackness in Nella Larsen’s ‘Sanctuary,’” MELUS 38.4 (December 2013): 122–145.

 “‘They ain’t human’: John Steinbeck, Proletarian Fiction, and the Racial Politics of ‘The People,’” MFS Modern Fiction Studies 59.1 (Spring 2013): 107–34. Rpt. in Bloom's Modern Critical Views: John Steinbeck, New Edition. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Infobase Learning, 2014. 

Review Essays
Review essay on Sensational Flesh: Race, Power, and Masochism by Amber Jamilla Musser (New York UP, 2014), ALH Online Review Series V (5 January 2016).

 “‘White-Life’ Literature Reconsidered,” review essay on Abandoning the Black Hero: Sympathy and Privacy in the Postwar African American White-Life Novel by John C. Charles (Rutgers UP, 2012), Twentieth-Century Literature 60.3 (Fall 2014): 397-404.

Public and Digital Humanities Projects
Celebrating Simms: The Story of the Lucy F. Simms School, co-director of permanent exhibition at the Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center, with satellite exhibits at Harrisonburg High School and all four Rockingham County High schools, plus 1000 copies of companion booklet, digital archive, and website:; winner of the WGS Award for Feminist Scholarship and Creative Work (2017) and the Conference on Community Writing’s Outstanding College-Community Project Award (2017).

NAACP Maine Archives, director of college-community partnership that preserved and processed 38 linear feet of Maine NAACP archives for the African American Collection of Maine at the University of Southern Maine; winner of the Bates College Harward Center Faculty Award for Outstanding New Community Partnership Initiative (2012).

Mapping the Stacks, archival intern for Mellon-funded project on mapping hidden collections, directed by Jacqueline Goldsby, University of Chicago, 2005–2010. Collections processed: Cyrus Colter Papers (1910–2002); Chicago Defender Photo Archives (1928–2007); Heritage Press Archives (1944–2002); Path Press Archives (1962–1998); South Side Community Art Center Archives (1938–2008).

Work in Progress
Black Humanisms: Race, Gender, and the Fictions of Segregation (book project)

Conversations with Lorraine Hansberry. Editor. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi (book project, under contract). 

“Getting Graphic with Kindred: The Neo-Slave Narrative of the Black Lives Matter Movement” in Slavery and the Post-Black Imagination, edited by Bertram Ashe and Ilka Saal (under advance contract with the University of Washington Press)

“Celebrating Simms: Community Engagement and the Pedagogy of Shared Storytelling,” with Dr. Seán McCarthy (invited article project for the Community Literacy Journal)

Selected Awards:
Provost’s Faculty Development Support Award, James Madison University, 2018
Innovative Diversity Effort Award Program Grant, with Brian Flota and Kate Morris, James Madison University, 2018-2019
Women’s and Gender Studies Award for Feminist Scholarship and Creative Work, with Dr. Seán McCarthy, James Madison University, 2017
Conference on Community Writing Outstanding College-Community Project Award, with Sean McCarthy, 2017
Pauline Hopkins Society Memorial Scholarship Award, 2017
Edna T. Shaeffer Humanist Award, 2017
Provost’s Faculty Diversity Curriculum Development Grant, with Dr. Brian Flota, 2017
Faculty-Senate Madison Vision Mini-Grant Award, with Dr. Seán McCarthy, 2016Center for
Center for Faculty Innovation Engaged Teacher-Scholar Leader, 2015-2016
Innovative Diversity Effort Award Program Grant, with Dr. Seán McCarthy, 2015-2016
Maine Humanities Council Community Outreach Grant, 2012
Harward Center Faculty Award for Outstanding New Community Partnership Initiative, Bates College, 2012
Harward Center Grant for Publicly Engaged Academic Projects, Bates College, 2010–2011, 2011–2012
Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture Teaching Fellowship, University of Chicago, 2009–2010
Blair Dissertation-Year Fellowship, University of Chicago, 2007–2008
Norman Maclean Teaching Fellowship, University of Chicago, 2006–2007

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