Sabrina Evans, PhD Dual Title Program in English and African American and Diaspora Studies
Dissertation Advisor: Dr. Shirley Moody-Turner, Associate Professor of English and African American Studies
Dissertation Description: My dissertation project, "Continuous Dignified Action: Black Clubwomen's Literary, Intellectual, and Public Activism" charts what I identify as the “continuous dignified action” of Black clubwomen who intervened in turn-of-the-twentieth century discourses of dignity to join their intellectual work with organized, direct action. My project works at the intersections of Black literary and print culture, digital humanities, and Black feminism to take seriously the intellectual contributions women like Anna Julia Cooper, Mary Church Terrell, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and Ida B. Wells were making to discourses on dignity, print culture, and collective organizing. Mining the archives of published and unpublished writings, my project brings together a wide range of materials, across literary genres and forms, to argue that the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was a critical period in which Black clubwomen shared the challenges of seeing their collective dignity denied and based on their own intellectual and experiential knowledge of racism and sexism, understood that Black people’s right to dignity was not stable and would require a continual process of direct action to controvert future attacks.