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About Elizabeth J West

Elizabeth J. West publishes and teaches in American, African American and African diasporic literatures. She is a professor of English at Georgia State University,in Atlanta. Her essays can be found in anthologies as well as in journals such as PALARA, American Studies Journal (Halle-Wittenberg, Germany), CLAJ, MELUS, JCCH, Womanist, Black Magnolias, SLI, and SCR. Her research and teaching focus on gender, race and class, with emphasis on intersections of the spiritual in black literary works of the United States and the Americas. She is especially interested in early African American Literature (in the areas of spirituality, gender and identity. Her work in contemporary literatures extends the early focus to cross continental spiritual connections in Africana writings, and explorations of identity hybridity in Afro-Latin and Afro-Caribbean immigrant writings. Her monograph, African Spirituality in Black Women's Fiction (Lexington Books, 2011) traces specific African spiritual sensibilities from early to modern black women’s writings. She has co-edited Literary Expressions of African Spirituality (Lexington Books, 2013) a collection of critical essays on African spirituality in the black Atlantic. Her article, “From David Walker to President Obama: Tropes of the Founding Fathers in African American Discourses of Democracy, or the Legacy of Ishmael,” has been recognized among “Featured Articles in American Studies” (American Studies Journals: A Directory of Worldwide Resources). She has received support for her research and teaching as a DAAD Fellow (Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany) and an AAUW Fellow. She is a member of and current Assistant Treasurer for the College Language Association.


Present Faculty Member, Georgia State University