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Garry Bertholf


Ph.D., A.M. University of Pennsylvania
B.A. Colby College


My research and teaching focus on Africana literature and black critical theory. I am particularly interested in late-19th and early- to mid-20th-century African American literature and literary criticism, as well as the intellectual and cultural history of the African diaspora.

Before joining the faculty at Davidson, I was an assistant professor in the Department of English at Clemson University, where I received the National Scholars Program Award of Distinction from the graduating class of 2017 and the 2015-16 Faculty Member of the Year Award from the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.

I was trained at the University of Pennsylvania, where I was the first recipient of the Ph.D. in Africana Studies, the inaugural postdoctoral fellow of the Program on Race, Science, and Society, an affiliate fellow of the Penn Humanities Forum on "Violence," and a lecturer of cultural studies and criticism in the Critical Writing Program of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing. In addition, I have held previous appointments as a visiting assistant professor of Africana Studies in the Department of History and Politics at Drexel University and as a preceptor in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University.

My work has appeared or is forthcoming in Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal, the Journal of Popular Music Studies, south: a scholarly journal (formerly the Southern Literary Journal), Viewpoint Magazine, Diacritik, The Martyr's Shuffle, and the Nation Divided series at the University of Virginia Press. I am also the author of Black Sophists: A Critique of Demagoguery (Ph.D. Diss., University of Pennsylvania, 2013) and paired transcriptions of John Coltrane's 1957 Carnegie Hall performances of Thelonious Monk's "Epistrophy." My current book projects are tentatively titled "The Black Charismatic: Demagoguery and the Politics of Affect" and "Afro-pessimism and Black Optimism in Africana Literature."


WRI 101: Writing Revolution: After Haiti
ENG 282/AFR 282: African American Literature Before 1900
ENG 286/AFR 286: African American Literature Since 1900
ENG 382/AFR 300: W. E. B. Du Bois at Large
ENG 483/AFR 383: Black Literary Theory