Erica R. Edwards
Associate Professor of English
Presidential Term Chair in African American Literature
African-American & Diaspora, Gender & Sexuality, Twentieth Century & Contemporary

Erica R. Edwards is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, where she holds the Presidential Term Chair in African American Literature. Before coming to Rutgers, Professor Edwards taught at the University of California, Riverside for ten years. There, she created the Lindon Barrett Scholars Mentoring Program and co-founded the UC Consortium for Black Studies in California. She is the author of Charisma and the Fictions of Black Leadership (, which was awarded the Modern Language Association’s William Sanders Scarborough Prize. She is a co-editor of Keywords for African American Studies (, published in 2018 by NYU Press. Her work on contemporary African American literature, politics, and gender critique has appeared in journals such as differences, Callaloo, American Quarterly, American Literary History, and Black Camera. She is currently completing her book on African American literature and the War on Terror.

MU 013, College Ave. Campus


Fall 2019: Tuesdays 12:00-2:00

  • Black Women Writers
  • Black Feminism and Popular Culture
  • Black Feminist Theory and Literary Culture
  • Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship, Harvard University
  • William Sanders Scarborough Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Study of African American Literature and Culture, Modern Language Association

“"The New Black Novel and The Long War on Terror.” American Literary History 29.4 (December 2017): 664-81.

“"Sex after the Black Normal.” Differences 26.1 (Spring 2015): 141-67. Honorable Mention for Modern Language Association Crompton-Noll Essay Award, 2016.

“Baldwin and Black Leadership.” Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin, ed Michele Elam. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2015. 150-163.

“Through the Other Looking Glass: Kaleidoscope Aesthetics and the Optics of Black Leadership.”  African Identities11.2 (Spring 2013, Special Issue on Cedric Robinson): 227-35.

“Black Literature, Black Leadership: New Directions, New Boundaries.” South Atlantic Quarterly 112.2 (Spring 2013): 217-219.

“‘Welcome Back to the Living’: Twilight Memories of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Contemporary American Television.” South Atlantic Quarterly112.2 (Spring 2013).  241-260.  


Reprinted in Race and Secularism in America, eds. Vincent Lloyd and Jonathan Khan. New York: Columbia UP, 2016.

“Of Cain and Abel: African American Literature and the Problem of Inheritance After 9/11.”  American Literary History25.1 (Spring 2013): 190-204.

“Tuning in to Precious:The Black Women’s Empowerment Adaptation and the Interruptions of the Absurd.”  Black Camera 4.1 (Winter 2012, Special “Close-up” on Precious): 74-95.

“The Black President Hokum.” American Quarterly 63.1 (March 2011): 33-59.


B.A. in English and Spanish, Spelman College
Ph.D. in Literature, Duke University