My scholarship and teaching focuses on American and African American literature from the late nineteenth century through the middle of the twentieth century. I am particularly interested in the way that debates about literary form and genre articulate with discussions of political and social change. My two books, Black and White Strangers: Race and American Literary Realism
(Chicago, 1993) and So Black and Blue: Ralph Ellison and the Occasion of Criticism
(Chicago, 2003), explore how various understandings of black/white racial difference have affected, and continue to affect, the way that American authors write about and pass critical judgment on American literature.