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Michele Elam

William Robertson Coe Professor
Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education
Director of the Graduate Program in Modern Thought and Literature (MTL)
At Stanford Since: 


Michele Elam, Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, Professor of English, and currently Director of Stanford University's interdisciplinary graduate program, Modern Thought and Literature (MTL). She is an affiliate with the Michelle R. Clayman Insitute for Gender Studies, African & African American Studies, and Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity. Elam is the author of Race, Work, and Desire in American Literature, 1860-1930 (Cambridge University Press, 2003), The Souls of Mixed Folk: Race, Politics, and Aesthetics in the New Millennium (Stanford University Press, 2011), and is Editor of the Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin (Cambridge University Press, 2015). She has published articles in African American Review, American Literature, Theatre Journal and Genre, among others as well as op-eds for CNN, Huffington Post, and Boston Review. Her work appears in many collections on race and culture, including Subjects and Citizens: Nation, Race and Gender from ""Oroonoko"" to Anita Hill (eds. Cathy Davidson and Michael Moon, Duke University Press) and in W.E.B. Du Bois and the Gender of the Color-Line (eds. Susan Gillman and Alys Weinbaum, University of Minnesota Press).

At Stanford, Elam has served as Director of the Program in African & African American Studies (2007-10), Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of English (2006-8) and Director of Curriculum (2011-13). Chair of the Executive Committee for the Black Literatures & Culture Division of the Modern Language Association (2009-13) and Chair of the Executive Council for the American Literature Society at MLA (2011-14), she serves on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies and African American Review is Advisor for the Mixed Race Initiative, 100 universities worldwide joined in a multi-institution synchronous teaching program centered around the Asian American Literary ReviewSpecial Issue on Mixed Race (2013), and a Scholar/Advisor for the Baldwin Project.

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Dedicated to teaching, Elam is thrice the recipient of the St Clair Drake Outstanding Teaching Award at Stanford (2004, 2006, 2015) and the Faculty Award for “Outstanding Service to Undergraduate Students as a Teacher, Advisor and Mentor” from the Program in Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity (2013), among her other teaching awards. Recent undergraduate and graduate seminars include Mixed Race Politics & Culture; African American Poetics; Mixed Race Literature in the U.S and South Africa; Narratives of Enslavement & Theories of Redress; Modernism & the Harlem Renaissance; Gender Studies for the 21st Century; Literature by Women of Color; Race Theory in the Post-Race Era; W.E.B. Du Bois and American Culture; Toni Morrison & the Occasion of Black Feminism; Art & Activism; Literature of Inequality: Have & Have-Nots from the Gilded Age to the Occupy Era.


Related News

Oct 12 2017 | Stanford News
The Bass University Fellows in Undergraduate Education Program recognizes faculty for their exceptional contributions to undergraduate...
Mar 13 2015 | Stanford Report
By Nate Sloan From jazz to theater to children's books, Stanford Professor Michele Elam's forthcoming edited volume explores the panoramic...