HOUSTON A. BAKER, JR. is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. He received his B.A. (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) from Howard University. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from UCLA. He has taught at Yale, the University of Virginia, and the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, he is the Susan Fox and George D. Beischer Professor of English at Duke University. He is the editor of American Literature, the oldest and most prestigious journal in American literary studies. Professor Baker began his career as a scholar of British Victorian literature, but made a career shift to the study of Afro-American literature and culture. He has published or edited more than twenty books and is the author of more than eighty articles, essays, and reviews. His most recent books include Turning South Again: Re-Thinking Modernism, Re-Reading Booker T (Duke University Press, 2001) and Critical Memory: Public Spheres, African American Writing and Black Fathers and Sons in America (University of Georgia Press, 2001). He is a published poet whose most recent title is Passing Over (Lotus Press, 2000). He has served in a number of administrative and institutional posts, including the 1992 Presidency of the Modern Language Association of America. His honors include Guggenheim, John Hay Whitney, and Rockefeller Fellowships, as well as eleven honorary degrees from American colleges and universities.
EMILY BERNARD is an assistant professor in the English department at the University of Vermont. She is the editor of two books: Remember Me to Harlem: The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten (1925–1964) (Alfred A. Knopf, 2001) and Some of My Best Friends: Writings on Interracial Friendship (Amistad/HarperCollins, 2004).
LEE BERNSTEIN is an assistant professor of history at SUNY New Paltz specializing in crime and punishment in U.S. history and culture. He is the author of The Greatest Menace: Organized Crime in Cold War America (University of Massachusetts Press, 2002).