Gene Andrew Jarrett on Paul Laurence Dunbar
Friday, October 7, 2022
Open to the Public
In conversation with Kerri Greenidge
A major poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) was one of the first African American writers to garner international recognition in the wake of emancipation. In this definitive biography, the first full-scale life of Dunbar in half a century, Gene Andrew Jarrett offers a revelatory account of a writer whose Gilded Age celebrity as the "poet laureate of his race" hid the private struggles of a man who, in the words of his famous poem, felt like a "caged bird" that sings.
Gene Andrew Jarrett is Dean of the Faculty and William S. Tod Professor of English at Princeton University. He is the author of Representing the Race: A New Political History of African American Literature and Deans and Truants: Race and Realism in African American Literature. Both Representing the Race and Deans and Truants have spawned essays published in such leading journals as PMLA, American Literary History, Early American Literature, NOVEL, and African American Review, among others. He is the editor of eight books of African American literature and literary criticism, among them The Wiley-Blackwell Anthology of African American Literature, a comprehensive collection of literature authored by New World Africans and African Americans from the eighteenth century until the present. In 2014 he became founding Editor-in-Chief of the African American Studies module of Oxford Bibliographies Online published by Oxford University Press.
Kerri Greenidge, Mellon Assistant Professor in the Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora at Tufts University, is the author of Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter, which won the Mark Lynton Prize in History, the Massachusetts Book Award, the J. Anthony Lukas Award, the Sperber Award from Fordham University, and the Peter J. Gomes Book Prize from the Massachusetts Historical Society. Greenidge has a doctorate in American Studies from Boston University. Her writings have appeared in the Massachusetts Historical Review, the Radical History Review, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, and the Guardian.