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A leading authority on twentieth-century U.S. literary radicalism, Barbara Foley is a Distinguished Professor of English and American Studies at Rutgers-Newark. She has authored five books: Telling the Truth: The Theory and Practice of Documentary Fiction (1986); Radical Representations: Politics and Form in U.S. Proletarian Fiction, 1929-1941 (1993); Spectres of 1919: Class and Nation in the Making of the New Negro (2003); Wrestling with the Left: the Making of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man (2010); and Jean Toomer: Race, Repression, and Revolution (2014). She has published widely in the fields of Marxist theory, African-American literature, and the literature of the Left; her current book project is provisionally titled "Marxist Literary Criticism Today: An
Introduction. Prof. Foley is president of the Radical Caucus of the Modern Language Association and vice-president of the Marxist journal Science & Society, where she serves on the manuscript committee. She is also chair of the Task Force on Combating Racism of NOW-NJ.
Electronic versions of her articles are available below under "Publications."
Literature of Social Protest in the United States
Survey of American Literature, I & II
Representationsof Race in American Literature
Studies in American Authors (Advanced Methods): Richard Wright; Langston Hughes; Ralph Ellison; William Faulkner & Toni Morrison
The Novel in America, I & II
Social Class in American Literature (Honors)
The Harlem Renaissance
The Radical Traditional in American Literature
African-American Literature, I & II
Marxist Literary Theory.
Literature of the (Last) Great Depression.
The American 1920s.
The Harlem Renaissance.
The American 1930s.
The American Novel Between the Wars
Independent Studies (graduate and undergraduate)
African American Writers and the Left
The Harlem Renaissance.
Feminism and Marxism in 1930s U. S. Literature.
Marxist Theory (Graduate and Undergraduate levels)
Women and the Marxist Tradition
Writing Ridical Fiction
M.A. and Undergraduate Honors Thesis Supervision
"Race and Circassian Women: Then and Now"
“The Black Feminist Bildungsroman”
“Crime and Punishment in American Literature”
"Radical Black Writers of the 1930s"
"Motherhood in Black Women's Literature"
"Leftist Female Journalists of the 1930s"
"The Politics of John Steinbeck"
Ph.D. Thesis Supervision
Paul Heideman, "Banquo's Ghost: The Russian Revolution in New Negro Thought." American Studies, Rutgers-Newark, Thesis Director.
Shana Russell, "Literary Laborers and Real Life Radicals: Domestic Work, Sex Work, and Black Women's Revolutionary Class Consciousness." American Studies, Rutgers-Newark. Thesis Director.
Taylor Black, "Time Out of Mind: Style and the Art of Becoming:" American Studies, Rutgers-Newark.
Janessa Daniels, "Kinky by Default: Black Women's Labor, Quare Sexualities, and Erotic Flows of Power." American Studies, Rutgers-Newark.
Anna Einarsodottir, "The Concept of the Proletariat: On Proletarian Literature in the Americas." University of California-Davis
Rich Hancuff, “The New Masses and the Politics of Race.” George Washington University.
Kimberly De Fazio, “Materialist Representations of the City in Contemporary Culture.” State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Jennifer Cotter, “Feminist Theory and Cultural Critique: Class, Globalization, and Social Differences.” University of Pittsburgh.
Sondra H Guttman, "The Representation of Rape in Modernist Literature." Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
Charles Cunningham, “Middle-Class Voyeurism and Writing about the ‘Poor’ in Depression-Era America.” Carnegie Mellon University.
Marcial Gonzalez, "The Postmodern Turn in Chicano Studies." Stanford University.
Anthony Squiers, "Bertolt Brecht as Political Theorist" Western Michigan State University.
Ph.D. with Honors, University of Chicago. 1976.
M.A., University of Chicago. 1971.
B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, Magna cum Laude, Radcliffe College. 1969.
Jean Toomer: Race, Repression and Revolution. University of Illinois Press. 2014
Wrestling with the Left: The Making of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Durham: Duke University Press. 2010.
Spectres of 1919: Class and Nation in the Making of the New Negro.Urbana: University of Illinois Press. 2003. (paperback edition 2008).
Radical Representations: Politics and Form in US Proletarian Fiction, 1929-1941. Durham and London: Duke UP. 1993.
Telling the Truth: The Theory and Practice of Documentary Fiction. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell UP, 1986.
"Paths to Revolution: A Commentary on Kevin Anderson’s Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Non-Western Societies.” Co-authored with Kanishka Choudhury. Mediations. 27, 1-2, (Fall-Spring 2013-14): 411-418 www.mediationsjournal.org/articles/path-to-revolution
"Biograhpy and the Political Unconscious: Ellison, Toomer, Jameson, and the Politics of Symptomatic Reading." Biography. 36.4 (Fall 2013); 649-71.
"Left Politics and Literary History." Symposium on the Legacy of Alan Wald. Science & Society. 2014.
“The Color of Blood: John Brown, Jean Toomer, and the New Negro Movement.” African American Review 46, 2 (Summer 2013).
“Critical Credo.” In The Critical Pulse: Thirty-Six Credos by Contemporary Critics. Ed. Heather Steffen and Jeffrey Williams. New York: Columbia University Press. 2012. 115-20.
“Reading Forward to Invisible Man” (translated into Chinese). Theory, Method, Practice. Changsha: Henan University Press. 2011. 271-83.
“‘A Dramatic Picture of Woman . . . from Feudalism to Fascism’: Richard Wright’s Unpublished Novel Black Hope.” Obsidian 11, 2 (Fall-Winter 2010): 43-54.
“Proletarian Literature Today.” Reconstruction: A Journal of Contemporary Literature. 8, 3: Fall 2010. Reconstruction.eserver.org/Issues/103/contributors103.shtml#Foley.
“Rhetoric and Silence in Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father.” Cultural Logic. 2009. http://clogic.eserver.org/2009/Foley.pdf.
”Interview of Babara Foley with Shaobo Xie and Fengzhen Wang: Whither China?" Special Issue of Science & Society on China, 73,2 (April 2009): 193-207.
“The Proletarian Novel.” A Companion to the Modern American Novel 1900-1950. Ed. John T. Matthews. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 2009. 353-66.
“The Ellison Industry.” Symbolism: An International Annual of Critical Aesthetics. Ed. Rudiuger Ahrens and Klaus Stierstorfer. Volume 8. New York: AMS Press, 2008. 323-42.
“Reading Forward from the Left.” Interview with Joseph Ramsey. Special Issue on Class, Culture, and Public Intellectuals. Reconstruction. February 2008. http://reconstruction.eserver.org/081/contents081.shtml.
“Dialectics and the Left” (translated into Chinese). Journal of the Shanghai Academy for Social Sciences. [Babala Fulei], “Lun Feiduikangxing Maodun?” Heilongjiang Shehui Kexue, 2 (2007) 1-4.
“Racism Redux: David Horowitz Then and Now.” minnesota review. 67 (Fall 2006): 123-28.
“Ralph Ellison, Intertextuality, and Biographical Criticism: An Answer to Brian Roberts.” Journal of Narrative Theory 34 (Fall 2004): 229-57.
“Race, Class, and Communism: The Young Ralph Ellison and the ‘Whole Left.’” In Radical Relevance: Essays Toward a Scholarship of the “Whole Left.” Ed. Steven Rosendale and Laura Gray-Rosendale. Albany, NY: SUNY P. 2004. 31-56.
“Looking Backward, 2001-1969: Student Movements in the Era of ‘Globalization.’” In Amitava Kumar, ed., World Bank Literature. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota P. 2003. 26-39.
Interview with Barbara Foley. Ed. Shaobo Xie and Fengzhen Wang. In Dialogues on Cultural Studies: Interviews with Contemporary Critics. Calgary: University of Calgary P. 2003. 79-92.
"From Communism to Brotherhood: The Drafts of Invisible Man." In Bill V. Mullen and James A. Smethurst, eds., Left of the Color Line: Race, Radicalism and Twentieth-Century Literature of the United States. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina P. 2003. 163-82.
“Ten Propositions on the Relationship of Marxism to Working-Class Studies.” Symposium on “Marxism and Working-Class Studies,” Rethinking Marxism, 14 (Fall 2002): 28-31. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/089356902101242279.
"New Historicism, Liberalism, and the Re-Marginalization of the Left." Review Essay on Sean McCann, Gumshoe America: Hard-Boiled Crime Fiction and the Rise and Fall of New Deal Liberalism; Catherine Jurca, White Diaspora: The Suburb and the Twentieth-Century American Novel; and Michael Szalay, New Deal Liberalism: American Literature and the Invention of the Welfare State. minnesota review n.s. 55-57, Special Issue on 50s Culture (2002): 303-18.
"From Situational Dialectics to Pseudo-Dialectics: Mao, Jiang, and Capitalist Transition." Cultural Logic 5, 3 (Fall 2002). http://eserver.org/clogic/2002/foley.html
"The Politics of Post-Positivist Realism." Cultural Logic 4, 2 (2002). http://eserver.org/clogic/4-2/foley.html.
Interview with Barbara Foley. Conducted by Leo Parascondola. In Workplace: E-Journal of the MLA Graduate Student Caucus. December 2000. http://www.louisville.edu/journal/workplace/issue6/foley.html.
"From Wall Street to Astor Place: Historicizing Melville's 'Bartleby,'" American Literature 72 (March 2000): 87-116.
"Theory Into Practice: An Interview with Barbara Foley." Conducted by Richard Hancuff and Noreen O'Connor. minnesota review n.s. 50-51 (October 1999): 113-22.
"Roads Taken and Not Taken: Anticommunism, Post-Marxism, and African American Literature." Cultural Logic. Summer 1998. http://eserver.org/clogic/.
"Writing Up the Working Class: The Proletarian Novel in the U.S." SAMAR 11 (Spring-Summer 1999): 26-30.
"Ralph Ellison as Proletarian Journalist." Science & Society 62 (Winter 1998-99): 537-56.
"In the Land of Cotton: Economics and History in Jean Toomer's Cane." African American Review 32 (Summer 1998): 181-98.
Interview with Barbara Foley. Conducted by Ron Strickland. Mediations 21 (Spring 1998): 58-66.
"'Lepers in the Acropolis': Liberalism, Capitalism, and the Crisis in Academic Labor." Review Essay on Cary Nelson, Manifesto of a Tenured Radical, and Cary Nelson, ed., Will Teach for Food: Academic Labor in Crisis. Contemporary Literature 39 (Summer 1998): 317-36.
"Jean Toomer's Washington and the Politics of Class: From 'Blue Veins' to Seventh-Street Rebels." Modern Fiction Studies 42 (Summer 1996): 289-322. Winner of 1996 Margaret Church Award for best article published in MFS.
Introduction to Myra Page, Moscow Yankee. The Radical Novel in the United States Reconsidered Series. Ed. Alan Wald. Urbana and London: U of Illinois P. 1996. Pp. vii-xxvii.
"Renarrating the Thirties in the Forties and Fifties." Prospects: An Annual of American Cultural Studies. 20 (1995): 455-66.
"Jean Toomer's Sparta." American Literature 67 (December 1995): 747-775.
"What's at Stake in the Culture Wars." Review essay on Peter Shaw, Recovering American Literature; John Guillory, Cultural Capital: The Problem of Literary Canon Formation; and Gerald Graff, Beyond the Culture Wars: How Teaching the Conflicts Can Revitalize American Education. New England Quarterly 68 (September 1995): 458-79.
"Proletarianism Revised." Review essay on James D. Bloom, Left Letters: The Culture Wars of Mike Gold and Joseph Freeman; Walter Kalaidjian, American Culture Between the Wars: Revisionary Modernism and Postmodern Critique; and Michael E. Staub, Voices of Persuasion: Politics of Representation in 1930s America. minnesota review n.s. 43/44 (November 1995): 198-211.
"Wayne Booth and the Politics of Ethics." In Rhetoric and Pluralism: Legacies of Wayne Booth. Ed. Frederick J. Antczak. Columbus: Ohio SUP. 1995. Pp. 135-52.
"Generic and Doctrinal Politics in the Proletarian Bildungsroman." In Understanding Narrative. Ohio SU Series on the Theory and Interpretation of Narrative. Ed. James Phelan and Peter Rabinowitz. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio SUP, 1994. Pp. 43- 64.
"Class." Rethinking Marxism. 5 (Summer 1992): 117-28.
"Race and Class in Radical African-American Fiction of the Depression Years." Nature, Society and Thought: A Journal of Dialectical and Historical Materialism. 3, 3 (1990): 305-24.
"Subversion and Oppositionality in the Academy." College Literature, Special Edition on The Politics of Teaching Literature 17, 2/3 (1990): 64-79.
"The Politics of Poetics: Ideology and Narrative Form in Dreiser's An American Tragedy and Wright's Native Son." In Narrative Poetics: Innovations, Limits, Challenges. Ed. James Phelan. Columbus, Ohio: Papers in Comparative Studies Vol. 5. 1986-87. Pp. 55-67.
"The Politics of Deconstruction." Genre, Special Issue on Deconstruction, 17 (Spring-Summer 1984): 113-34.
"Charles Feidelson and the Deconstruction of American Literature." American Quarterly 36 (Spring 1984): 42-64.
"Fact, Fiction, Fascism: Mimesis and Testimony in Holocaust Narrative." Comparative Literature 34 (Fall 1982): 330-360.
"The Treatment of Time in The Big Money: An Examination of Ideology and Literary Form." Modern Fiction Studies, Special Issue on John Dos Passos 26 (Autumn 1980): 447-467.
"Fact, Fiction, and 'Reality.'" Contemporary Literature 20 (Summer 1979): 357-78.
"History, Fiction, and Satirical Form: The Example of Dos Passos' 1919." Genre 12 (Fall 1979): 357-378.
"From U. S. A. to Ragtime: Notes on the Forms of Historical Consciousness in Modern Fiction." American Literature 50 (March 1978): 85-105.
Editorial Perspective: "Antiracism, Internationalism, and the Communist Horizon." Forthcoming, Science & Society. 2014.
"Interracial Friendship in American Modernism." Review of Kathleen Pfeiffer, Brother Mine: The Correspondence of Jean Toomer and Waldo Frank. American Book Review 35, 1 (November/December 2013):15.
Symposium commentary, "New Directions in Scholarship on the Harlem Renaissance." Modernism/Modernity. 20,3 (September 2013): 439-41.
Review of James A. Miller, Remembering Scottsboro: The Legacy of an Infamous Trial. Forthcoming, African American Review. Spring 2011.
Review of Melanie H. L. Bush, Breaking the Code of Good Intentions: Everyday Forms of Whiteness. Science & Society 73, 4 (October 2009): 546-66.
Introduction, with Bernhard Moss. Special Issue of Science & Society on China. 73 (April 2009): 167-69.
Review of Alan Wald, Trinity of Passion: The Literary Left and the Antifascist Crusade.
Science & Society 73 (January 2009): 150-53.
Contributor, Forum on “Radical Teaching Now.” Radical Teacher 83 (2009): 21.
Review of Xiaoli Lindsey, Bold Plum: With the Guerrillas in China’s War Against Japan. Science & Society 72 (October 2008): 492-94.
Review of Anthony Hutchison, Writing the Republic: Liberalism and Morality in American Political Fiction. American Historical Review 95, 2 (September 2008): 593-94.
Review of Michel Warschawski, On the Border. Science & Society 71 (April 2007): 251-54.
Review of Max Shachtman, Race and Revolution, ed. Christopher Phelps. Science & Society 70 (July 2006): 418-21.
Foreword, The Letters of Jean Toomer, 1919-1924. Ed. Mark Whalan. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. 2006. vii-xiii.
“Reflections on Dick Ohmann as MLA Activist.” Richard Ohmann: A Retrospective. Works and Days 45/46 23 (2005): 241-44.
“Dos Passos, John.” Encyclopedia of Literature and Politics: Censorship, Revolution, and Writing. 3 vols. Westport, CT: Greenwood P. 2005. I: 208-10.
“Ellison, Ralph.” Encyclopedia of Literature and Politics: Censorship, Revolution, and Writing. 3 vols. Westport, CT: Greenwood P. 2005. I: 230-32.
“Invisible Man.” Encyclopedia of Literature and Politics: Censorship, Revolution, and Writing. 3 vols. Westport, CT: Greenwood P. 2005. II: 367-69.
“Page, Myra.” Encyclopedia of Literature and Politics: Censorship, Revolution, and Writing. 3 vols. Westport, CT: Greenwood P. 2005. II: 542-43.
“Toomer, Jean.” Encyclopedia of Literature and Politics: Censorship, Revolution, and Writing. 3 vols. Westport, CT: Greenwood P. 2005. III: 719-20.
“U.S.A. Trilogy.” Encyclopedia of Literature and Politics: Censorship, Revolution, and Writing. 3 vols. Westport, CT: Greenwood P. 2005. III: 726-28.
Review of Helen Langa, Radical Art: Printmaking and the Left in 1930s America. Science & Society 69 (October 2005): 631-33.
Reply to Steven J. Whitfield. New England Quarterly 76 (December 2003): 661-62.
Review of Alan Wald, Exiles from a Future Time: The U.S. Writer and the Left. New England Quarterly 76 (September 2003): 490-92.
Review of Class and Its Others, ed. J. K. Gibson-Graham, Stephen A. Resnick, and Richard D. Wolff; and Re/Presenting Class: Essays in Postmodern Marxism, Ed. J. K. Gibson-Graham, Stephen A. Resnick, and Richard D. Wolff. Science & Society 67 (Summer 2003): 245-48.
"Proletarian Literature." Encyclopedia of American Studies. Vol. 3. New York: Grolier, 2002. Pp. 417-419.
Review of Erin A. Smith, Hard-Boiled: Working-Class Readers and Pulp Magazines. Journal of American History. Journal ofAmerican History (December 2001): 1126-27.
Review of Bill V. Mullen, Popular Fronts: African Americans and Communism, 1936-1945. African American Review 35 (Spring 2001): 8-9.
Review of Caren Irr, The Suburb of Dissent: Cultural Politics in the United States and Canada During the 1930s. American Historical Review 105 (December 2000): 1725-26.
Review of Robert B. Jones, ed., Jean Toomer: Selected Essays and Literary Criticism. Resources for American Literary Study 25, 1 (1999): 122-23.
Review of Fredric Jameson, The Seeds of Time. Modern Philology 94 (February 1997): 422-26.
Review of Douglas Wixson, Worker-Writer in America: Jack Conroy and the Tradition of Midwestern Literary Radicalism, 1898-1990. Modern Philology 94 (November 1996): 271-75.
Review of Carla Cappetti, Writing Chicago: Modernism, Ethnography, and the Novel. Modern Philology 94 (August 1996): 129-32.
Reply to Sanford Pinsker. New England Quarterly 59 (June 1996): 320-21.
Review of Constance Coiner, Better Red: The Writing and Resistance of Tillie Olsen and Meridel Le Sueur. American Literature 68 (June 1996): 485-86.
“The Federal Writers project.” In Encyclopedia of African American History and Culture. Ed. Jack Salzman, David Lionel Smith and Cornel West. 5 vols. v. 2. Pp. 946-48.
Review of Terry A. Cooney, Balancing Acts: American Thought and Culture in the 1930s. Journal of American History 82 (March 1996): 1625-26.
"Tillie Olsen." In A Companion to American Thought. Ed. Richard Wightman Fox and James T. Kloppenberg. Oxford and Cambridge: Basil Blackwell. 1995. Pp. 509-11.
Review of Michael E. Staub, Voices of Persuasion: Politics of Representation in 1930s America. American Literature 67 (September 1995): 403.
Review of Phyllis Frus, The Politics and Poetics of Journalistic Narrative: The Timely and the Timeless. Modern Fiction Studies 41 (Summer 1995): 344-46.
Review of Dana D. Nelson, The Word in Black and White: Reading 'Race' in American Literature, 1638-1867, and James S. Leonard et al., Black Perspectives on "Huckleberry Finn". Modern Philology 92 (February 1995): 379-85.
Review of Tobin Siebers, Cold War Criticism and the Politics of Skepticism. Modern Fiction Studies 40 (Winter 1995): 446-47.
Review of Alan A. Block, Anonymous Toil: A Re-evaluation of the American Radical Novel in the Twentieth Century. Modern Fiction Studies 40 (Autumn 1994): 153-54.
Review of James Murphy, The Proletarian Moment: The Controversy Over Leftism in Literature, and Lynn Hanley, Writing War: Fiction, Gender, and Memory. Modern Fiction Studies 38 (Autumn 1992): 989-91.
Review of Paula Rabinowitz, Labor and Desire: Women's Revolutionary Fiction in Depression America. American Literature 64 (December 1992): 837-39.
Review of Naomi Jacobs, The Character of Truth: Historical Figures in Contemporary Fiction. Modern Philology 90 (November 1992): 308-12.
Review of Lawrence Schwartz, Creating Faulkner's Reputation: The Politics of Modern Literary Criticism. Novel: A Forum on Fiction 23 (Winter 1990): 218-20.
Review of Donald Pizer, Dos Passos' U. S. A.: A Critical Study. Journal of English and Germanic Philology 89 (April 1990): 266-69.
Review of Peter J. Rabinowitz, Before Reading: Narrative Conventions and the Politics of Interpretation. Novel: A Forum on Fiction 23 (Fall 1989): 92-94.
Review of Lennard J. Davis, Resisting Novels: Ideology and Fiction. Ariel 20 (1989): 189-91.
Review of Alan Wald, The New York Intellectuals: The Rise and Fall of the Anti-Stalinist Left from the 1930s to the 1980s. minnesota review n.s. 30/31 (Spring-Fall 1988): 205-208.
Review of Jonathan Arac, Postmodernism and Politics. Comparative Literature Studies 25, 2 (1988): 197-201.
Review of John Frow, Marxism and Literary History. Ariel 18 (July 1987): 86-88.
Review of Gail L. Mortimer, Faulkner's Rhetoric of Loss: A Study in Perception and Meaning. American Literature 57 (March 1985): 161-62.
Review of Lennard J. Davis, Factual Fictions: The Origins of the English Novel. Genre 17, (Winter 1984): 422-25.
Review of Lawrence Langer, Versions of Survival: The Holocaust and the Human Spirit. Comparative Literature 36 (Summer 1984): 282-84.
Review of Tony Bennett, Formalism and Marxism. Modern Philology 80 (May 1983): 443-46.
Review of Robert C. Rosen, John Dos Passos: Politics and the Writer. International Fiction Review 9, 2 (1982): 129-32.
"E. L. Doctorow." In Twentieth-Century Novelists, 3rd Ed. London and New York: Macmillan and St. Martin's P, 1982. Pp. 182-83.
Letter of response regarding 1980 PMLA article. PMLA 96 (January 1981): 106-07.
Paperback edition of Spectres of 1919: Class and Nation in the Making of the New Negro. 2008.
“The Politics of Post-Positivist Realism” (retitled “Post-Positivist Realism”).
Rpt. In Comparative Literature East and West (7 (Autumn-Winter 2005): 1-38. (Publication of the Department of Comparative Literature, Institute of Comparative Literature, Sichuan University, China)
Interview with Barbara Foley. Conducted by Rich Hancuff and Noreen O'Connor.
Rpt. in Jeffrey J. Williams, ed., Critics at Work: Interviews 1993-2003. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota P. 2004.
“Ten Propositions on the Relationship of Marxism to Working-Class Studies.”
Translated into Chinese and rpt. in Marxist Philosophical Research. Institute of Marxist Philosophy: Wuhan University, PRC. 2003. Pp. 36-38.
“Jean Toomer’s Sparta.”
Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Justin Carr. 45: 289-301. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group. 2001
“Jean Toomer’s Washington and the Politics of Class: From ‘Blue Veins’ to Seventh-Street Rebels.”
Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Justin Carr. 45: 311-25. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group. 2001.
“In the Land of Cotton: Economics and Violence in Jean Toomer’s Cane.”
Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Justin Carr. 45: 333-44. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group. 2001.
"Subversion and Oppositionality in the Academy."
Rpt. in Pedagogy Is Politics: Literary Theory and Critical Teaching. Ed. Maria-Regina Kecht. Urbana and Chicago: U of Illinois P, 1992. Pp. 70-89.
Rpt. in Margins in the Classroom: Teaching Literature. Ed. Kostas Myrsiades and Linda S. Myrsiades. Minneapolis : U of Minnesota P, 1994. Pp. 137-52.
Rpt. in Beyond the Corporate University: Culture and Pedagogy in the New Millennium. Ed. Henry A. Giroux and Kostas Myrsiades. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001. Pp. 195-212.
Telling the Truth : The Theory and Practice of Documentary Fiction.
Excerpts of Chapter One, “The Documentary Novel and the Problem of Borders.” Rpt. in Essentials of the Theory of Fiction. Ed. Patrick D. Murphy. Durham: Duke UP. Fall 1996.
"The Politics of Poetics: Ideology and Narrative Form in Dreiser's An American Tragedy and Wright's Native Son."
Rpt. in Richard Wright: Critical Perspectives Past and Present. Ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and K. A. Appiah. Amistad Literary Series. New York: Amistad. 1993. Pp. 188-199.
"The Politics of Deconstruction."
Rpt. in Rhetoric and Form: Deconstruction at Yale. Ed. Robert Con Davis and Ronald Schliefer. Norman, OK: U of Oklahoma P. 1985. Pp. 113-134.
"From U. S. A. to Ragtime: Notes on the Forms of Historical Consciousness in Modern Fiction."
Rpt. in E. L. Doctorow: Essays and Conversations. Ed. Richard Trenner. Princeton: Ontario Review Critical Series, 1983. Pp. 158-179.
Excerpted in Contemporary Literary Criticism,Vol. 18. Ed. Sharon Gunton. Detroit: Gale Research Co. 1982. Pp. 121-23.
Rpt. in The Chelsea House Library of Literary Criticism. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House. 1985.
Work in Progress
Jean Toomer and the Political Unconscious: Race, Repression and Revolution in Cane.
“Encountering Invisible Man.” Rutgers University-Newark, January 2011; Brecht Forum, New York, February 2011; Ramapo College of New Jersey, November 2010.
“Surface, Depth, and Marxist Literary Theory.” Session on “The Way We Read Now” organized by the Marxist Literary Group. MLA Convention. 2011.
Chair, Organizer, and Respondent, “Proletarian Literature: Then and Now.” MLA Convention. 2011.
“The Politics of the Political Unconscious.” Marxist Literary Group Summer Institute. June 2010.
Chair and respondent, Session on “Mommy/Daddy’s Work?” Conference on “All in the Family?” CUNY Graduate Center. March 2010.
“Sounding the Knell: Marxism, American Literature, and Pedagogy.” Radical Caucus Session on “Apocalypse Now: Pedagogy in the Current Crisis.” MLA Convention. December 2009.
“Barack Obama and the Rhetoric of Silence.” Conference on New Marxian Times. Rethinking Marxism. November 2009.
“The Color of Blood: John Brown, Jean Toomer, and the New Negro Movement.” John Brown Remembered: 150th Anniversary of the Raid on Harpers Ferry: An Academic Symposium. Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. October 2009.
“Literature Was a Weapon: Lessons from the Culture of the Last Great Depression.” Interdisciplinary Colloquium & Teach-In on the Effects of the Economic Crisis on Students and Workers: Historical Perspectives/Global Challenges. Ramapo College. April 2009.
“One Woman’s Voyage from Feudalism to Fascism”: Richard Wright’s Unpublished Novel Black Hope.” Special Session on “The Later Richard Wright.” MLA Convention. December 2008.
Respondent, “Future Projects in the Study of U.S. Literary Radicalism.” Special Session on “The Future of Literary Radicalism.” MLA Convention. December 2008.
Panel Organizer. Special Session on “The Iron Heel at 100.” MLA Convention. December 2008.
“Spectres of 1919 and current scholarship on African-American Writers and the Left.” A conversation with Professor Joshua Guild, Princeton University. November 2008.
“Ralph Ellison, Marxism, and Anti-Marxism.” Marxist Literary Group. June 2008.
Session Organizer and Chair, “Literature and Left Politics.” Session organized by Science & Society. Left Forum. March 2008.
“The ‘War on Terror’ and the War for Empire: A Marxist Analysis.” Conference on “Freedom at Risk in America.” New York University. February 2008.
“Ralph Ellison and the Making of Invisible Man.” Invited Lecture. University of Maryland, College Park. February 2008.
Session Organizer and Presenter. “Marxism and Migration in Richard Wright’s Twelve Million Black Voices.” Special Session on Richard Wright’s Chicago. MLA Convention. December 2007.
Chair and Respondent. “Teaching the Literature of Social Protest.” Session organized by the MLA Radical Caucus. MLA Convention. December 2007.
“Important Developments in Cultural and Literary Study in the United States Over the Past Thirty Years.” Keynote Address. International Conference on Literary Theories in the Past Thirty Years and the Fourth Convention of the Chinese Association for Sino-Foreign Literary Theory and Cultural Critique. Central China Normal University. . June 2007.
“New Directions in Scholarship on Ralph Ellison.” Invited Lecture. Hunan University. June 2007.
“American Literary Radicalism: Then and Now.” Invited Lecture. Hunan University. June 2007.
“The Poetry of the U.S. Left.” Invited Lecture. Hunan Normal University. June 2007.
“Putting the Left at the Center: Red/Black Writing Between the Wars.” Session on “Seeking Revolutionary Change through Culture.” Sponsored by Science and Society. Left Forum. March 2007.
“Marxism in the Classroom.” Session on “Radicalizing Students: Teaching Politically in the Time of David Horowitz.” Sponsored by the MLA Radical Caucus. Left Forum. March 2007.
“Ralph Ellison, T. S. Eliot, and the Politics of Modernism.” Special Session on the Politics of Modernism. MLA Convention. December 2006.
Respondent, “Working Class and ?”. Special Session Sponsored by the MLA Radical Caucus. MLA Convention. December 2006.
“The Radical Origins of the Harlem Renaissance.” Invited Keynote Address. Ecriture et engagement aux Etats-Unis 1918-1939. Universite de Paris 13. November 2006.
“Teaching U.S. Proletarian Literature in China.” Speaker and panel organizer, “Red Pedagogy in the Humanities.” Rethinking Marxism. University of Massachusetts-Amherst. October 2006.
Chair and Discussant, “American Democracy (Such as It Is) Under Assault as Never Before: What Can/Should the Left do About It? (Sponsored by the International Endowment for Dempcracy). Rethinking Marxism. University of Massachusetts-Amherst. October 2006.
“African American Writers and the Left.” A Reconsidered Past: New Scholarship in African American History.” New Jersey Council for the Humanities.” Monmouth University. July 2006.
“Rereading the Thirties in the Forties and Fifties: The Politics of Cold War Criticism.” Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. June 2006.
Series of Eight Lectures on U.S. Literary Radicalism Between the World Wars, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, China. June 2006.
“The New Negro: From Political Activist to Culture Hero.” Southwest China University of Science and Technology, Mianyang, China; Luoyang Normal University, Luoyang, China. June 2006.
“Women and the Left in the 1930s.” Leshan Normal University, Leshan, China. June 2006.
“American Proletarian Literature.” Henan University, Kaifeng, China. June 2006.
“Dialectics and the Left.” Conference on Alternative Modernities/Cultural Studies. Wuhan University, Wuhan, China. June 2006.
“Class, Conflict, and Modernity.” Conference on Modernity. Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. Shanghai, China. June 2006.
“Is Democracy Compatible with Capitalism?” Session Sponsored by the International Endowment for Democracy. Left Forum. March 2006.
“Academic Freedom and the Rise of the Right.” Session Sponsored by Science and Society and Historians Against the War. Left Forum. March 2006.
“Sinclair Lewis, Philip Roth, and the Spectre of American Fascism.” Speaker and Organizer, Special Session on “Marxism Now: Beyond Cultural Politics and Back to Class.” MLA Convention. December 2005.
“African Americans, Communism, and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.” Session on “Literature of the 1950s and Its Legacy: Ideology and Ethnicity.” Organized by the Division on Twentieth-Century American Literature. MLA Convention. December 2005.
“Ralph Ellison and the Critique of Political Economy.” URPE (Union for a Radical Political Economy) Summer Conference. Special Session on Literature and Political Economy. August 2005.
“Form and Politics in the Proletarian Novel.” Lecture delivered at Beijing Normal University, June 2005, Beijing China; and at Beijing Languages and Cultures University, Beijing, China. June 2005.
“The Harlem Renaissance Reconsidered.” Lecture delivered at Beijing Languages and Cultures University, Beijing China; and at Chinese Central Normal University, Wuhan, China. June 2005.
“The Radical Right: Liberal Versus Marxist Perspectives.” Conference Paper, Conference on Cultural Criticism and Cultural Studies, Wuhan, China. June 2005.
“The Meaning of ‘Urban’ in Urban Literature.” Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Rutgers-Newark Conference on Urban Literature.” April 2005.
Chair and Panel Organizer, “Fascism: Then and Now.” Session sponsored by Science and Society. Left Forum. April 2005.
Chair and Panel Organizer, “Racism and the Politics of Oil.” Session sponsored by the Alliance of Radical Academic and Intellectual Organizations. Left Forum. April 2005.
Chair and Panel Organizer, “American Fascism?” Educators to Stop the War: East Coast Regional Conference. March 2005.
“Theories of Fascism and the Literary Left in the 1930s.” Special Session sponsored by the MLA Radical Caucus on “Fascism and Literature.” MLA Convention. December 2004.
“Race, Class and Nation: The Left and the ‘Negro Question,’ 1920-1940.” Presentation to Annual Editorial Board Meeting of Science and Society, November 2004.
“Politics and Form in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.” Invited Lecture at North Carolina A & T University. October 2004.
“Race, Nation, and the Origins of the Harlem Renaissance.” Brecht Forum. April 2004.
“Imperialism versus Empire.” Conference on America and Empire. Departments of American Studies and Cultural Studies, Indiana University. April 2004.
“The Drafts of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.” Session on “Left of the Color Line.” MELUS, San Antonio, TX. March 2004.
“The University and/in the Class War.” Panel on “The University in a Time of War.” Sponsored by the Division on Sociological Approaches to Literature. MLA Convention, San Diego. December 2003.
Respondent, Session on China and Globalization, Fifth Conference on Re-Thinking Marxism. Amherst, MA. November 2003.
“Organizing in the Academy Across Disciplinary Lines.” Session Sponsored by the Alliance of Radical Academic and Intellectual Organizations, Fifth Conference on Re-Thinking Marxism. Amherst, MA. November 2003.
“The Continuing Relevance of Proletarian Literature in the 21st Century.” Conference on Marxism and the Twenty-First Century. University of Havana, Havana, Cuba. May 2003.
"Alain Locke, the Left, and the Making of The New Negro." Center for Working-Class Studies, Youngstown, Ohio. May 2003; Marxist Literary Group Summer Institute. Davis, CA. June 2003.
“The Radical Origins of the Harlem Renaissance.” Annual Paumanok Lecture, LIU-Brooklyn Campus. April 2003.
“A Critique of Pure Tolerance.” Panel on “Promoting Diversity and Tolerance on College Campuses after 9/11/01: Theory and Practice.” Sponsored by the MLA Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity and Tolerance. MLA Convention. December 2002.
"Teaching about the Politics of Oil." MLA Radical Caucus Conference on "Teaching in a Time of 'Endless War'." CUNY Graduate Center. November 2002.
Panelist, "Current Developments in Marxist Feminism: A Roundtable." Panel Sponsored by Science and Society. Socialist Scholars Conference. April 2002.
"Class, Visible and Invisible." Radical Caucus Session on "Class: Unwelcome Guest in Bourgeois Literature." MLA Convention. New York City. December 2001.
"War, Austerity and the Politics of Academic Organizing." Symposium on Academic Labor Activism. North Carolina State University. October 2001.
"Jean Toomer and Modernism." Special Exhibition on Graphics for Jean Toomer's Cane. Temple University. October 2001.
"Worker-Student Alliance, Then and Now." Brecht Forum. October 2001.
"U. S. Working-Class Studies in International Perspective." International Conference on "Marxism 2001." Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences. Kunming, China. June 2001.
"Ten Propositions on the Relation of Marxism to Working-Class Studies." Biennial Conference on Working-Class Studies. Youngstown State University. May 2001.
"It's Happening: Antiracist Activism in the Academy and the Rank-and-File Women's Movement." Biennial Conference on Working-Class Studies. Youngstown State University. May 2001.
"Race and Place in the Making of the New Negro: Culturalism and the Harlem Renaissance." Invited Lecture, Department of English, University of California at Berkeley. March 2001.
"The New Negro and the Politics of Culturalism." Critical Theory Program, University of California at Davis. March 2001.
"Making Communism Invisible: The Drafts of Invisible Man." Re-Thinking Marxism Conference. University of Massachusetts at Amherst. September 2000.
Panelist and Panel Organizer, "Marxist Pedagogy." Marxist Literary Group Summer Institute. June 2000.
"Defetishizing the 'Economic' in Marx's 'Wage-Labor and Capital.'" Marxist Literary Group Summer Institute. June 2000.
"The Anti-Communistization of Invisible Man." Marxist Theory Colloquium. New York University. April 2000.
Keynote Address, "Red Black Writers, the Project of Marxist Criticism, and the Praxis of the Marxist Scholar." Graduate Student Conference, "The Future of Those Who Make It: Revolutionary Speculations." University of Florida. March 2000.
"The New Negro and the Left." Division on Sociological Approaches to Literature Session on "Nation and Class." MLA Convention. December 1999.
"Ralph Ellison's Proletarian Short Fiction." Center for Working-Class Studies Biennial Conference. Youngstown State University. June 1999.
"The Drafts of Invisible Man." Marxist Literary Group. University of Illinois at Chicago. June 1999.
"Jean Toomer, History, and Modernism." Graduate Student Colloquium. George Washington University. Spring 1999.
"Jean Toomer and the Left." Brecht Forum. April 1999.
Panel Organizer, Division on Sociological Approaches to Literature Session on "Representing the Left." MLA Convention. December 1998.
"Ralph Ellison and the Problem of Audience." Special Session on "Radicalism and the Middle-Class Writer." MLA Convention. December 1998.
"Postmodernism, the Left, and African-American Literature." SUNY-Buffalo, Spring 1998.
"Jean Toomer, History, and the New Negro." Colloquium, Rutgers-Newark, March 1998.
"Jean Toomer, 'Trauma,' and History." Special Session on "Race and Trauma." MLA Convention. December 1997.
"Roads Taken and Not Taken: Anticommunism, Post-Marxism, and African-American Literature." Special Session on "The Politics of Post-Marxism." MLA Convention. December 1997.
"Jean Toomer and Georgia." "A New Tradition: The Harlem Renaissance and Its Heritage: A Conference and Celebration." Paine College, Augusta, Georgia. October 1997.
"Toeing the Line: Ralph Ellison's Early Journalism and Communist Party Politics." Conference on Working Class Studies and the Future of Work. Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio. June 1997.
Panelist, Teach-In on "The Future of Academic Work." Rutgers-New Brunswick. February 1997.
Chair and Panel Organizer, "The Reemergence of the Right in the Academy." Session Sponsored by the Division on Sociological Approaches to Literature. MLA Convention. December 1996.
"Ralph Ellison, Anticommunism, and the Discourse of the Cold War." Rethinking Marxism Conference. December 1996. Also delivered at the Brecht School. June 1997.
"Ralph Ellison, the Federal Writers Project, and the New Masses." Special Session on "The Representation of the Masses, 1900-1950." Midwest Modern Language Association. November 1996.
Panel Organizer and Panelist, "Marxism, Globality and Proletarian Internationalism." Marxist Literary Group. June 1996.
"The Rhetoric of Anti-Communism in Invisible Man." Radical Caucus Session, "Proletarian Literature Revisited." MLA Convention. December 1995. Also delivered at the University of Arkansas. March 1996. Revised version delivered at the Conference on "The Cold War and American Culture." University of Toledo. April 1996.
"Marxism and the Dialectic of Race and Class." Seminar, University of Arkansas. March 1996.
"How Oppositional Is Oppositional Criticism?" Keynote Address, Conference on "Oppositional Criticism." Bowling Green State University. March 1996.
Chair and Panel Organizer, "The Difference Class Makes." Session sponsored by the Division of Sociological Approaches to Literature. MLA Convention. December 1995.
"Jean Toomer and the Left." Conference, "Working-Class Lives / Working-Class Studies." Youngstown State U. June 1995.
Panel Co-leader, "Organizing in the Diaspora." Symposium, "Old Themes / New Directions: Studying the Third World in the Nineties." Rutgers-Newark. March 1995.
"Jean Toomer's Seventh Street and Literary Proletarianism." Special Session, "International Proletarian Literature." MLA Convention. December 1994.
"Jean Toomer, Economics, and the Politics of Modernism." Society for Critical Exchange. October 1994.
"The Women of Cane: From Myth to History." Third Southern Conference on Women's History. Southern Association for Women Historians. June 1994.
"The Retreat from Proletarianism: Renarrating the 1930s in the 1940s and 1950s." Symposium, "The Politics of Culture in the Cold War Era." U of Pennsylvania. March 1994. Also delivered at the Essex County Ethical Culture Society. February 1995. Also delivered as Cultural Studies Discussion Group / English Department Colloquium. Rutgers University. April 1995.
"The Repression of History in Jean Toomer's Cane." Special Session, "Honoring Picket Lines: The Politics of Labor and Leftism in New Historicist Practice." MLA Convention. December 1993.
"Irony and History in Melville's 'Bartleby.'" International Society for the Study of Narrative Literature. April 1993.
Panel Organizer, Special Session, "Black Writers and Left Politics." MLA Convention. December 1992.
"Gender and Class in Women's Proletarian Fiction." Session, "Women Writers of the 1930s and 1940s." Institute for Research on Women, New Brunswick, NJ. May 1992.
"Teaching Multiculturalism." Workshop for Integration Project, Rutgers-Newark. April 1992.
"Socialism and Marxist Theory." SUNY-Buffalo Graduate Student Conference on Marxism. March 1992.
"Tradition and Experiment in American Proleterian Fiction." Marxist Literary Group Session, "Culture of the 1930s." MLA Convention. December 1991.
"The Politics of Multiculturalism." New Jersey Project Conference. October 1991.
"American Literary Leftism and the Great Depression." Colloquium, Rutgers-Newark Honors Program. October 1991.
"Feminism and Class in American Proletarian Fiction." English Department, Rutgers-New Brunswick. April 1991.
"Class." Division of Criticism Session, "After Glasnost: Whither Marxist Criticism?" MLA Convention. December 1990.
"Revising the American Literature Syllabus." Institute for Research on Women, New Brunswick, NJ. May 1990.
"Discourses of Race and Class: Radical Politics and Levels of Narrative in Depression-Era Proletarian Fiction." International Society for the Study of Narrative Literature. April 1990.
"The CP and the City: Proletarian and Folk Ideology in William Attaway and Richard Wright." Division on Afro-American Literature. Midwest MLA. November 1989.
"Women and the Left in the 1930s: Some Implications for Marxist and Feminist Theory." Center for Twentieth-Century Studies, U of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. April 1989.
"Rereading the 1930s: Politics, History, Theory." Colloquium, English Department, Rutgers-Newark. March 1989.
"Marxist Critics of the 1930s and Bourgeois Aesthetic Theory." Midwest MLA. November 1988.
"The Politics of Realism in Proletarian Fiction." Organizer, Special Session, "The Politics of Realism in American Literature." International Society for the Study of Narrative Literature. April 1988.
"Resources at the Newberry Library for the Study of Radical Writers in the Early Twentieth Century." Colloquium, Newberry Library. February 1988.
"The Proletarian Novel: Problems of Historical Context and Political/Aesthetic Evaluation." Seminar, Newberry Library. January 1988.
"Marxism in the Poststructuralist Moment: Notes on the Problem of Revising Marx." Conference, "Changing Marx." U of Pennsylvania. December 1987.
"Subversion and Oppositionality in the Academy." Special Session, "Theory/Pedagogy/Politics." MLA Convention. December 1986.
Session Organizer, "The Decanonization of American Literature." Midwest MLA Convention. November 1986.
"Textual 'Subversion' and Political Oppositionality." Symposium, "Criticism and Pedagogy in the Waste Land," Hamilton College. October 1986.
Panelist, "Politics and the Academy." Marxist Literary Group Summer Institute. June 1986.
"The Politics of Poetics: Ideology and Narrative Form in Dreiser's An American Tragedy and Wright's Native Son." International Society for the Study of Narrative Literature, April 1986. Also delivered at City College, CUNY. April 1986. Also delivered at Conference, "The Arts and Disciplines of Literary Study," SUNY--Stony Brook. March 1987.
"The Chicago School and Marxism." Special Session, "The Chicago School of Literary Criticism." MLA Convention. December 1985.
"Poststructuralism: Politics, Theory and Practice." Colloquium, Northwestern U. March 1985.
Respondent to Lawrence Lipking, "Aristotle's Sister: Feminism and Literary History." Colloquium, Northwestern U. January 1985.
"The Politics of Deconstruction." Special Session, "Contemporary Narrative Theory and the Yale Critics." MLA Convention. December 1984.
Chairperson and organizer, Special Session, "The Politics of Melville Criticism." MLA Convention. December 1984.
"The Pseudopolitics of Epistemological Rupture." Special Session, "Indiscre(e)tions: The Interpenetration of Fictional and Nonfictional Genres." MLA Convention. December 1983.
Respondent to Michael Kearns, "Phantoms of Mind: Melville's Criticism of Transcendental Psychology." Division on American Literature before 1870. Midwest MLA Convention. November 1983.
Panelist, "Myths and Realities of Ph.D. Employment: A Workshop on Academic and Non-Academic Careers." U of Chicago. October 1983.
Seminar, "The Contemporary Nonfiction Novel and the New Journalism." Northwestern U. November 1983.
Respondent to John Beverly, "Gongora, Gongorism, and the Production of Solitude." Northwestern U. March 1981.
Respondent to Mark Poster, "Foucault, Marx, and History." Northwestern U. April 1981.
"Ideology in Contemporary Documentary Narrative." Special Session, "Postmodern American Fiction and Nonfiction: Correspondences and Differences." MLA Convention. December 1980.
"Four American Novelists and the Problem of Influence." Colloquium, English Department, U of Wisconsin-Madison. Feburary 1978.
"Feminism and Tragedy in Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth." Radio Lecture, U of Wisconsin-Extension. October 1977.
"Racism and Sexism in American Literature: The Ideological Interlock." Symposium, "Racism, Sexism and Culture." U of Wisconsin-Extension. June 1977.
Research Grant, Rutgers Research Council. 2008-09.
FASP Leave, Rutgers University. Fall 2008.
FASP Leave, Rutgers University. Spring 2005.
Scholar-Activist of the year. Golden Key Society. Rutgers University. 2004.
Research Grant, Rutgers Research Council. 2001-02.
Teacher of the Year Award, University College, Rutgers University. 2000.
Research Grant, Rutgers Research Council. 1998-99.
FASP Leave, Rutgers University. Fall 1998.
National Endowment for the Humanities. 1996-97.
Research Grant, Rutgers Research Council. 1995-96.
The Graduate School, Rutgers University. 1993-94.
The Graduate School, Rutgers University. 1990-91.
FASP Leave, Rutgers University. Fall 1990.
National Endowment for the Humanities/Newberry Library Fellowship. 1987-88.
American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship. 1987-88.
Office of Research and Special Projects Grant, Northwestern University. 1981-82.
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowship. 1980.
American Council of Learned Societies Semester Fellowship. Spring 1980.
University of Wisconsin Graduate School Research Grants. Summers 1978 and 1979.
Special Humanities Fellowship, University of Chicago. 1969-72.
Isabel Briggs Traveling Fellowship, Radcliffe College. 1969.