Houston A BakerHouston A Baker  
Susan Fox Beischer & George D. Beischer Arts & Sciences Professor of English and Professor of African and African American Studies

Email Address: houston.a.baker@vanderbilt.edu


Ph.D., University of California at Los Angeles

One year of doctoral work, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland

M.A., University of California at Los Angeles

B.A., Howard University, Washington, DC (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa)

African American Literature
Houston Baker has taught at Yale, the University of Virginia, and the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the Duke English Department faculty in 1999. Commencing his career as a scholar of British Victorian literature, he made a career shift to the study and scholarship of Afro-American Literature and Culture during the early 1970s. He is the author of articles, essays, and reviews in Victorian, American, and Afro-American literatures and cultures. He has authored a number of critical and scholarly books and studies of Afro-American literature and culture, including: Blues, Ideology and Afro-American Literature; Workings of the Sprit: The Poetics of Afro-American Women's Writing; Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance; Black Studies, Rap and the Academy. He has held visiting posts and presented visiting lectures at a number of universities in the United States and abroad. In 1992, he served as President of the Modern Language Association, the most influential learned society in the humanities. He is currently Editor of the journal American Literature, founded at Duke in 1929, and edited a Special Issue entitled "Unsettling Blackness." His current projects include: a study of Afro- Modernism and the legacy of Booker T. Washington and Tuskegee Institute; a memoir in progress; a book devoted to modernism and the responsibilities of black intellectuals in the United States. His most recent books include: Critical Memory (University of Georgia Press) and Turning South Again: Rethinking Modernism/Rereading Booker T. (Duke University), and a volume of poetry titled Passing Over .

Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1.  I Don't Hate the South: Reflections on Faulkner, Family, and the South. Oxford University Press, Fall, 2005. (manuscript submitted)
  2. Houston A. Baker, Jr.. The Betrayal of the Black Intellectuals: Afro-American Public Intellectuals in the Post-Civil Rights Era. Columbia University Press, Fall, 2005. (Manuscript due to editor by summer 2006)
  3. Houston A. Baker, Jr., special issue editor. Erasing the Commas: RaceGenderClassSexualityRegion. American Literature  (March, 2005). [books.php3]  [abs]
  4. "Afterword." New Thoughts on the Black Arts Movement. Ed. Margo Crawford & Lisa Gail Collins. Rutgers University Press, 2005.
  5. Houston A. Baker, Jr.. "Coltrane, Peeled Oranges, Cosmopolitanism, and a Last(ing) Word on Derrida." PMLA"Forum" on Jacques Derrida, (Winter, 2004).