Herman Beavers is an assistant professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Wrestling Angels into Song: The Fictions of Ernest J. Gaines and Alan McPherson ( 1995), as well as essays on Eddie Murphy, Charles Johnson, and Langston Hughes. Beavers is currently at work on a study of the immune system and African-American masculine identity in literature and film.
Dickson D. Bruce, Jr., is professor of History at the University of California, Irvine. Among his books are Black American Writing from the Nadir: The Evolution of a Literary Tradition, 1877-1915 ( LSU, 1989) and Archibald Grimké: Portrait of a Black Independent ( LSU, 1993). His current research focuses on concepts of race in the early American republic.
Peter Carafiol's most recent book is The American Ideal: Literary History as a Worldly Activity, published by Oxford University Press in 1991. His essay in this volume, written with the support of a Guggenheim Fellowship, is taken from his next book, UnAmerican Literature, a pragmatist effort to bring the words "literary" and "history" into closer acquaintance.
Shelley Fisher Fishkin is a professor of American Studies at the University of Texas. Her books include Was Huck Black? Mark Twain and African-American Voices ( Oxford, 1993) and two co-edited volumes, Listening to Silences: New Essays in Feminist Criticism ( Oxford, 1994) and a collection of essays on Jewish identity in the academy ( Wisconsin, 1996). She is also editor of the 29-volume Oxford Mark Twain ( 1996) and co-editor of the "Race and American Culture" book series published by Oxford University Press.
P. Gabrielle Foreman teaches African-American and nineteenth-century American literature at Occidental College. She has contributed essays to numerous journals, including Black American Literature Forum, Feminist Studies, and Representations, and is currently at work on two book manuscripts, Sentimental Subversions: Reading Acts and African-American Women's Writing ( 1859- 1909) and The Charge of Erotics: Interracial Desire in the Nineteenth Century.
Teresa Goddu teaches American and African-American literature at Vanderbilt University and is currently completing a book on the American gothic, entitled Haunted by History: The American Gothic, 1780-1870. She has also published articles on Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Gloria Naylor, and country music.