Brent EdwardsProfessor of English and Comparative Literature609 Philosophy Hall
Office Hours:On Leave(212) 854-2912
Areas of Interest :African-American and African diasporic literature; Francophone literature; 20th-century poetry; translation studies; black radical historiography; archive theory; jazz
B.A., Yale (1990); M.A., Columbia (1992); Ph.D., Columbia (1998). Professor Edwards is the author of Epistrophies: Jazz and the Literary Imagination (Harvard University Press, 2017) and The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism (Harvard University Press, 2003), which was awarded the John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association, the Gilbert Chinard prize of the Society for French Historical Studies, and runner-up for the James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association. With Robert G. O’Meally and Farah Jasmine Griffin, he co-edited the collection Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies (Columbia University Press, 2004). His research and teaching focus on topics including African American literature, Francophone literature, theories of the African diaspora, translation studies, archive theory, black radical historiography, cultural politics in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, surrealism, experimental poetics, and jazz. Edwards has edited scholarly editions of Frederick Douglass’s My Bondage and My Freedom, Joseph Conrad’s Nostromo, W. E. B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk, and (in collaboration with Jean-Christophe Cloutier) Claude McKay’s Amiable with Big Teeth, and he served as the Harlem Renaissance period editor for the revised Third Edition of the Norton Anthology of African American Literature published in 2014. From 2001-2011, Edwards was co-editor of the journal Social Text, and he is also a member of the editorial boards of Transition and Callaloo. His translations include essays, poems, and fiction by authors including Edouard Glissant, Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard, Sony Labou Tansi, and Monchoachi, as well as Michel Leiris’s 1934 book Phantom Africa (Seagull Books, 2017), for which Edwards was awarded a 2012 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant. Edwards was a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow.