April Langley

Dr. April Langley
Associate Professor Emerita (she, her, hers)

PhD 2001, University of Notre Dame

Research and Teaching

18th- and 19th-century Afro-British, African Diaspora, and American Literature and Theory

April Langley began teaching at the University of Missouri in 2001, when she joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor of English in the newly developed area concentration of African Diaspora Studies. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English from Mills College; she attended the University of Notre Dame and received her PhD in English in 2001. Langley specializes in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century African American and American Literature and Theory. Her courses include such topics as early black narrative forms (conversion, captivity, slave narration, travel, and spiritual autobiography), eighteenth-century Afro-British American poetics, and nineteenth-century black women writers. Her interdisciplinary research integrates African Diaspora literature, African, American and African American Studies, and Black Feminist/Womanist theory and criticism. She has published articles in The Western Journal of Black Studiesa/b: Autobiography Studiesbma/Sonia Sanchez Literary Review, as well as review essays for Legacy and Early American Literature. Her book, The Black Aesthetic Unbound: Theorizing the Dilemma of Self and Identity in Eighteenth-Century African American Literature (Ohio State University Press 2007), explores the culturally specific African origins of the eighteenth-century Afro-British American literary and cultural self through a conceptualization of the dilemma posed by competing African, American, and British cultural identities. She is currently researching and writing #earlyBlackChristianWomensLivesMatter: Spirituality and Social Justice Movements in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth Century America. Additional book projects include Looking for Phillis, an in-depth study on the Senegambian poetics and oral traditions that influence the poetry of Phillis Wheatley, as well as a study on Anna Julia Cooper, race, gender, and double consciousness. She is also a Phi Beta Kappa member, 2001 AAUW fellow, and a 2003-2005 Postdoctoral Fellow in African and Afro-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Research and Teaching: 18th- and 19th-century Africana and American Literature, Religion, Gender Theory (Black Feminisms/Womanisms), Autobiography and Critical Theory. She has been an affiliate of Black Studies since 2001, jointly appointed faculty in 2010, and served as Assistant Director of Black Studies Program from 2009-2013, until it officially achieved department status in 2013 in the College of Arts & Science, where she was appointed as chair of the Black Studies Department for a number of years. She was also an affiliate in the departments of Religious Studies and Women and Gender Studies and is also a proud first-generation college graduate and United States Army veteran.

Awards and Honors

University of Missouri Golden Chalk Award

Postdoctoral Fellowship in African and Afro-American Studies

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Dissertation Fellowship

Selected Publications

The Black Aesthetic Unbound: Theorizing the Dilemma of and Eighteenth-Century African-American Literature Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2008

"The Eighteenth-Century Black Wor(l)d and Early Writers' Biblical Literacy" Beyond Douglass: New Perspectives on Early African-American Literature Apercus: Histories, Texts Cultures a Bucknell Series Lewisburg: Buckness UP, 2008

Early American Slave Narratives Oxford Handbook of Early American Literaure Oxford University Press, 2008 Editor Kevin Hayes

"Interesting Exchanges: Cultural Expeditions and Rhetorical Acquisitions in The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African." BMa: The Sonia Sanchez Literary Review Fall 2003 (Issue 9.1)

"Imagined Post-Coloniality and 'Natural' Coloniality: The Production of Space in Phillis Wheatley's 'Niobe in Distress for her Children Slain by Apollo'." A/B: Auto/Biography Studies Spring 2002 (Issue 16.2)

Western Journal of Black Studies Winter 2001 (Issue 25.1)

"Lucy Terry Prince: The Cultural and Literary Legacy of Africana Womanism" Western Journal of Black Studies Fall 2001 (Issue 25.3)