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Associate Professor / W.E.B. Du Bois-Mellon Fellow / Johnson Fellow

Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, Washington University in Saint Louis, 2001

M.A. in Comparative Literature, Washington University in Saint Louis, 1996

M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration, Ohio University, 1992

B.A. in French Literature and Language, Ohio University, 1987

Bio

Rebecka Rutledge Fisher is an associate professor of African American literature, Black critical theory, and comparative literature in the department of English and comparative literature at UNC-Chapel Hill. She was selected as the Fall 2020 Johnson Fellow at UNC’s Institute for Arts and Humanities, and as a 2020-2021 Du Bois-Mellon Fellow at U Mass’s W.E.B. Du Bois Center. She is presently finalizing a book-length study, Understanding Natasha Trethewey, forthcoming in 2021 from the University of South Carolina Press. Her Johnson and Du Bois-Mellon funded book project is titled The Thinker as Poet: The Poetry and Poetics of W.E.B. Du Bois. Her first book, Habitations of the Veil: Metaphor and the Poetics of Black Being in African American Literature, was published by SUNY in 2014.


Publications:

  • The Thinker as Poet: The Poetry and Poetics of W.E.B. Du Bois. Book project funded by a Mellon Fellowship (2020-2021) and a Johnson Fellowship (Fall 2020). In progress.
  • Understanding Natasha Trethewey. University of South Carolina Press, Contemporary American Writers Series. Forthcoming in 2021.
  • 12 Years a Slave and Other Slave Narratives. Introduction. Fall River Press, 2015.
  • Habitations of the Veil: Metaphor and the Poetics of Black Being in African American Literature. Philosophy and Race Series. SUNY Press, May 2014.
  • Retrieving the Human: Reading Paul Gilroy. Eds. Rebecka Rutledge Fisher and Jay Garcia. With a new essay by Paul Gilroy and a critical introduction by the editors. Philosophy and Race Series. SUNY Press, October 2014.
  • The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself. Text selected, introduced, and annotated by Rebecka Rutledge Fisher. New York: Barnes & Noble Publishing, December 2005.

Awards

  • Du Bois-Mellon Fellow, W.E.B. Du Bois Center, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 2020- 2021.
  • Johnson Fellow, Institute for the Arts and Humanities, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Fall 2020
  • University Research Council Grant, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Office of Research Development, Spring 2018
  • Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Fall 2011
  • Residential Fellowship, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Summer 2010
  • Spray-Randleigh Award, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Spring 2007
  • Fellowship, School of Criticism and Theory, Cornell University, Summer 2000
  • Chancellor’s Fellow in Comparative Literature, Washington University in St. Louis, 1994-2001

Courses Taught:

UNDERGRADUATE

  • Comparative Literature 132: “Identity in the African Diaspora”
  • Comparative Literature 251: “Introduction to Literary Theory”
  • English/FYS 086: “The Cities of Modernism” (First Year Seminar)
  • English 128: “Great American Authors”
  • English 129: “Literature and Cultural Diversity”
  • English 143: “Film and Culture”
  • English 261: “Introduction to Literary Criticism”
  • English 265: “#BlackLivesMatter and the New Humanism”
  • English 293: “African American Autobiography”
  • English 367: “African American Literature to 1930”
  • English 368: “African American Literature 1930 to 1970”
  • English 369: “African American Literature from 1970 to present”
  • English 472: “Major American Authors: W.E.B. Du Bois”

GRADUATE

  • English 184: “African American Fiction and Poetry: Metaphor” (Graduate and Advanced Undergraduate Seminar)
  • English 785: Graduate Proseminar in African American Literature. Co-taught with Professor Trudier Harris
  • English 861: “Poetics and Aesthetics in African American Literature.”
  • English 868: “Race and Philosophy in African American Literature”
  • English 871: “The Third Space of the Text”
  • English 872: “Being and Race in African American Literature”
  • English 990: “Black Queer Theory”