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Anti-Music: Jazz and Racial Blackness in German Thought Between the Wars

Examines how African American jazz music was received in Germany both as a racial and cultural threat and as a partner in promoting the rise of Nazi totalitarian cultural politics. Anti-Music examines the critical, literary, and political responses to African American jazz music in interwar Germany. During this time, jazz was the subject of overt […]


Graduate Seminar Chronicles Frederick Douglass’s Time in Maryland

Before Frederick Douglass became a world-famous abolitionist, orator, and writer, he worked as a slave on plantations on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and in Baltimore shipyards. Students in the Prof. Lawrence Jackson’s graduate English seminar “Mapping Frederick Douglass” researched and visited regional sites of significance in the young slave’s life, plotting the locations on digital maps […]


Lawrence Jackson’s Chester B. Himes Receives Glowing New York Times Review

Chester Himes book cover

In the book review, the New York Times declares Bloomberg Distinguished Professor Lawrence Jackson’s research “unimpeachable.” Chester B. Himes: A Biography is “neatly written and accessible, without cheap tricks to build suspense or sway readers’ opinions.”


The English Department Welcomes Prof. Christopher Cannon

The English department is delighted to welcome Bloomberg Distinguished Professor Christopher Cannon to Johns Hopkins. Christopher Cannon works on medieval literature and, in particular, the emergence of ‘English literature’ as a meaningful category. He has traced that emergence conceptually (in the intellectual contexts in which it developed), philologically (in the history of English) and, comparatively […]


Chester B. Himes: A Biography

The definitive biography of the groundbreaking African American author who had an extraordinary legacy on black writers globally. Chester B. Himes has been called “one of the towering figures of the black literary tradition” (Henry Louis Gates Jr.), “the best writer of mayhem yarns since Raymond Chandler” (San Francisco Chronicle), and “a quirky American genius” […]


Prof. Thompson Discusses New Book on Kafka and Blackness

The latest issue of the Johns Hopkins Magazine features an interview with Professor Mark Thompson about his new book, Kafka’s Blues: Figurations of Racial Blackness in the Construction of an Aesthetic (Northwestern University Press, 2016).


Poetry Book by Prof. Chris Nealon in Second Printing

Professor Chris Nealon’s Heteronomy is built out of five long poems, including The Dial. Together they form an overlapping set of mediations on love and friendship and political life.


The English Department Welcomes Prof. Nadia Nurhussein

The English Department is delighted to welcome our new colleague, Associate Professor Nadia Nurhussein. Professor Nurhussein joins us from the English Department at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where she taught for several years after receiving her PhD. From UC Berkeley. She will also be teaching in the Center for Africana Studies. Professor Nurhussein’s first […]


New Book by Prof. Jesse Rosenthal

Good Form: The Ethical Experience of the Victorian Novel argues that Victorian readers associated the feeling of narrative form—of being pulled forward to a satisfying conclusion—with inner moral experience.


Good Form: The Ethical Experience of the Victorian Novel

Good Form: The Ethical Experience of the Victorian Novel argues that Victorian readers associated the feeling of narrative form—of being pulled forward to a satisfying conclusion—with inner moral experience. Reclaiming the work of a generation of Victorian “intuitionist” philosophers who insisted that true morality consisted in being able to feel or intuit the morally good, […]