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January 27, 2015 at 2:53 pm

Hardison Book Named Outstanding Academic Title by Choice

Dr. Ayesha K. Hardison’ book Writing through Jane Crow: Race and Gender Politics in African American Literature has been named an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice.

Hardison is Associate Professor of English at Ohio University.

Every year in the January issue, in print and online, Choice publishes a highly selective list of Outstanding Academic Titles that were reviewed during the previous calendar year. This prestigious list reflects the best in scholarly titles reviewed by Choice and brings with it the extraordinary recognition of the academic library community.

Writing through Jane CrowIn Writing through Jane Crow: Race and Gender Politics in African American Literature (University of Virginia Press 2014), Hardison examines African American literature and its representation of black women during the pivotal but frequently overlooked decades of the 1940s and 1950s. At the height of Jim Crow racial segregation—a time of transition between the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts movement and between World War II and the modern civil rights movement—black writers also addressed the effects of “Jane Crow,” the interconnected racial, gender, and sexual oppression that black women experienced. Hardison maps the contours of this literary moment with the understudied works of well-known writers like Gwendolyn Brooks, Zora Neale Hurston, Ann Petry, and Richard Wright as well as the writings of neglected figures like Curtis Lucas, Pauli Murray, and Era Bell Thompson.

By shifting her focus from the canonical works of male writers who dominated the period, the author recovers the work of black women writers. Hardison shows how their texts anticipated the renaissance of black women’s writing in later decades and initiates new conversations on the representation of women in texts by black male writers. She draws on a rich collection of memoirs, music, etiquette guides, and comics to further reveal the texture and tensions of the era.

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