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Volume 3, Number 2, Winter 2005 Monica L. Miller, Guest Editor
Jumpin' at the Sun: Reassessing the
Life and Work of Zora Neale Hurston
About this Issue
About the Contributors

Issue 3.2 Homepage

About the Contributors

Esinam Bediako is a senior English major in the Creative Writing Program at Columbia University. A recipient of the Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, she is conducting research on the advent of Ghanaian print culture. After graduation, she hopes to attend grad school and earn her MFA in creative writing.

Valerie Boyd is the author of Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston (Scribner 2003). She is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Georgia and the former arts editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Her articles, essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including Step Into a World: A Global Anthology of the New Black Literature, Ms. magazine, The Oxford American, Book magazine, The Washington Post, The New Crisis, Creative Nonfiction and African American Review. For her work on Wrapped in Rainbows, Boyd received the 2004 Georgia Author of the Year Award in nonfiction, an American Library Association Notable Book Award and the 2003 Southern Book Award for best nonfiction of the year.

Peter A. Campbell is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at Penn State Berks-Lehigh Valley College. He is currently researching contemporary adaptations of Greek tragedies, and has recently written and directed an adaptation of Ajax and a performance piece entitled The Cassandra Project. Other recent directing credits include the New York premieres of Sarah Kane's Phaedra's Love and Suzan-Lori Parks' Devotees in the Garden of Love. He is the Literary Manager of the Laboratory for International Theatre Exchange and the Chekhov Now Festival in New York City.

Elvita Dominique was born in Haiti and raised in Stamford, CT. She graduated from Barnard in 2003 and is currently a second year student at Harvard Law School.

Ann duCille teaches English and African American Studies at Wesleyan University, where she is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of the Humanities. She is the author of Skin Trade and The Coupling Convention: Sex, Text, and Tradition in Black Women's Fiction, as well as numerous essays on race, popular culture, and black feminist theory.

Danielle Evans graduated from Columbia in 2004, with majors in Anthropology and African-American Studies. She is currently pursuing an MFA in fiction at the University of Iowa.

Sheena Gordon, originally from Washington, DC, is a senior at Barnard College, majoring in Economics. She has served as vice-president of the Barnard Organization of Souls Sisters and co-chair of the 2004 Black Women's Health Symposium. She is also a Residential Assistant and Barnard Student Admissions Representative. Sheena enjoys traveling and archery and plans to pursue a career in international marketing.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a first year student in the Duke English Department. Alexis is currently co-facilitating a workshop called Love Circles with Durham elementary schoolers and workshop called Choosing Sides with gang members in Durham who have been expelled from DPS. She also serves on the National Young Women of Color Council (dedicated to awareness, empowerment, prevention and treatment of HIV) and the planning committee of the International Black Youth Summit. Alexis has also recently published a coloring book called "emergency" as an exercise in productive disregard for copyright law.

David J. Johns is a 2004 graduate of Columbia College, with degrees in African American Studies and English. He was a Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellow and Kluge Fellow and very active as both a performer and activist on campus, especially with the group Concerned Students of Color. Currently, he is a kindergarten teacher at The School at Columbia and taking classes at Teacher's College.

Carla Kaplan is the author of the award-winning volume, Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters and the editor of Every Tongue Got to Confess: Negro Folk-Tales from the Gulf States. Professor Kaplan teaches English, Gender Studies, and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. She is the author of numerous publications in American literature, African American Studies, The Harlem Renaisssance and the 20's, and Gender Studies. Her other books include The Erotics of Talk: Women's Writing and Feminist Paradigms, Dark Symphony and Other Works by Elizabeth Laura Adams, and a Norton Critical Edition of Nella Larsen's Harlem Renaissance novel, Passing.

Leah King is a 2004 graduate of Barnard College, where she designed her own major in African American music. Leah is currently traveling the world.

Anthea Kraut is Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of California, Riverside. Her research interests include the interconnections between American performance and cultural history and the raced and gendered dancing body. Her current book-length project, Choreographing Authenticity: Zora Neale Hurston and the Staging of Black Folk Dance, recovers the history of Hurston's theatrical concerts and traces the influence of her folk choreography throughout the 1930s.

David Krasner is Director of Undergraduate Theatre Studies at Yale University. His books include: A Beautiful Pageant: African American Theatre, Drama and Performance in the Harlem Renaissance, 1910-1920; Method Acting Reconsidered: Theory, Practice, Future; and Resistance, Parody, and Double Consciousness in African American Theatre, 1895-1910. He is currently working on the next volume on African American theatre history, which will cover the years 1927 to 1947.

Bendita C. Malakia, hailing from Cicero, NY, is a February 2005 graduate of Barnard College. A Political Science major, Bendita was involved with BOSS, Black Women's Health Symposium, the Columbia University Gospel Choir, Double Discovery Center, Liberty Partership Program, the Office for Multicultural Affairs, McAc, and the Barnard Liaisons of the Columbia University Concerned Students of Color.

Monica L. Miller is an Assistant Professor of English at Barnard College, where she teaches African American and American literature and cultural studies. Her research interests include the literary and visual representation of race, as well as performance, gender and sexuality studies. On academic leave for 2004-05, she is currently a Fellow at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and also a Andrew W. Mellon Career Enhancement Fellow. She is completing a manuscript titled Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism in the Atlantic Diaspora and is the author of articles on W.E.B. Du Bois and dandyism in Callaloo and a chapter on the dandy and modernist aesthetics forthcoming in an edited volume titled Bad Modernisms.

Marlysha Myrthil '04 grew up with a passion for reading and a zealous pursuit of knowledge, which allows her to appreciate the moving wisdom exemplified by Zora Neale Hurston's life and work. Ms. Myrthil has a combined degree in Political Science and Human Rights Studies from Barnard, and she is now completing her first year of study at Notre Dame Law School. The Brooklyn native is proud to be part of the tradition of strong Barnard women, who like Hurston, have overturned life's obstacles with the power of ambition.

Alice Walker is the author of such classics as In Search of Our Mother's Gardens; The Color Purple, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize; The Temple of My Familiar; and Possessing the Secret of Joy. She also penned the landmark 1975 essay, "In Search of Zora Neale Hurston," which is often considered the impetus for a serious revival in Hurston studies.

Cheryl A. Wall, Professor of English at Rutgers University, is the author of Worrying the Line: Black Women Writers, Lineage, and Literary Tradition (2005) and Women of the Harlem Renaissance (1995). She edited two volumes of Hurston's writings for the Library of America as well as Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Casebook.

Alexandria Wright is a senior at Barnard majoring in American Studies and minoring in Philosphy. She plans to get her PhD and become a professor of either Women's Studies or African-American Studies.

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S&F Online - Issue 3.2, Jumpin' at the Sun: Reassessing the Life and Work of Zora Neale Hurston
Monica L. Miller, Guest Editor - ©2005.