Erica R. Edwards
Associate Professor of English and Associate Director of Graduate Program (Spring 2022)
Presidential Term Chair in African American Literature
African-American & Diaspora, Critical Race Studies, Gender & Sexuality, Twentieth Century, Twenty-first Century

Dr. Erica R. Edwards is Associate Professor of English and Presidential Term Chair in African American Literature. An expert in African American literature, politics, and feminist studies, she is the author of Charisma and the Fictions of Black Leadership, which was awarded the Modern Language Association’s William Sanders Scarborough Prize. Her new book, The Other Side of Terror: Black Women and the Culture of US Empire, was published by NYU Press. 


Edwards is the co-editor of Keywords for African American Studies (NYU Press, 2018). Her work has appeared in journals such as differences, Callaloo, American Quarterly, American Literary History, and Black Camera.


Edwards is directing the English Honors Program this year. She is also serving as the Associate Director of Graduate Studies in Spring 2022. She also currently co-directs the Rutgers English Diversity Institute (REDI). Before coming to Rutgers, Edwards taught for ten years at the University of California, Riverside, where she founded the Lindon Barrett Scholars Mentoring Program at and co-founded the University of California Consortium for Black Studies in California.

MU 013, College Ave. Campus


Fall 2021: Thursdays 11-1 and by appointment

Graduate Office
  • 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