Afro-American Studies: Dr. Beavers

Dr. Herman Beavers, associate professor of English and a faculty fellow of Hill House, has been named Director of the Afro-American Studies Program.

Dr. Beavers succeeds Dr. John W. Roberts, the former professor of folklife and folklore who left Penn in June to join Ohio State University.

A specialist in 19th and 20th Century African American literature, Dr. Beavers is also known for his teaching in other genres of 20th Century American literature, notably examing with Professor Elisa New African- and Jewish-American writing in the "Exodus and Memory" and "Intimacy and Distance" focusing on gender/race experience in the work of Southern writers Faulkner, Hurston, Welty and Wright.

Dr. Beavers is a 1981 alumnus of Oberlin College with majors in government, sociology and creative writing. After taking an M.A. from Brown in creative writing in 1983, he enrolled at Yale where he added a second M.A., in Afro-American Studies, and a Ph.D. in American Studies. He also won the first Edward Alexander Bouchet Prize at Yale, and has since won numerous awards in poetry, community service and scholarship.

He joined Penn in 1989 as assistant professor of English, winning a W.W. Smith Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Lilly Teaching Fellowship at Penn in 1990, and directing the Honors Program in English in 1991-92. Dr. Beavers, who was promoted to associate professor this year, has also served on numerous University committees including the Committee on Pluralism.

He is the author of two books, one of them a volume of his own poetry. Work in progress includes a book on performance and masculinity to be called A Credit to His Race; a collection of essays to be named In Our Father's Image, In Our Mother's Hearts; and several entries for the Encyclopedia of American Culture and History and the Oxford Companion to African American Literature.


Volume 43 Number 7
October 8, 1996

Return to Almanac's homepage.

Return to index for this issue.