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For over twenty years, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers has been lifting her voice on issues of Black culture, racism, American history, and gender through the medium of writing. Her most recent collection, The Age of Phillis (2020) was long-listed for the National Book Award in Poetry and nominated for the 2021 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry. She is also the author of The Gospel of Barbecue (2000); Outlandish Blues (2003); Red Clay Suite (2007); and The Glory Gets (2015). Jeffers is also a prose writer and author of the forthcoming novel The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois (2021). She is the recipient of fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, the Witter Bynner Foundation through the Library of Congress, and the Tennessee Williams’ Scholarship in Fiction from the Sewanee Writers Conference. She was also the winner of the Emerging Fiction Fellowship from the Aspen Summer Words Conference and recently was honored with the 2018 Harper Lee Award for Literary Distinction, a lifetime achievement award. She is a Professor of English at the University of Oklahoma.
Dr. Kerry Sinanan, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Texas-San Antonio, received her Ph.D. from Trinity College, Dublin in 2003. She has taught at several universities in the UK and Ireland including the University of the West of England, and the National University of Ireland, Galway. She is now completing her monograph, Myths of Mastery: Traders, Planters and Colonial Agents 1750-1833 for The University of North Carolina Press. This book examines the writings in various genres by slave traders and slave owners from the mid-eighteenth century up to British emancipation (1834). It analyzes enslavers' attempts to construct an identity or self in their texts as they draw on a range of literary genres and contemporaneous discourses, tracing their self-justification as they made a living within the violence of slavery. Myths of Mastery situates itself within the related areas of eighteenth-century studies and critical race theory to focus specifically on the articulation of mastery and selfhood within a range of writings produced by British enslavers. Twitter handle: @kerry_sinanan