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- B.A., Wesleyan University
- Ph.D., Emory University
- 20th-century visual arts
- African American art history and literature
- Popular culture
- Contemporary America (AMS 231)
- African American Folk Art (AMS 321)
- African American Art (AMS 341)
- Writer & Artist in America (AMS 421/521)
- Popular Culture in America (AMS 422/522)
- Race & Essentialism in American Culture (AMS 492/592)
- American Folklore (AMS 492/AMS 592)
- Art Worlds & American Values (AMS 492/592)
- “‘Anything I Can Stick a Needle In’: An Interview with Yvonne Wells.” Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics 31 (2011): 63-104.
- “Hughie Lee-Smith and Cold War Aesthetics of Alienation.” International Review of African American Art 23.1 (Spring 2010): 16-25.
- “‘John Henry Had a Little Woman . . .’: Race and Gender Ideologies in the Adaptations of a Folk Legend, 1931-1947.” Columbia Journal of American Studies (2007): 55-93.
- “Clementine Hunter and Melrose Plantation.” American Art 19 (Spring 2005): 25-28.
- “Migration, Material Culture, and Identity in William Attaway’s Blood on the Forge and Harriette Arnow’s The Dollmaker.” College English 63.6 (July 2001): 712-740.
- “‘The Strange and Wonderful Workings of Science’: Race Science and Essentialism in George Schuyler’s Black No More.” CLA Journal 42.3 (March 1999): 331-352.
- “Dust Tracks Untrampled by the Dinosaur of History: The Ibo’s Landing and Flying Africans Narratives as Mythic Counter-Memory.” Sycamore: A Journal of American Culture 1.1 (Spring 1997).
- The Other Blacklist: The African American Literary and Cultural Left of the 1950s. By Mary Helen Washington. New York: Columbia UP, 2014. In Resources for American Literary Study 39 (2017).
- Winner of the 2021 Anne B. and James B. McMillan Prize from the University of Alabama Press Editorial Board for the book manuscript selected as “Most Deserving in Alabama or Southern History and Culture.”
- Winner of the 2018 Wayland D. Hand Prize from the American Folklore Society: awarded biennially for the best book combining historical and folkloristic methods and materials.