An Encyclopedia of
African American Literature
UPDATE: The complete manuscript for the encyclopedia was submitted to the publishers
at the end of December, 2004, so all entries have been assigned and completed. The
encyclopedia is due to be published toward the end of 2005.
The editors of An Encyclopedia of African American Literature, currently under contract with Greenwood Press, seek authors for entries on all aspects of African American literature. Entries in the five-volume Encyclopedia will address authors, movements, and genres as well as the historical and cultural contexts of African American literature and its critical reception and interpretation.
The Encyclopedia will reach back not just to 1746, when Lucy Terry became the first African American to write a poem, but also to elements of African culture that would influence African American literature - elements of mythology and esthetics, history and spirituality. Chronologically, the Encyclopedia will conclude with African American literature today, as it is being created in the twenty-first century by Terry McMillan, Wanda Coleman, Kevin Powell, Sapphire, and numerous others.
Topically, the Encyclopedia will represent major and minor writers, works, literary movements, themes, genres, forms, manifestos, and motifs. It will identify connections between literature and other forms of art, including painting, music, folklore, and fashion. It will represent relationships between literature and other elements of culture including religion and spirituality, politics and the law, economics, sexuality and gender, psychology and education, language, and geography.
The Encyclopedia will describe theoretical approaches to African American literature, important periodicals, publishers, societies, and organizations, and significant historical events, patrons, and archives that have helped to shape the African American literary tradition.
Entries, signed by the authors, will conclude with selected bibliographies. The Encyclopedia will be an accessible, clear, thorough, and accurate reference resource for high school students and their teachers, undergraduate college students and their professors, librarians at secondary schools, colleges, and universities in North America, Europe, and Asia, and avid readers of African American literature.
Information for Contributors
For further information, please contact the editors, Hans Ostrom (firstname.lastname@example.org) and David Macey (email@example.com). Detailed Guidelines for Contributors are obtainable online, as is a list of available entries.
Houston Baker, Duke University
Emily Bernard, University of Vermont
Michele Birnbaum-Elam, Stanford University
Dolan Hubbard, Morgan State University
Sheila Smith McKoy, North Carolina State University
University of Puget Sound
J. David Macey
University of Central Oklahoma
An Encyclopedia of African American Literature
Department of English
University of Puget Sound
1500 N. Warner St., CMB 1045
Tacoma, WA 98416-1045
Copyright © 2008 Last update: Monday, January 09, 2006
Hans A. Ostrom