The Blackademic Life critically examines academic fictions produced by black writers. In it, Lavelle Porter evaluates the depiction of academic and campus life in literature as a space for black writers to produce counternarratives that celebrate the potentials of black intelligence and argue for the importance of black higher education, particularly in the humanistic tradition.
Beginning with an examination of W. E. B. Du Bois’s creative writing as the source of the first black academic novels, Porter looks at the fictional representations of black intellectual life and the expectations that are placed on faculty and students to be racial representatives and spokespersons, whether or not they ever intended to be. The final chapter examines blackademics on stage and screen, including in the 2014 academic film Dear White Peopleand the groundbreaking television series A Different World.
Lavelle Porter is Assistant Professor of English at College of Technology, City University of New York.
Debarati Biswas teaches English at Hunter College.