Erika Williams

Associate Professor, English and Africana Studies

Erika Williams is Associate Professor of English and Africana studies. With a Ph.D.  in Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, Williams specializes in 20th- and 21st-century African American and Afro-Diasporic literature and culture. Her areas of focus include W.E.B. Du Bois’s Literature and Thought, Modern and Contemporary Africana Passing Narratives, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Queer of Color Critique, and 20th and 21st Century African American and Afro-Diasporic Literature and Culture.

Her essay “A Lie of Omission: Plagiarism in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand” was published in African American Review ( Vol. 45, Nos. 1-2, 2012) and received “Honorable Mention” for African American Review’s Joe Weixlmann Award for Best Essay in Twentieth- and Twenty-first- Century African American or Pan-African Literature and Culture.

Her most recent publications include “A Hymn of Faith Is a Tale of Love: Lohengrin and Platonic Romance in Du Bois’s ‘Of the Coming of John”’ (Modern Fiction Studies, Vol. 66, No. 4, Winter 2020) and “Subverted Passing and Trans* Transition in Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird” (College Literature: A Journal of Critical Literary Studies, Vol. 48, No. 2, Spring 2021). Her book analyzing the deployment of romance as a figure signaling the continuum of nationalist formation and deformation in Du Bois’s fiction, “Tales from Du Bois: The Queer Intimacy of Cross-Caste Romance,” is forthcoming from SUNY press in 2022.


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