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About

In 2009, I retired from the English Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where, as the J. Carlyle Sitterson Distinguished Professor, I taught courses in African American literature and folklore over a period of 27 years. I am truly blessed with the number of fantastic students I encountered at Chapel Hill, most of whom embarked upon careers in a variety of disciplines and many of whom hold professorships and chaired professors at universities throughout the country as well as abroad. I also had the privilege of directing an Honors Study Abroad program that enabled nineteen students to study in Cape Town, South Africa during the fall semester of 2006. I was terrifically excited in 2014 when UNC created the “Trudier Harris Distinguished Professorship.”

After leaving UNC and after becoming incredibly bored with retirement, I joined the faculty at the University of Alabama, where I currently serve as University Distinguished Research Professor of English. In 2018, I received the SEC Faculty Achievement Award for the University of Alabama (“Professor of the Year”) as well as the Clarence E. Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing (my memoir, Summer Snow: Reflections from a Black Daughter of the South, was a key factor in that Award). In 2021, I was honored when the Black Faculty and Staff Association at the University of Alabama established the “Dr. Trudier Harris Intercollegiate Black History Scholar Bowl.” The inaugural competition, among five universities in Alabama, was held in February of 2021.

For all the scholarly endeavors, I remain an avid sports fan. I continue to follow Carolina basketball even as I bask in the many football championships of the University of Alabama. Roll Tide!

Degrees

1969, BA English, Stillman College, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

1972, MA English, The Ohio State University, Columbus

1973, PhD English, The Ohio State University, Columbus

Honorary Degree, The College of William and Mary—presented at the 325<sup>th</sup> Anniversary Charter Day ceremonies, 9 February 2018

Honorary Degree from Stillman College, Tuscaloosa, Alabama (2010)

Publications

  • From Mammies to Militants: Domestics in Black American Literature (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1982)
  •  Exorcising Blackness: Historical and Literary Lynching and Burning Rituals (Bloomington: Indiana University, 1984)
  • Black Women in the Fiction of James Baldwin (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1985)
  • Fiction and Folklore: The Novels of Toni Morrison (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1991)
  • The Scary Mason-Dixon Line: African American Writers and the South (Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2009)
  • Martin Luther King Jr., Heroism, and African American Literature  (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2014).

Awards

  • UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching (2005)
  • William C. Friday/Class of 1986 Award for Excellence in Teaching (2000)
  • National Humanities Center Fellowship for 2018-2019
  • Research and Study Leave at UNC for Spring of 2005
  • Institute for the Arts and Humanities (IAH) Fellowship at UNC (Fall, 2002)
  • Institute for the Arts and Humanities (IAH) Fellowship to participate in a Leadership Seminar (Spring, 2002)