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Participants

Participants will include:

Elizabeth Alexander (Yale University)

Presenting:"Dunbar Today: Exploring the Ongoing Influence of Dunbar on Contemporary African-American Poetry"
Elizabeth Alexander is the author of four books of poems: The Venus Hottentot, Body of Life, Antebellum Dream Book, and American Sublime, which was named one of 25 notable books of the year by the American Library Association. She is also the author of a collection of critical essays, The Black Interior, and editor of The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks for the Library of America. She is Professor of African-American Studies at Yale University.

Marcellus Blount (Columbia University)

Presenting:"Slavery Remembered: Dunbar and the African American Elegy"
Marcellus Blount is an Associate Professor of English at Columbia University. He is co-editor of Representing Black Men, and he has written a book-length study of African American poetry, entitled "In a Broken Tongue: Rediscovering African American Poetry." He has written several articles, including one published in PMLA on Paul Laurence Dunbar. He is completing a book on male friendship in twentieth-century black male writing. He is currently the Sterling A. Brown Visiting Professor of English at Williams College.

David Bradley (University of Oregon)

Presenting:"Factoring Out Race: The Cultural Context of Paul Laurence Dunbar"
David Bradley earned a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. from the University of London. A professor at Temple University from 1976 to 1997, Bradley is currently Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Oregon. He is the author of two novels, South Street (1975) and The Chaneysville Incident (1981), which won the 1982 PEN/Faulkner Award. A recipient of fellowships from the J.S. Guggenheim Foundation and the NEA, he recently published The Essential Writings of Paul Laurence Dunbar, co- edited with Shelley Fisher Fishkin. His works in-progress include"The Bondage Hypothesis: Meditations on Race, History and America" and a novel-in-stories,"Raystown."

Joanne Braxton (College of William and Mary)

Presenting:"Dunbar the Originator"
Joanne Braxton is the Frances L. and Edwin L. Cummings Professor at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she has taught since 1980. With a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence and a Ph.D. from Yale, she has been a fellow at Wellesley College and also at Harvard, as well as a member of the Michigan Society of Fellows. Her writings include Black Women Writing Autobiography (1989); a poetry collection, Sometimes I Think of Maryland (1977); and a play, Crossing Deep River: A Ritual Drama in Three Movements. Among her edited volumes are The Collected Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar (1993) and Monuments of the Black Atlantic: Slavery and Memory (2004).

Michael Cohen (NYU)

Presenting:"Dunbar and the Genres of Dialect"
Michael Cohen is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at New York University. His dissertation,"Cultures of Poetry in Nineteenth-Century America," traces the history and cultural uses of poems in nineteenth-century America. His interests include modes of circulating poems, theories about poetic genres, and the formation of canons of American literature in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Harry S. Elam, Jr (Stanford University)

Presenting:"Dunbar 's Children"
Harry Elam is Olive H. Palmer Professor in the Humanities and Chair of the Department of Drama at Stanford. The author of Taking It to the Streets: The Social Protest Theater of Luis Valdez and Amiri Baraka and The Past as Present in the Drama of August Wilson, he has also directed professionally for twenty years.

Michele Elam (Stanford University)

Presenting:"Dunbar 's Children"
Michele Elam is Associate Professor in the Department of English and at the Research Institute at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity. The author of Race, Work, and Desire in American Literature, 1860-1930 (2003), she has just completed a second work, Mixtries: Mixed Race in the New Millenium. Her essays on race and gender have appeared in African American Review, American Literature, Genre, and elsewhere. In 2004, she received the St. Clair Drake Outstanding Teaching Award at Stanford University.

Shelley Fisher Fishkin (Stanford University)

Conference Organizer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin is Professor of English and Director of American Studies at Stanford University. She is the author, editor, or co-editor of forty books, including Lighting Out for the Territory; Was Huck Black? Mark Twain and African American Voices; From Fact to Fiction: Journalism and Imaginative Writing in America; The Oxford Mark Twain; and, most recently, The Sport of the Gods and Other Essential Writings by Paul Laurence Dunbar, co-edited with David Bradley. She is the author of over eighty articles, essays, and reviews, the most recent of which is "Race and the Politics of Memory: Mark Twain and Paul Laurence Dunbar," forthcoming in Journal of American Studies (U.K.). She co-edited Oxford's "Race and American Culture" series with Arnold Rampersad, and is immediate past-president of the American Studies Association.

Joanne Gabbin (James Madison University)

Presenting:"Intimate Intercessions: The Poetry of Dunbar"
Joanne V. Gabbin, Professor of English, is the author of Sterling A. Brown: Building the Black Aesthetic Tradition and editor of The Furious Flowering of African American Poetry and Furious Flower: African American Poetry from the Black Arts Movement to the Present. With teaching, poetry, and art as three guiding passions, she gives much of her energy to directing the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University and operating the 150 Franklin Street Gallery in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Adrian Gaskins (University of Colorado)

Presenting:"From Dayton to Dahomey to Denver: Dunbar 's Travels and the Movement of New Negroes in the Early Twentieth Century"
Adrian Gaskins is an instructor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he is a postdoctoral fellow. He explores his research interests in the histories of racialization, comparative diasporas, colonialism, and the globalization of popular culture in a manuscript project on African American travelers at the turn of the twentieth century.

Rhonda Goodman (Stanford University)

Conference Coordinator
Rhonda Goodman is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Art and Art History and is also obtaining a joint doctorate in Humanities at Stanford. She holds a B.A. from Williams College and M.A. degrees from Villanova and the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture. Before coming to Stanford she was Director of Education of Woodlawn Plantation and Frank Lloyd Wright's Pope-Leighey House (the National Trust for Historic Preservation owns both properties). Her dissertation will focus on the relationship among vernacular architecture, ethnicity, and material culture in late nineteenth-century San Francisco.

Donna Akiba Harper (Spelman College)

Presenting: "Dunbar 's Influences on Langston Hughes"
A nationally recognized Langston Hughes scholar, Donna Akiba Sullivan Harper is the author of the only book-length study of Hughes 's celebrated Jesse B. Semple stories, Not So Simple: The Simple Stories by Langston Hughes (1995). She has also edited four volumes of short fiction by Hughes. She is Professor of English and chairperson of the Department of English at Spelman College, where she has taught since 1987.

Jennifer Hughes (Emory University)

Presenting: "Representing 'A Ghastly Humor ': The Politics of Incongruity in Dunbar 's The Fanatics"
Jennifer A. Hughes is a third-year doctoral student at Emory University. She received her B.A. from Cornell University in 2001 and her M.A. from the University of Virginia in 2003. Her work at Emory focuses upon nineteenth century American humor, ranging from ephemera such as comic almanacs, magazines, and oratory to the work of Mark Twain. Interested in tracing the intersections of contemporary trauma and humor theories, she examines how these intersections inform and complicate our understanding of"the comic" within cultural narratives.

Jennifer James (George Washington University)

Presenting: "Dunbar 's The Fanatics and the Post-Civil War Reconciliation Narrative"
Jennifer James is Assistant Professor of English and Africana Studies at George Washington University, where she teaches nineteenth- and twentieth-century African American literature and culture. Professor James is currently working on a manuscript exploring the relationship between representations of violence to the black body and the politics of citizenship in African American war literature (the Civil War to WWII). Her most recent article,"'Civil' War Wounds: William Wells Brown, Violence, and the Domestic Narrative," appeared in the 2005 Spring/Summer issue of African American Review.

Gene Jarrett (University of Maryland, College Park)

Presenting:"'Second-Generation Realist '; or, Dunbar the Romantic Naturalist"
Gene Andrew Jarrett is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of Deans and Truants: Authenticity, Racial Realism, and the Problem of African American Literature (2006), editor of African American Literature beyond Race: An Alternative Reader (2006), coeditor (with Thomas Lewis Morgan) of The Complete Stories of Paul Laurence Dunbar (2006) and also co- editor (with Henry Louis Gates Jr.) of New Negro Criticism: Essays on Race, Representation, and African American Culture, 1892-1938 (2007).

Gavin Jones (Stanford University)

Conference Organizer
Gavin Jones is Associate Professor of English at Stanford University, where he teaches courses in American literature from 1840 to 1940. He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University, and is a former member of the Society of Fellows at Harvard. Professor Jones is the author of Strange Talk: The Politics of Dialect Literature in Gilded Age America (1999), and has published articles on writers such as George W. Cable, Theodore Dreiser, W.E.B. DuBois, and Paule Marshall in journals such as American Literary History, New England Quarterly, and African American Review. He is writing a book on the representation of poverty in American literature.

Meta DuEwa Jones (University of Texas at Austin)

Conference Organizer
Meta DuEwa Jones is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches courses on jazz performance, visual culture, and innovation in American poetry and African American literature. She received her B.A from Princeton and her Ph.D. from Stanford. Her essays have appeared in journals such as African American Review and Callaloo. She is currently coeditor (with Cherise Smith) of a special issue on"Visual Culture and Collaboration" for Callaloo, expected in 2007. Her forthcoming book is entitled The Muse is Music: Jazz, Poetry and Spoken Word Performance.

Blair L.M. Kelley (North Carolina State University)

Presenting:"Did not once have to take a 'Jim Crow ' Car: The Travels of Dunbar in the Age of Segregation"
Blair L.M. Kelley is Assistant Professor of History at North Carolina State University. With a doctorate from Duke, Kelley is currently completing a book entitled Right to Ride: African American Citizenship, Identity, and the Protest over Jim Crow Transportation, as part of a major scholarly interest that involves questions of culture, gender, and leadership in relation to black protest against segregation on trains and streetcars at the turn of the twentieth century.

Thomas Leuchtenmüller (Independent scholar & literary critic, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Switzerland)

Presenting:"'Tis thy breath perfumes the air ': Dunbar 's Overlooked Play Herrick"
Thomas Leuchtenmüller, based in Munich, Germany, is an independent scholar and a literary critic for the Swiss national paper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. He studied theatre arts at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, where he received his M.A. and Ph.D. His dissertation deals with the playwright August Wilson. He has published widely and has also taught at the America Institute of the University of Munich in the area of African American literature and culture.

Xilao Li (William Rainey Harper College)

Presenting:"A Chinese Reading of Dunbar"
Xilao Li is Professor of English at William Rainey Harper College. His research interest in the American and Chinese literary interaction began in 1980s while on the faculty of Peking University. He edited a collection of comparative essays on Western and Chinese literature (1987), and published translations of and articles on Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, and American ethnic writers. He is currently translating into Chinese selected stories of Paul Laurence Dunbar.

John Lowe (Louisiana State University)

Presenting:"Exploding the Laughing Barrel: Dunbar and American Humor"
John Lowe is Professor of English and Comparative Literature, and Director of the Program in Louisiana and Caribbean Studies at Louisiana State University, where he teaches African American, Southern, and ethnic literature and theory. He is author of Jump at the Sun: Zora Neale Hurston 's Cosmic Comedy (1994); editor of Approaches to Teaching Hurston 's Their Eyes Were Watching God (forthcoming);Conversations with Ernest Gaines (1995); Bridging Southern Cultures (2005); and The Future of Southern Letters (1996). He is currently completing"The Americanization of Ethnic Humor," a book-length examination of changing patterns in American comic literature.

William J. Maxwell (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

Presenting: "Dunbar's Bohemian Gallery: Foreign Color and International Modernism"
William J. Maxwell is Associate Professor of English and Interpretive Theory, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he teaches modern American and African American literature. He is the author of the award-winning book New Negro, Old Left: African-American Writing and Communism between the Wars (1999) and the editor of Claude McKay's Complete Poems (2004). He is now at work on a book manuscript,"FB Eyes: How Hoover's Ghostreaders Framed African- American Modernism."

Deborah McDowell (University of Virginia)

Presenting:"Pictures and Poetry: Dunbar and the Tradition of the Photo- Text"
Deborah E. McDowell is Alice Griffin Professor of English at the University of Virginia. She is the founding editor of the Beacon Black Women Writers Series, co-editor with Arnold Rampersad of Slavery and the Literary Imagination, and period editor of the Norton Anthology of African-American Literature. She is also author of The Changing Same: Studies in Fiction by Black American Women and she has produced various scholarly editions, including Nella Larsen 's Quicksand and Passing and Frederick Douglass 's 1845 Narrative of the Life. She has published numerous essays and review essays on African American literature, culture, photography, and film. Her most recent book is Leaving Pipe Shop: Memories of Kin.

Elizabeth McHenry (New York University)

Presenting: "Beyond the Presence of Dunbar"
Elizabeth McHenry is Associate Professor of English at New York University. The author of Forgotten Readers: Recovering the Lost History of African American Literary Societies (2002), she is at work on a study of African American literary culture between 1900 and 1920, a period which she believes has been neglected by literary scholars in favor of studies of the Harlem Renaissance.

James Miller (George Washington University)

Moderator
James A. Miller is Professor of English and American Studies and Director of Africana Studies at George Washington University. His publications include Harlem: The Vision of Morgan and Marvin Smith; Approaches to Teaching Wright's Native Son; and essays and reviews on African American literature and culture in journals such as Callaloo, African American Review, and the Nation. His book Moments of Scottsboro is forthcoming from Princeton University Press.

Harryette Mullen (UCLA)

Presenting:"'When He is Least Himself': Dunbar and Double Consciousness in African-American Poetry"
Harryette Mullen, Associate Professor of English at UCLA, teaches courses in American poetry, African American literature, and creative writing. She is the author of six poetry books, most recently Blues Baby (2002) and Sleeping with the Dictionary (2002). The latter was a finalist for a National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her forthcoming book Recyclopedia is scheduled for publication this year.

Aldon Lynn Nielsen (Penn State University)

Presenting:"Purple Haze ยจ  Dunbar 's Lyric Legacy"
Aldon Lynn Nielsen is Kelly Professor of American Literature at Pennsylvania State University. His books of criticism include Integral Music: Languages of African American Innovation; Black Chant: Languages of African American Postmodernism; Writing between the Lines: Race and Intertextuality; Reading Race; and C.L.R. James: A Critical Introduction. His most recent book of poetry is Mixage. Among his honors are the Larry Neal Award, the Josephine Miles Award, the Gertrude Stein Award, the Kayden Award, and the SAMLA Studies Prize.

Nadia Nurhussein (UMass Boston)

Presenting:"Dunbar 's Performances and Epistolary Dialect Poetry"
Nadia Nurhussein is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, where she specializes in African American poetry. After earning her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley in 2004, she spent a postdoctoral year at Mount Holyoke. She is currently at work on a project about American dialect poetry of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her poetry has appeared in the Harvard Review and other literary journals.

Yolanda Pierce (University of Kentucky)

Presenting:"That Old Time Religion: An Afro-Christian Faith Tradition in Dunbar 's Short Stories"
Yolanda Pierce is Associate Professor of English and African American Studies and Director of Graduate Studies in English at the University of Kentucky. With degrees from Princeton and Cornell, she is the author of Hell Without Fires: Slavery, Christianity, and the Antebellum Spiritual Narrative, and numerous journal articles and book chapters on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century black literature. Her scholarly work explores the relationship between the African American literary tradition and Religious Studies, concentrating on the intersections of religion, literature, and race in early American culture.

Lauri Ramey (California State University, Los Angeles)

Presenting: "The Old Homestead: Home in the Spirituals and Dunbar"
Lauri Ramey was founding curator of the African American Poetry Archive at Hampton University, which houses the Camera Club sub- collection. With a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, she has published Black British Writing (with R. Victoria Arana); Every Goodbye Ain't Gone: An Anthology of Innovative Poetry by African Americans (with Aldon Lynn Nielsen); and The Heritage Series of Black Poetry 1962-1975: A Research Compendium (with Paul Breman). She is at work on a book about the spirituals as lyric poetry. Since 2004 she has been Associate Professor of Creative Writing and African American Literature and Culture at California State University, Los Angeles.

Arnold Rampersad (Stanford University)

Conference Organizer
Arnold Rampersad is Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities in the Department of English and also Senior Associate Dean for the Humanities. The author or editor of books on figures such as W.E.B. DuBois and Langston Hughes, he is finishing a biography of Ralph Ellison.

Greg Robinson (University of Quebec, Canada), Lillian Robinson (Concordia University, Canada)

Presenting:"Dunbar: A Credit to His Race?"

Greg Robinson is Associate Professor of History at l'Université du Québec A Montréal. He is the author of By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans (2001) and associate editor of the first edition and update of the Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History (1996-2001).

Lillian Robinson, a leader in the field of women's studies and feminist cultural studies, has also worked extensively on issues of canon formation. Principal of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, the women's studies program at Concordia University, Montreal, she also taught at institutions such as the University of Paris, MIT, the University of Hawa 'ii, and the University of Texas. Her six academic books include In the Canon's Mouth: Dispatches from the Culture Wars (1997) and Night Market: Sexual Cultures and the Thai Economic Miracle (1998). She is completing a book,"Mixed Company: Mythologies of Interracial Rape."

Wilfred Samuels (University of Utah)

Moderator
Wilfred D. Samuels is Associate Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah, where he teaches courses on American and African American literature. He received his B.A. in English from the University of California, Riverside, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies and African American Studies at the University of Iowa. His area of expertise is twentieth-century African American fiction, especially Toni Morrison and John Edgar Wideman, although his lifelong research interest is The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African Written by Himself (1789). He is lead editor of Encyclopedia of African American Literature (2007) and founding President of the African American Literature and Culture Society.

Ray Sapirstein (Jocelyn Lee Photography, NYC)

Presenting:"Picturing Dunbar 's Lyrics: The Poet 's Collaboration with the Hampton Institute Camera Club"
Ray Sapirstein received his Ph. D. in American Studies in 2005 from the University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation,"Out from Behind the Mask: the Illustrated Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Photography at Hampton Institute," is the first major study of several hundred photographs depicting African American life and culture in rural Virginia at the turn of the century. Made by the predominantly white members of the Hampton Institute Camera Club, the images were widely viewed in six popular books of dialect poetry by Dunbar. Ray contributed essays on the illustrations to the Oxford Mark Twain series of facsimile reprints, and has taught cultural history and visual culture at the University of Texas at Austin and the Maine College of Art. A freelance writer, he is also co-principal of a commercial photography business in New York.

Reynolds Scott-Childress (SUNY, New Paltz)

Presenting:"Dunbar and the Project of Cultural Reconstruction"
Reynolds J. Scott-Childress is Assistant Professor of History at the State University of New York at New Paltz. The editor of Race and the Production of Modern American Nationalism, Scott-Childress is currently at work on a book titled"Cultural Reconstruction: The Northern Production of Southern Culture," which examines the ways in which late nineteenth-century Northern magazine editors and intellectuals largely determined the possibilities and limits of figures, icons, and myths traditionally thought to be the pure expression of Southern authors and artists.

Amritjit Singh (Rhode Island University)

Moderator
Amritjit Singh, currently the Langston Hughes Visiting Professor at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, is a professor of English and Director of African & African American Studies at Rhode Island College. A series editor for the MELA (Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the Americas) Series, he has authored or co-edited over a dozen books. These include The Novels of the Harlem Renaissance (1976); Memory and Cultural Politics (1996); Postcolonial Theory and the United States: Race, Ethnicity, Literature (2000); and The Collected Writings of Wallace Thurman (2003). In 2004, he also co-edited a special number of MELUS. In 2002, he was a Fulbright Professor at the Freie University, Berlin. Past President of MELUS (1994-97), he is currently poetry editor of South Asian Review. His poems and translations from Punjabi poetry have appeared in Toronto Review and other journals.

James Smethurst (UMass Amherst)

Presenting: Dunbar and Turn of the Century African American Dualism"
James Smethurst teaches in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro- American Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He is the author of The New Red Negro: The Literary Left and African American Poetry, 1930-1946 (1999) and The Black Arts Movement: Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s (2005), and co-editor of Left of the Color Line: Race, Radicalism and Twentieth-Century Literature of the United States (2003). Co-editor also of a forthcoming collection of essays on radicalism in the South after Reconstruction, he is working on a study of African American literature and culture in the United States from 1877 to 1918.

Jennifer Terry (University of Durham, U.K.)

Presenting: " 'When Dey 'Listed Colored Soldiers ': Dunbar 's Poetic Engagement with the Civil War and Violence"
ennifer Terry is Lecturer in English at the University of Durham, UK. Her research interests lie in American literature, writings of the black diaspora, and postcolonial studies. Her previous research has focused on the novels of Toni Morrison. Dr. Terry is currently developing a comparative study of African American, Caribbean, and black British fiction.

Nicole Waligora-Davis (Cornell University)

Presenting:"Lynchings: Fictions of Law, Evidence, and Science in the writings of Dunbar"
Assistant Professor of English at Cornell, Nicole Waligora-Davis specializes in American and African American cultural criticism, race and gender theory, and literature and law. An associate editor of Remembering Jim Crow (2001), she has published articles in such journals as Forum for Modern Language Studies. She is currently working on two manuscript projects:"Sanctuary: Race, Asylum and 'the American Empire, '" and"The Murder Book: Race, Forensics, and Criminal Law."

Kenneth Warren (University of Chicago)

Presenting: "Some men are born great, some achieve greatness and others lived during the reconstruction period": Dunbar and the Character of History"
Kenneth Warren teaches in the Department of English at the University of Chicago, where he is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor. He is the author of So Black and Blue: Ralph Ellison and the Occasion of Criticism (2003) and Black and White Strangers: Race and American Literary Realism (1993).

Cary Wintz (Texas Southern University)

Moderator
Cary D. Wintz is Professor of History at Texas Southern University. He is the author, co-author, or editor of a number of works on the Harlem Renaissance and twentieth-century African American history: Black Culture and the Harlem Renaissance (1988); African American Political Thought, 1890-1930 (1996); The Harlem Renaissance, 1920- 1940, 7 Vols. (1996); and Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance, 2 Vols. (2004). He is working on three new projects on the Harlem Renaissance and African American history.

Loretta Woodard (Marygrove College)

Moderator
Loretta G. Woodard, Associate Professor of English at Marygrove College, is also President of the African American Literature and Culture Society. Her essays and reviews have appeared in a number of scholarly journals and other publications, including African American Review; Obsidian II and III; Journal of African American History African American Authors, 1745-1945; Contemporary African American Novelists; Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature; and Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature. Her major current project is on twentieth-century African American women writers.

Richard Yarborough (University of California at Los Angeles)

Conference Organizer
Richard Yarborough is Associate Professor of English and Faculty Research Associate with the Ralph Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. He has lectured and published on African American literature and on race in U. S. popular culture, with essays on writers such as Frederick Douglass, William Attaway, Charles W. Chesnutt, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Richard Wright. Associate General Editor of the Heath Anthology of American Literature, he is also editor of the University Press of New England's Library of Black Literature reprint series.