Black writing project brings author to campus
Pace University professor to discuss written works
of 19th-century slave
The Project on the History of Black Writing at KU will celebrate its 20th
year with a lecture focusing on the life and writing of Harriet Jacobs
(1813-1897), the only African-American woman held in slavery whose papers
have been found.
Fagan Yellin, author and distinguished professor emerita of Pace University,
will speak at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, in Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas
Union. A 6 p.m. reception in Alderson will precede her talk about Jacobs,
whose book Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself,
was published in 1861.
Jacobs’ book and papers are among early examples of black writing
talent in the United States. Her life and work have been featured in the
PBS documentary series “Africans in America” and in a new
PBS documentary series, “Slavery and the Making of America,”
scheduled to air in 2005.
Yellin is editor and director of the Harriet Jacobs Papers Project at
Pace. Yellin’s newest book, Harriet Jacobs: A Life was published
Yellin’s visit to KU celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Project
on the History of Black Writing, located at KU since 1996.
Maryemma Graham, professor of English and founder and director of the
Project on the History of Black Writing, brought it to KU from Northeastern
University in Boston. Graham founded the project while at the University
of Mississippi, Oxford, when it was titled the Afro-American Novel Project.
KU’s Project on the History of Black Writing has the most comprehensive
database of largely out-of-print and neglected novels published by African
Americans and has developed activities for teaching and researching African-American
literature at the high school and college level and beyond.
For more information visit www.ku.edu/~phbw/.