Michele Elam

Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education
Ph.D., University of Washington, 1992
At Stanford Since: 


Michele Elam, Martin Luther King, Jr. Centennial Professor and Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, is Professor of English and Director of Curriculum at Stanford University. 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), is Editor for the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and is currently working on editing a critical mixed race studies reader. 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 collections on race and culture such as 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 is current Director of Curriculum (2011-13). Elected member and then Chair of the Executive Committee for the Black Literatures & Culture Division of the Modern Language Association (2009-13), she is now on the Advisory Committee for the American Literature Society at MLA. A founding member of the Critical Mixed Race Studies Association, she also serves on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Critical Mixed Race Studies and African American Reviewand is Advisor for the Mixed Race Initiative, 100 universities worldwide joined in a multi-institution synchronous teaching program centered around the Asian American Literary Review, Special Issue on Mixed Race (2013).

Elam is twice the recipient of the St Clair Drake Outstanding Teaching Award at Stanford (2004, 2006) among her other teaching awards. Recent undergraduate and graduate seminars include African American Poetics, Mixed Race Literature & Politics in the U.S and South Africa, Narratives of Enslavement &Theories of Redress, Feminism for the 21st Century, Race Theory in the Post-Race Era, Black to the Future: The End(s) of African American Literary History, W.E.B. Du Bois and American Culture, Toni Morrison & the Occasion of Black Feminism, Art & Activism, Literature of the Have & Have-Nots, and Literature by Women of Color. Her interests span the 18th-21st centuries.