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Willie J. Harrell, Jr.

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Wayne State, 2003

A native of historic Liberty (Amite County), Mississippi, Professor Harrell came to Kent State from Wayne State University where he received his Master of Arts (1999) and his Doctor of Philosophy (2003), both in English/African-American Literature and Cultural Studies. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications (1997) from Jackson State University. 

Professor Harrell’s research interests include Nineteenth-Century American Literature/Cultural Studies with an emphasis on African-American Literature/Cultural Studies, African-American Jeremiadic Rhetoric, Slave Narratives, Early African-American Religion, Charles Chesnutt, Oral History, and Historicizing Text. His dissertation, “To Bear The ‘Slave’s Heavy Cross’: Religion and the Jeremiadic Tradition as Literary and Social Constructions in African-American Protest, 1760-1865,” explored how antebellum African Americans utilized the elements of the American jeremiad to advance distinct social interests and political agendas. 

Professor Harrell is also interested in the Fugitive Slave Narrative and its influence on American Arts and Letters, and placing those lesser know narratives into the American canon by juxtaposing them with other proficient, well-crafted works. Before joining the KSU faculty, Professor Harrell taught at Wayne State, Lawrence Technological University, University of Detroit-Mercy, and for the Archdiocese of New Orleans school system.

 

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Publications

Books

  • Origins of the African American Jeremiad: The Rhetorical Strategies of Social Protest and Activism, 1760-1861. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2011.
  • We Wear the Mask: Paul Laurence Dunbar and the Politics of Representative Reality. Kent: Kent State UP. (2010).

Articles

  • "I am an Anarchist': The Social Anarchism of Lucy E. Parsons," Journal of International Women's Studies 13.1 (2012): 1-18.
  • “‘Sons of the Forest’: The Native American Jeremiad Materialized in the Social Protest Rhetoric of William Apess, 1829-1836.” AMERICIANA: E-Journal of American Studies in Hungary 7.2 (2011): 20 pages. <http://americanaejournal.hu/vol7no2/harrell>.
  • “A ‘21st Century Economic Agenda for America’: Barack Obama’s Pre-Presidential Economic Jeremiads.” Canadian Review of American Studies 41.3 (2011): 299-324.
  • “To Struggle up the Thorny Path to Literature’: Biblical Intertextuality in Paul Laurence Dunbar’s ‘Ohio Pastorals.’” AMERICIANA: E-Journal of American Studies in Hungary 6.2 (2010): 17 pages. <http://americanaejournal.hu/vol6no2/harrell>.
  • "We Represent the End of Race: Uncovering Langston Hughes's Jeremiadic Discourse." MidAmerica XXXVI (2009): 107-127.
  • “The Reality of American Life Has Strayed From its Myths’: Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope and the Discourse of the American Reclamation Jeremiad.Journal of Black Studies 41.1 (2010): 164-183, first published on July 15, 2009. Reprinted in Barack Obama: Political Frontiers and Racial Agency. Eds. Ama Mazama and Molefi K. Asante. Washinton DC: CQ Press College, 2011. 275-292.
  • “We Shall Crush Apartheid’: Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko and the Rhetoric of the South African Anti-Apartheid Jeremiad.”  Ethnicity and Race in a Changing World: A Review Journal 1.1 (2009): 13-27. 
  • “I Am on the Coloured Side’: The Rhetoric of Passing in Jessie Redmon Fauset’s Plum Bun: A Novel Without a Moral.” CLA Journal 52.2 (2008): 187-208. 
  • “Thanks be to God that I am Elected to Canada’: The Formulation of the Black Canadian Jeremiad, 1830-1861.” Journal of Canadian Studies 42.3 (2008): 55-79.
  • “A Call to Social and Political Activism: The Jeremiadic Discourse of Maria Miller Stewart, 1831-1833.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 9.3 (2008): 300-319.
  • “We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident’: Characteristics of African-American Jeremiadic Discourse, 1770-1850.” CLA Journal 50.4 (2007): 395-417.
  • “A Call to Consciousness and Action: Mapping the African-American Jeremiad.” Canadian Review of American Studies 36.2 (2006): 149-180.
  • "Reading Narratives: Mississippi’s First Black Autobiography.” Black Magnolias: A Literary Journal 1.4 (2002): 4-21.

Book Chapters

  • "Introduction: Dunbar and the Ethics of Black Identity." We Wear the Mask: Paul Laurence Dunbar and the Politics of Representative Reality. Ed. Willie J. Harrell, Jr. Kent: Kent State UP, 2010. ix-xviii.
  • “Creating a Representative Community: Identity in Paul Laurence Dunbar’s In Old Plantation Days.” We Wear the Mask: Paul Laurence Dunbar and the Politics of Representative Reality. Ed. Willie J. Harrell, Jr. Kent: Kent State UP. 2010. 154-169
  • “Nemmine. You Got to Git Somebody Else to Ring Yo’ Ol’ Bell Now’: ‘Nigger Ed’ and the Rhetoric of Racial Protest in Paul Laurence Dunbar’s The Fanatics.” We Wear the Mask: Paul Laurence Dunbar and the Politics of Representative Reality. Ed. Willie J. Harrell, Jr. Kent: Kent State UP. 2010. 242-253.
  • “The Fruit of My Own Imagination’: Charles Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition in the Age of Realism.” Charles Chesnutt Reappraised: Essays on the First Major African American Fiction Writer. Eds. David Garrett Izzo and Maria Orban. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2009. 26-41.
  • Review of “The Deepest South: The United States, Brazil, and the African Slave Trade,” by Gerald Horne.  African American Review. 43.0 (2009): 183-184.
  • Review of “The Curse of Caste; or The Slave Bride: A Rediscovered African American Novel by Julia C. Collins,” edited  by William L. Andrews and Mitch Kachun. The Southern Quarterly: A Journal of the Arts in the South 45.3 (2008): 187-190.
  • Review of “The Brothers’ Vietnam War: Black Power, Manhood, and the Military Experience,” by Herman Graham, III. African American Review 38.2 (2004): 345-348.
  • “Song of Solomon.” Dictionary of Midwestern Literature, Volume Two: Dimensions of the Midwestern Literary Imagination. (2000 words). Forthcoming.
  • “Mardi Gras Masks and Costumes.” The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African-American Folklore. Ed. Anand Prahlad. Vol. 2. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2005. 813-816.
  • “New Orleans (as a center of folk tradition).” The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African-American Folklore. Ed. Anand Prahlad. Vol. 2. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2005. 902-904.
  • “Zydeco.” The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African-American Folklore. Ed. Anand Prahlad. Vol. 3. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2005. 1414-1417.
  • “Langston Hughes.” The Thomson Anthology of American Literature, Volume 4 (1910-1945), Ed. Martha J. Cutter. Boston: Thomson/Gale, 2008. Theme 14, 10-12.
  • “Zee Edgell.” Voices from the Gaps: Women Writers of Color. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Department of  English.
Research Areas
  • African-American Literature
  • African-American Jeremiadic Rhetoric
  • Slave Narratives
  • Early African-American Religion
Willie J. Harrell, Jr.
OFFICE
Department of English
CONTACT INFO
Phone: 330-672-1765
wharrell@kent.edu
COURSES TEACHING
Spring 2014
  • ENG 39995 - 001 St : Cultural Studies
  • ENG 68096 - 003 Individual Investigation
  • ENG 78096 - 002 Individual Investigation
Summer 2014
  • ENG 11011 - 010 College Writing I
  • ENG 21011 - 006 College Writing Ii
Fall 2014
  • ENG 21011 - 019 College Writing Ii
  • ENG 33010 - 001 African American Lit To 1900
EXPERTISE