Associate Professor Publishes Pedagogical Essay on “Black Realism Matters”

In a recent pedagogical essay in American Realism & Naturalism 53.2 (Winter 2021), titled “Black Realism Matters; or, A Syllabus is Still a Terrible Thing to Waste,” Assoc. Prof. Kathryn Wichelns argues that the movement-and-era boundaries that delimit many American literature courses function as a form of structural racism, as African American writing often does not conform to traditional, white periodizations. Dr. Wichelns suggests that centering Black writing in American literature courses–and perhaps particularly those courses focused on the late nineteenth century–is necessary to helping students understand the ways that ideas about race and racialization inform US writing and cultural production, regardless of authorship.