Ajuan M. Mance Mills College

Education | Courses Taught | Professional Experience | Selected Publications | Presentations | Honors & Awards

Education
  • PhD, English, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • MA, English, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • BA, English with Honors, Brown University
Courses Taught
  • ENG 001: Critical Reading and Expository Writing
  • ENG 043: Introduction to African American Literature
  • ENG 045: World Roots of Literature
  • ENG 064: American Literature Survey II
  • ENG 117/217: 20th Century African American Literature
  • ENG 147/247: 19th Century African American Literature
  • ENG 161/261: Modern Drama
  • ENG 164/264: Modern American Fiction
  • ENG 180/280: Special Topics: African American Poetry Since 1965
  • ENG 180/280: Special Topics: The Oral Tradition
  • ENG 183/283: Advanced Seminars: Slavery in American Fiction
  • ENG 183/283: Advanced Seminars: The Oral Tradition
  • ENG 183/283: Advanced Seminars: 21st-Century African American Literature
  • ENG 183/283: Advanced Seminars: African American Poetry Since 1965

Professional Experience

Associate Professor of English, Mills College, 2005-Present

Assistant Professor of English, Mills College, 1999-2005

Assistant Professor of English, University of Oregon, 1995-1999

Selected Publications

Published Articles

We Are Rising: An Anthology of African American Literature from the First Fifty Years of Freedom. In progress.

Before There Was Harlem: An Anthology of African American Literature of the Long Nineteenth Century. Manuscript complete. Under consideration.

"From Skepticism to Measured Enthusiasm: The Story of Two Literary Scholars' Introduction to Assessment in the Major," with Kirsten Saxton. Forthcoming in Literary Study, Measurement, and the Sublime: Disciplinary Assessment. In press.

"'But Among Our Own Selves We’ll Be Free' (1728): Teaching 18th-Century Literature in a Transgendered Classroom," with Kirsten Saxton and Rebekah Edwards. Forthcoming in Heteronormativity and the Eighteenth Century, Eds. Abby Coykendall and Ana de Freitas Boe. Ashgate Press, Surrey, England.

Inventing Black Women: African American Poets and Self-Representation. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2007. (Paperback edition, 2008).

"'...the same old danger/but a brand new pleasure': The Black Arts Movement in the 21st Century." In Free At Last?: Black American in the Twenty-First Century. Edited by Anthony J. Lemelle, Michael Bennett, Juan Jose Battle, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2006.

Essays on "Aunt Jemima," "Carolyn Rodgers," "Mammy," "Jezebel," and "Sapphire." In Writing African American Women: An Encyclopedia of Literature by and about Women of Color. Edited by Elizabeth Beaulieu. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2006.

"'...the same old danger/but a brand new pleasure': The Black Arts Movement in the 21st Century." In The Journal of African American Studies, Volume 8, Numbers 1-2, June 2004, pages 90-107.

Review, Burr's Of Women, Poetry, and Power: Strategies of Address in Dickinson, Miles, Brooks, Lorde, and Angelou. In Callaloo. Spring 2004.

"Magical Realism in the Novels of Toni Morrison." In The Toni Morrison Encyclopedia. Edited by Elizabeth Beaulieu. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2002.

Review, Mama Yetta and Other Poems by Hermine Pinson. In Callaloo, Spring 2001.

"Re-Locating the Black Female Subject: The Landscape of the Body in the Poems of Lucille Clifton." (Re)Covering the Black Female Body. Edited by Michael Bennett and Vanessa Dickerson. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2001.

"The Future of Affirmative Action." In The Adjunct Advocate. April/May 2000.

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Presentations

Invited Lectures

"Why Good News About Black Higher Education is News We Lose," presented at the National Education Association annual conference, New Orleans, LA, June 2010

"Why Good News About Black Higher Education is News We Lose," presented at the National Education Association annual conference, San Diego, CA, June 2009

"’We Are Rising:’ African American Poetry During the First 50 Years of Freedom," delivered at University of California-Santa Barbara, April 2008

"Women, Poetry, and the Sacred," a weekend reading and writing workshop held at the Ralston White Retreat Center in Mill Valley for the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, February 2007

"Spirituality in the Poetry of Lucille Clifton," a two week seminar (consecutive Sundays) held at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley, January 2006

"Pioneers in African American Higher Education," a Black History Month presentation delivered at the Mills College Solidary Lounge, February 2006

"African American Literature and Social Change," delivered at the Laney College International Women's Day celebration, Spring 2003

"Gendered Epistemology, and the Response to the September 11th Attacks," delivered at the Laney College International Women's Day Celebration, Oakland, California, Spring 2002

"18th- and 19th- Century Black Women Poets and the 'Cult of True Womanhood,'" delivered at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, October 18, 2002

"Black Women Writers in the New Millenium," delivered at the Laney College International Women's Day celebration, Spring 2001

"Revolutionary Dreams: African American Women Poets in the Black Arts Movement," delivered at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, October 2, 2000

"Gender, Sexuality, and Exclusion in Contemporary 'Mack Style' Rap Narrative," delivered at "Relatively Speaking: A Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Families," New York University, Manhattan, New York, May 1997

Papers and Presentations

"Transgender Pedagogies: A Meditation on Identities and Access," Academic Form Presentation delivered at Mills College, Spring 2010

"Before There Was Harlem: African American Poetry from the Long Nineteenth Century," Academic Forum presentation delivered at Mills College, Fall 2009

"Death and the Hero: Love and Death in the Novels of J.K. Rowling and the Epic of Gilgamesh," presented at Azkatraz: The 2009 Conference of the Harry Potter Educational Foundation (HPEF). July 2009

"Literature in Education for Civic Leadership," presented at the MLA Conference, December 2008

"No More Sadie, Nor More Sufflin' Sam': Race, Place, and Gender in African American Poetry during the first 50 Years of Freedom," Academic Forum presentation delivered at Mills College, Fall 2007

"'Self-Improvement for the Colored Race': The Literature of Racial Uplift and the Invention of Black Pride," Academic Forum presentation delivered at Mills College, Fall 2003

Works-in-Progress presentation, sponsored by the Mills College Creative Writing Program, delivered at Mills College, Fall 2003

"The 'Acting White' Myth: U.S. Black Conservative Autobiography, Trickle-Down Scholarship, and the Spectre of Anti-Intellectualism," Academic Forum presentation delivered at Mills College, Spring 2003

Slide Show and Artist's Lecture, delivered at Mills College, Spring 2002

The Black Woman as Object and Symbol," delivered at "The Ground Together II: Assessing the State of Black Arts for 2000 and Beyond," Howard University, Washington, D.C., March 4, 2000

"Black Women Poets in the Harlem Renaissance," Academic Forum presentation delivered at Mills College, Spring 2000

"Gender and the Black Arts Movement: Black Feminist Approaches for the New Millennium," delivered at "The Ground Together: An Interdisciplinary Conference Assessing the Cultural Ground On Which We Stand As We Approach the Millennium," Howard University, Washington, D.C., October 10, 1998

"Can Black American Nationalists Write European Autobiography?: Europe in the African American Literary Imagination," delivered at "Twentieth Century European Narratives: Tradition & Innovation," the Sixth Conference of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas (ISSEI), Haifa University, Israel, August 16-21, 1998

"Race, Place, and the Invention of Identity: Teaching Charles Johnson's Middle Passage,"delivered at "American and British Studies in the Pacific Rim," Bangkok, Thailand, January 8-10, 1998

"Re-Locating the Black Woman Subject: The Landscape of the Body in the Poems of Lucille Clifton," delivered at "enGendering Rationalities," University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, April 1997

"Race, Power, and the Politics of Masculinity in Etheridge Knight's Poems from Prison," delivered at the National Association for African American Studies/National Association for Hispanic and Latino Studies Annual Joint Conference, Houston, Texas, February 12-16, 1997.

"Locating the Black Female Subject: Contemporary African American Women Poets and the Landscape of the Body," delivered at "Crossroads in Cultural Studies: An International Conference," Tampere, Finland, July 1-4, 1996.

"When Conformity Means Breaking the Rules: The Black Male as Oppositional Subject in Etheridge Knight's Poems from Prison, delivered at "Openings: The Space for Thought," sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, January 1996

"Feast and Famine on the High Seas: Self-Indulgence, Asceticism and the Figuration of History in Charles Johnson's Middle Passage," delivered at "Space, Time, and Structure," the fourth annual meeting of the American Studies Association of Southern Africa, University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, July 1994

"Freaky Tales in the House: Contextualizing Gender in the 'Mack Style' Rhymes of Rap Artist Too Short," delivered at the 20th annual American Culture Association/Pop Culture Association Joint Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 1993

"Alzeda Crockett Hacker, Zora Neale Hurston, and Mary McLeod Bethune: Black Women's Networking and Contacts in the Early Twentieth Century," brown bag presentation delivered at the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, September 1992

"History and the Land: An Examination of the Poems of Eric Chok, Luis Cabalquinto, Virginia Cerenio and Cyril Dabydeen," delivered at the Asian American Studies Association annual conference, San Jose State University, San Jose, California, May 1992

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Honors & Awards

Faculty Summer Research Award, May 2010

Outstanding Academic Title (Inventing Black Women), American Library Association/Choice Magazine, January 2009

Selected as one of 35 scholars and researchers in the area of race and sexuality studies, invited to participate in a one-day workshop at the Social Sciences Research Council, November 2008

Aurelia Henry Reinhardt Chair in American Literature, Mills College, June 2008-present

Wert Chair in American Literature, Mills College, May 2005-June 2008

Course Development Grant, Mills College, Summer 2004

Invited Guest, National Leadership Conference on Service Learning in Higher Education, Carnegie Foundation, May 12, 2000

Quigley Grant, Mills College, May 2000

Summer Research Grant, Mills College, May 2000

New Faculty Award, University of Oregon, 1995-1996

Summer Research Funds, University of Michigan, Department of English, 1993, 1994

Rackham Merit Fellowship, Rackham School of Graduate Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Fall 1990-1995

Ford Foundation Grant for Independent Research in African or African American Studies, Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan, Summer 1991

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Last Updated: 6/7/17