April 26, 2021 at 8:42 am

Holcomb Co-Edits ‘Transhistoricizing Claude McKay′s Romance in Marseille’

Dr. Gary Holcomb, p[ortrait

Dr. Gary Holcomb

Dr. Gary Holcomb co-edited an issue of English Language Notes titled “Transhistoricizing Claude McKay′s Romance in Marseille,” published by Duke University Press.

Holcomb, a professor in African American Studies at Ohio University, was conducting his dissertation research on writer Claude McKay — a key literary figure in the Harlem Renaissance — when he came across a reference to an unpublished novel housed in the archives of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York. Holcomb went on to unearth the novel, and in February 2020, Penguin Classics published McKay’s Romance in Marseille with an extensive introduction developed through research by Holcomb and fellow scholar William J. Maxwell of Washington University at St. Louis.

Romance in Marseille debuted to acclaim as “a new-old text that transcends historical boundaries, resonating with both the present moment and the hundred-year-old era of the New Negro. This special issue offers the first-ever collection of academic essays on this novel, which arrived as an instant classic: both a benchmark of the Harlem Renaissance and a fresh statement that could have been written for twenty-first-century readers,” says the Duke University Press website.

“Using McKay’s Romance as a critical compass point, the authors map new directions and historical territories in Black modernism, queer theory, disability studies, Marxist/materialist thought, and other established and emerging areas.”

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