Participant Profile

Erica Richardson

Erica Richardson is a PhD Candidate at Columbia University in the department of English and Comparative literature studying African American literature. Her dissertation project currently titled “The Engagement between Sociology and the Literary during the Age of the New Negro: Envisioning Black Possibility” argues that black intellectuals and authors from the 1890s through the 1930s used discursive strategies from social science and literary discourse in order to envision black possibility and futurity in an era of racial violence and constraint. In her dissertation, she suggests that such strategies produce black possibility and futurity because they ultimately represent and theorize black gender formation and sexuality as constituent to black citizenship and national identity or belonging while responding to the frequent pathologization of the Negro as a social problem. Her interests include intersectional theories of gender, race, and sexuality, black women’s writing, and the literary and cultural production of Harlem Renaissance. This past spring she taught a survey course on “Black Women’s Writing” at Brooklyn College and looks forward to teaching a survey course on African American plays in 20thand 21st century entitled “Black Drama” fall 2016 at Columbia University. She has also taught University Writing at Columbia University (Academic years 2013-2014, 2014-2015) and Academic Composition at the W.E.B Du Bois Institute for high school students (Summer 2014, 2015, and 2016).

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