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For James Coleman on his Retirement:

Professor James Coleman’s illuminating scholarship, his penetrating attentiveness to the materiality and metaphor of freedom in contemporary African American literature, has made him one of our most thoughtful and influential critics in the field. He is a born teacher. Countless times, I’ve learned so much about African American writers as I sat with him in his office, surrounded by mountains of books. It has also been a privilege to serve on many doctoral committees with James; he always posed the careful questions that demanded nuanced answers, complicated reasoning from students. His attention to their drafts was always helpful and timely. He gave his all to our students, challenging them to think deeply about the material and write like professionals. Also, it is impossible to measure how much James Coleman has contributed to the life of the department. He has served on hiring, tenure and promotion, and post-tenure review committees over and over, year upon year, bringing his careful and balanced perspective to our deliberations. The Department of English & Comparative Literature owes him an enormous debt of gratitude. Finally, everyone who knows James knows that he is a man of integrity and good will, whose gentle kindness and attentiveness to issues of social justice have impacted both his students and his colleagues in significant and lasting ways. His empathetic spirit lives in us all. I am honored and proud to be his colleague and his friend.