American literatures before Reconstruction; African American culture and writing before 1920; performance theory; literature and/as political philosophy, especially American democratic theory
Douglas Jones' research and courses treat (African) American literatures of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, drama and performance studies, and cultural histories of slavery in British North America and the US. He is currently working on two monographs. "Democratic Habitus: A Political Theory of Early African American Literature" explores early African American writers' contributions to democratic theory and praxis; an essay from that research, "Slave Evangelicalism, Shouting, and the Beginning of African American Writing," appears in Early American Literature. The other is "The Black Below: Minstrelsy and the Grime of Modernity," a study of nineneeth-century black minstrelsy and the ways in which it shaped African American literary modernism, from fin-de-siècle poetics and Harlem Renaissance-era novels to Ralph Ellison's cultural theory; an essay from this project is forthcoming in American Literary History.
Professor Jones is the author of The Captive Stage: Performance and the Proslavery Imagination of the Antebellum North (Michigan, 2014); guest editor of the special issue of Modern Drama 62.4 "Slavery's Reinventions" (Winter 2019); co-editor of the essay collection Race and Performance after Repetition (Duke, 2020), and co-editor of The Methuen Drama Book of Post-Black Plays (Methuen/Bloomsbery, 2013). His essays have appeared or are forthcoming in American Literary History, J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, Early American Literature, Theatre Survey, and TDR, among other journals and anthologies.
Professor Jones serves on the Executive Committee of the American Society for Theatre Research (2016-2019) and the editorial boards of Theatre Survey and J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists. At Rutgers, he is faculty director of the certificate in Drama and Performance Studies, coordinates the Seminar on Literature and Political Theory in the Center for Cultural Analysis (CCA), and sits on the CCA's Executive Committee (2017-2020). A former fellow of the Princeton Society of Fellows, Professor Jones is also on faculty at the Bread Loaf School of English, where he has held the Frank and Eleanor Griffiths Chair.
36 Union Street, #101, College Ave Campus
By appointment only (summer 2019)
- Political Theory and African American Literature: Seminar
- Antebellum American Literature
- Slavery and American Culture: Seminar
- Uncle Tom and Anti-Toms: Seminar
- Black American Writing and Literature to 1910
- Introduction to Performance Theory
- Staging America from the Colonial Period to the Civil War
- The Literature of Black New York from Slavery to the Great Migration
- Twentieth-Century American Drama
- Civilization and its Discontents
- Slavery and Personhood: Ontologies and (Narrative) Afterlives
- Form, Genre, and Period in Early African American Writing
- Emerson and Douglass
- Conference Program Chair, American Society for Theatre Research, 2020
- Keynote Address for the international conference, "Staging Slavery Around 1800: Representations of Slavery and Race from an International Perspective," Ghent University, 2019
- Winner of the inaugural Josè Esteban Muñoz Working Session, American Society for Theatre Research, 2016
- Frank and Eleanor Griffiths Chair, Bread Loaf School of English, 2015
- 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
- Co-editor, Race and Performance after Repeitition (Duke, 2020)
- Editor, "Slavery's Reinventions," a special issue of Modern Drama 62.4 (2019)
- The Captive Stage: Performance and the Proslavery Imagination of the Antebellum North (Michigan, 2014)
- Co-editor, The Methuen Drama Book of Post-Black Plays (Methuen/Bloomsbury, 2013)
Selected articles and essays
- “African American Literature.” In How Literatures Begin, eds. Denis Feeney and Joel Lande. Princeton UP, 2020.
- "Slavery's Reinventions," Modern Drama 62.4 (Winter 2019).
- “Slave Evangelicalism, Shouting, and the Beginning of African American Writing.” Early American Literature 53.1 (2018): 69-95.
- “American; or, The Emergence of Audiences and their Blackface Salve.” J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 6.2 (2018): 403-409.
- “Douglass’ Impersonal.” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 61.1 (Winter 2015): 1-35.
- "Black Politics but not Black People: Re-thinking the Social and ‘Racial’ History of Early Minstrelsy.” TDR: The Drama Review 57.2 (Summer 2013): 21-37.