Department of English

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Faculty Profiles

Faculty Profile

Douglas A. Jones, Jr.
Assistant Professor of English
Murray Hall | Room 006
College Ave Campus

Office Hours: Monday 2:30 - 4:30 pm by appointment

Professor Jones is a literary and cultural historian of the late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century U.S. His first book, The Captive Stage: Performance and the Proslavery Imagination of the Antebellum North (Michigan 2014), charts the ways in which proslavery thought shaped the development of several performance and literary cultures in the free antebellum north. The book argues that this proslavery imagination—embodied and enacted in broadside literature, early blackface minstrelsy, stagings of the American Revolution, reform melodrama, and abolitionist discourse—directly opposed the inclusionary claims that African Americans expressed in their own performance practices and, therefore, conditioned how the course of black freedom unfolded in the period. He is currently at work on a new book-length study of Frederick Douglass and American political theory, specifically Emersonian democratic individuality. A past fellow of the Princeton Society of Fellows, Professor Jones is also on faculty at the Bread Loaf School of English.

Other research and teachings interests include the relationship between embodiment and literary history; genre, especially melodrama; the cultural history of slavery; race and performance.

Education Areas of Specialization

PhD, Stanford
BFA, New York University

Early American and antebellum literature and culture; African American literature; the cultural history of slavery; drama and performance; post-black aesthetics
  • The Captive Stage: Performance and the Proslavery Imagination of the Antebellum North (Michigan, 2014)
  • Co-editor, with Harry J. Elam, Jr., The Methuen Drama Book of Post-Black Plays (Methuen/Bloomsbury, 2012)
Other Publications
  • “Early Black American Writing and the Making of a Literature.” Early American Literature 49.2 (Summer 2014).
  • “Slavery’s Performance-Texts,” Cambridge Companion to Slavery and American Literature, Ezra Tawil, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).
  • “Black Politics but not Black People: Rethinking the Social and ‘Racial’ History of Early Minstrelsy,” TDR/The Drama Review: 57.2 (Summer 2013).
 Undergraduate Courses Taught  Graduate Course Taught
  • Uncle Tom and Anti-Toms: Seminar (Fall 2013)
  • Twentieth-Century American Drama (Fall 2013)
  • Black American Literature to 1930 (Spring 2014)
  • Emerson and Douglass (Spring 2014)
Awards and Distinctions
  • Cotsen Fellow, Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, 2011-2013, Princeton University
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 2011-2012 (Declined), Center for African American Studies, Princeton University
  • Wendell Cole Memorial Award for Distinguished Dissertation, Stanford University
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