African American and Multicultural Studies

The graduate faculty in African American and Multicultural Studies conduct research and teaching focused on the literature, culture, and music of people of color in the United States. Our particular strengths are in African American and Native American Studies.  Our areas of specialization within African American Studies include slavery and abolition, the Post-Bellum, Pre-Harlem era, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Chicago Renaissance, along with the study of performances of race and gender, African American and black feminist criticism and theory, contemporary African American prose and poetry, and the craft of writing. Our areas of specialization within Native American Studies include Native American Renaissance, Contemporary Native literatures of North America, Native film, American Indian Literary Nationalism, Native women writers, and the relationship between Native and Chicano/a cultures at the U.S./Mexico border.  Faculty in this area also hold joint appointments or affiliations with a variety of programs at the University of Georgia, including the Institute for African American Studies, the Institute of Native American Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute, the Institute for Women's Studies, and the Creative Writing Program. 

Graduate students in African American and Multicultural Studies can earn additional certificates in Women’s Studies and Native American Studies.  Students participate in a variety of opportunities to conduct research outside of the classroom, share their writing, and join networks of scholars and students across disciplines. At the Langston Hughes Review, students serve as editorial assistants and manuscript reviewers, and they have published revised conference and seminar papers for publication in this journal. Graduate students in the area can work in unpaid Research Assistantships to develop instructional components of the Civil Rights Digital Library Initiative, an online project that features archival footage from the University's WALB and WSB Newsfilm Collections. Research Assistants for the CRDL have published essays on African American literature, film, and culture for The New Georgia Encyclopedia and in reference volumes for national presses.  Additionally, graduate students have helped organize and/or participated in recent events such as New Voices in American Literature: A Multicultural Symposium (2007), Native American Literary Nationalism Conference (2007), Black Poets Lean South: A Cave Canem Symposium (2008), Native American & Indigenous Studies Association (2008), and Beyond the Movement: Global and Contemporary Freedom Struggles (2009).

Faculty in the area also administer two list-serves - ASAIL, the national list for the Association of the Study of American Indian Literature, and MSIS-L, a regional list for Multicultural Studies scholars - which both provide forums where our students can ask research questions, get assistance with problems in the classroom, stay abreast of current debates and publications, and find calls for papers for conferences and publications. A resource page for graduate students working in Native American literature has also been assembled:  NA Grad Links 

The University Libraries contain many special collections in African American and Multicultural American Studies. The Richard B. Russell Library houses photographs, interview transcripts, documentary films, and other archival materials of the Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies. The Digital Library of Georgia of Georgia includes historic African American newspapers and books, blues and vaudeville selections from African American theater, southeastern Native American documents, including a digitized, searchable version of the Cherokee Phoenix, and other relevant databases.In addition to news film of the civil rights era, the Walter J. Brown Media Archives contains amateur movies, Peabody Award-winning documentary programs, and television shows featuring topics in African American and Native American Studies. Finally, we provide access to such electronic resources as African American Biographical Databases, 19th-Century African American Newspapers, African American Poetry, Ethnic Newswatch, and the Native American Studies Subject Guide.