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R. Baxter Miller

Professor of English
Interim Director, Center for Social Justice, Human and Civil RIghts, 2014, 2015

Dr. Miller, Professor of English, who holds a Ph.D. from Brown University is the author or editor of ten books. He has written The Art and Imagination of Langston Hughes (1989; paperback 2006), which won the American Book Award for 1991, The Southern Trace of Black Critical Theory (1991), A Literary Criticism of Five Generations of African American Writing: The Artistry of Memory (2008), and On the Ruins of Modernity: New Chicago Renaissance from Wright to Fair (2011). His other volumes include a collaborative edition titled Black American Literature and Humanism (1981) which won international acclaim, and a subsequent volume, Black American Poets Between Worlds, 1940-1960 (1986), an academic bestseller, as well as Critical Insights: Langston Hughes  (2013). His Reference Guide to Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks (1978), which is superseded today by current texts, remains a standard source.

Miller, who has written scores of chapters, articles, and reviews for professional journals, is a co-author and co-editor (with General Editor Patricia Liggins Hill, et. al.) of Call and Response: The Riverside Anthology of the African American Literary Tradition (1998, 2002). The result of a nomination by the editorial board, his short story edition of Langston Hughes in the Collected Works 15 (Missouri 2002) is a volume in the centennial series. Though the list below condenses his oeuvre to conserve space, he has written for publication nearly a hundred studies for various presses and academic journals. In addition, he has presented his research findings in many countries acrosss Europe, North America, and Africa. His featured courses are those on African American Autobiography, Intellectual History, the Harlem Renaissance, and Modern African American Poetics.

Selected Publications:

Forewords and Introductions

Miller, R.B. (1989). Foreword. Ruthe T. Sheffey, Trajectory: Fueling the Future and Preserving the African-American Literary Past (pp. iv-xiv). Baltimore: Morgan State University Press.

— (1992). Introduction. Richard K. Barksdale, Praisesong of Survival (pp. 1-14). Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

— (1996). Foreword. Walter White, The Fire in the Flint (pp. 1-10). Athens and London: University of Georgia Press.

— (2006). New Introduction, paperback edition. The Art and Imagination of Langston Hughes. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

Chapters and Anthologized Articles

Miller, R.B. (1981). "Does Man Love Art: The Humanistic Aesthetic of Gwendolyn Brooks." Black American Literature and Humanism (pp. 95-112). Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. Reprinted in Maria K. Mootry and Gary Smith (Ed), A Life Distilled: Gwendolyn Brooks, Her Poetry and Fiction (pp. 100-115). Urbana: University of Illinois Press (1986).

— (1989). "'A Deeper Literacy': Teaching Invisible Man from Aboriginal Ground." Susan Resneck Parr and Pancho Savery (Ed), Approaches to Teaching Invisible Man (pp. 51-57). New York: Modern Language Association.

— (1990). "Chapter 19." American Literary Scholarship/1988, (pp. 397-428). Durham and London: Duke University Press.

— (1995). "The Rewritten Self in African American Autobiography." Linda Marie Brooks (Ed), Alternative Identities: The Self in Literature, History, and Theory: Wellesley Studies in Critical Theory, Literary History, and Culture, Vol. 7, (pp. 87-104). New York and London: Garland.

— (1999). "Eva Beatrice Dykes." American National Biography (p. 22). Raleigh: Oxford University Press.

— (2001). "The 'Etched Flame' of Margaret Walker," Maryemma, Graham (Ed), Fields Watered With Blood: Critical Essays on Margaret Walker (pp. 81-97). Athens and London: University of Georgia Press. Reprinted from Tennessee Studies in Literature 26 (1981):157-172.

— (2004). "Langston Hughes, 1902-1967: A Brief Biography." Steve Tracy (Ed), Historical Guide to Langston Hughes (pp. 23-62). New York: Oxford University Press.

— (2006). "Physics of Change in Father and Son," C. James Trotman (Ed), Langston Hughes: The Man, His Art, and His Continuing Influence (pp. 131-140), New York & London: Garland, 1995; rpt. Short Story Criticism, 90, ed. Larry Trudeau (Detroit: Gale, 2006).

(2011)"Modern and Postmodern Eden: Richard Wright, Alice Mikal Craven and William E. Dow (Ed), Richard Wright: New Readings in the 21st Century (pp 11-27). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Research Journal and Magazine Articles

Miller, R.B. (1984). "Double Mirror: George E. Kent and the Scholarly Imagination." Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association, 17, 13-23.

— (1984). "The Wasteland and the Flower: Through Blyden Jackson—A Revised Theory for Black Southern Literature." Southern Literary Journal, 17, 3-11.

— (1986). "One Prime Obligation: The Example of Therman B. O'Daniel (1908-1986)." Langston Hughes Review, 5, 5-11.

— (1987). "Baptized Infidel: Play and Critical Legacy." Black American Literature Forum [African American Review], 21, 393-414.

— (1991). "Charles T. Davis: Trace of Southern History." Mississippi Quarterly, 44(1), 151-158.

— (2000). "'Café de la Paix': Mapping the Harlem Renaissance." South Atlantic Review, 65, 73-94.

— (2002). "Locke and Du Bois." Middle Atlantic Writer's Association Review, 17 (1&2), 1-13.

— (2005). "Reinvention of Globalization in Hughes's Stories." MELUS, 30 (1), 69-83, reprinted in International Journal for the Humanities, 3.6 (2005-2006) 39-45. ISSN 1447-9508. Online 1447-9559.

— (2006) "Nurturing African American Scholars to Prevail." ADE Bulletin, special issue, 125.

___(2011). "The Global Energy of Lorraine Hansberry," 9th International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities," Granada Spain, June 2011, the International Journal of the Humanities 9..

___(2013). "When African American Literature Exists,” PMLA 128.2 (March ) 390-393.

___(2016). "Traces of Sports from the Harlem Renaissance: The Embedded Narrative," CLA Journal 59.2 (winter) 131-145.

Essays Selected by Editors as Pedagogical Models

Miller, R.B. (2003). "The 'Crystal Stair Within': The Apocalyptic Imagination, [Chap 2 from The Art and Imagination of Langston Hughes]. Gloria Mason Henderson, William Day, and Sandra Stevenson Walker (Ed.), Literature and Ourselves: A Thematic Introduction for Readers and Writers, New York: Longman.

— (2004). "On 'The Negro Speaks of Rivers'," [from Chap 3 A&I] . Frank Madden (Ed), Exploring Literature: Writing and Thinking about Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and the Essay, New York: Longman.

— (2004). "Reader-Response," "Writing about Gwendolyn Brooks: Critical Viewpoints," [from Black American Literature and Humanism] Reading and Writing with Critical Strategies. New York: Longman.

___(2017) "Teaching Wife of His Youth as the Rewriting of Englishness," Journal of American Ethnic American Litrature 8.2; reprinted in Journal of the International Humanities (2017-2018).


Miller, R.B. (1990). "Signifying Human: Skipping Over Visible Critics." PMLA, 1124-25.

— (1996). "The Personal in Literature." PMLA, 111, 1155-56.

Of note:
  • 1975. Haverford College, Research
  • 1978. ACLS Conference Grant, "Black American Literature and Humanism"
  • 1985. Black Scholar Professor (national competition), LeMoyne College, Syracuse, N.Y.
  • 1986-87. National Research Council Senior Fellowship (Ford Foundation), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Fisk
  • 1986-87. Lindsay Young Chair, English & Humanities, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • 1991. Irvine Foundation Visiting Scholar, University of San Francisco
  • 1991. The American Book Award
  • 1994. Regional Designation Humanities Award (with Will Holmes, John Inscoe, and Robert Pratt), by ACOG Cultural Olympiad and Southern States Humanities Councils for "Black and White Perspectives on the American South"
  • 1994-95. Senior Lily Teaching Fellow
  • 1995. Golden Key Honor in scholarship of teaching
  • 1996. Who's Who in America
  • 1996. Who's Who in the World
  • 1999. Davis Fellows Lecturer, University of San Francisco
  • 2001. The Langston Hughes Prize
  • 2003. Phi Kappa Phi Love of Learning Award
  • 2004. Who's Who Among America's Teachers, 2004 (nominator: graduated student)
  • 2005-2006. Student Government Association Teacher Award
  • 2010. The Ford-Turpin Award for distinguished scholarship in African American Studies
  • 2013. Albert Christ -Janer Award for Distinguished Achievements in the Arts and Humanities
  • 2014. Donald L. Hollowell Distinguished Professor of Civil and Human Rights

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