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Assistant Professor of African American Literature and Culture

Tara Bynum

Hampshire College Professor Tara Bynum
Tara Bynum
Assistant Professor of African American Literature and Culture
Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies
Mail Code HA
Doctor Bynum
Adele Simmons Hall
On Leave of Absence Fall 2019, Spring 2020
Dr. Tara Bynum is an assistant professor of African American literature and culture. She received an A.B. from Barnard College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English from Johns Hopkins University. 

She teaches African American literature courses that seek after the many ways that people experience blackness as a racial identity, as a cultural category, or as a mark upon the skin. At a time when social media responds to the deaths of unnamed black men and women with #blacklivesmatter, her courses question: what makes life matter, what literature is, and what race or culture means, historically and at present. These questions find their way into her book project, Reading Pleasures (University of Illinois' New Black Studies series, under contract), which examines the ways in which eighteenth-century enslaved and/or free men and women feel good or experience pleasure in spite of the privations of slavery, “unfreedom,” or white supremacy. Her research and writing have received generous financial support from the Digital THINC Lab and the University of Guelph, the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Antiquarian Society, Library Company of Philadelphia and the Program in African American History, Rutgers University, University of Pennsylvania’s McNeil Center for Early American Studies, and College of Charleston. Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Common-Place, Early American Literature, Legacy, J19, Criticism, and American Periodicals.

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