Linda Selzer is Associate Professor of English at Penn State. Her primary field is African American literature and culture. She is author of Charles Johnson in Context (University of Massachusetts Press 2009). Her analysis of Johnson’s fiction in relation to the larger social projects of black philosophers, black Buddhists, and ”new” black public intellectuals clarifies Johnson’s aesthetic project while providing new research on groups that are important cultural developments in their own rights. Her book has been described by the editors of the American Philosophical Association’s Philosophy and the Black Experience, as “groundbreaking,” “philosophically astute,” and “historically rich.” Selzer is also co-editor, with Lovalerie King, of New Essays on the African American Novel: From Hurston and Ellison to Morrison and Whitehead (Palgrave 2008). There she considers the complex influences of the vernacular on the development of the African American novel and argues that the vernacular is best understood not in terms of fixed practices, but as a historically hybrid and fluid cultural achievement. Selzer is also author of a number of articles on American and African American literature in scholarly collections and in journals such as African American Review, Callaloo, the Massachusetts Review, the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, MELUS, and the Rhetoric Review. In 2003, she received the Darwin T. Turner Award for the best essay of the year in African American Review. Selzer is currently working on a book on twenty-first century African American literature.
Areas of Specialization
- American Literature Before 1900
- American Literature After 1900
- 19th century literature, contemporary literature
- African American Literature and Language
- Contemporary African American literature, neo slave narrative, philosophical fiction
- Contemporary Literature
- Narrative experimentation,race, and ethnicity. Literature and the digital age.
- Race and Ethnicity Studies
- Critical race theory, theories of cosmopolitanism, intertextuality
- Visual Culture
Political cartoons and artists’ representations of race