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Houston A. Baker

Title: Distinguished University Professor

Department: English

Phone: 615-343-7355
Fax: 615-322-8672
Email: houston.a.baker@Vanderbilt.Edu


Houston A. Baker, Jr. is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. He received his BA (Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa) from Howard University. He received his MA and Ph.D. degrees from UCLA. He has taught at Yale, the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, and Duke University. Currently, he is Distinguished University Professor and Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. He has served as 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. He 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 and I Donít Hate the South: Reflections on Faulkner, Family, and the South. His critique of black public intellectuals titled Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era is scheduled for release in 2008. Professor Baker is a published poet whose most recent volume is titled Passing Over. 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 a number of honorary degrees from American colleges and universities.