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
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
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
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
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