Shirley Moody-Turner

Shirley Moody-Turner

Associate Professor of English and African American Studies

Office Phone: (814) 863-9584


Shirley Moody-Turner is an associate professor of English and African American Studies at Pennsylvania State University, where she specializes in African American literary and cultural studies.  In her teaching, research, and service, she has been committed both to re-conceptualizing the relationship between African American literature and folklore and to providing new ways of constructing African American literary history. In her first book, Black Folklore and the Politics of Racial Representation, she argued that literary representations of black folklore must be understood in relation to the various national directives and institutional discourses that created troubling links between folklore, race, and national identity, while her current project, Privately Printed: Anna Julia Cooper and the Gender Politics of Black Publishing, examines how the intersecting dynamics of race and gender have impacted African American literary production, positing an alternative approach to recovering black women writers’ literary histories.  In addition to these works, she co-edited Contemporary African American Literature: The Living Canon and is currently editing African American Literature in Transition, 1900-1910 for the Cambridge University Press multi-volume series, African American Literature in Transition. She has published, and has forthcoming articles and book chapters, in African American Review, MELUS, MLA Approaches to Teaching Charles W. Chesnutt, A Companion to African American Literature, A Companion to American Literature, and Oxford Bibliographies Online. For ten years, she served as co-organizer of the Celebrating African American Literature conference series and, in 2016, founded the Cooper-DuBois mentoring program. She is the recipient of a Ford Foundation Fellowship, a post-doctoral fellowship from Rutgers University, an innovation grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and most recently was recognized as a 2015-16 Alumni Teaching Fellow.

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