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Frances Smith-Foster Professor Emerita


Frances Smith-Foster joined the Emory faculty in 1994 and in 1996 was named Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Women’s Studies. She was director of Women’s Studies (1999-2002) and Chair of the English department (2005-2008). In 2006 she was named University Scholar/Teacher of the Year. While at Emory she edited or authored 16 books and numerous articles.


  • Til Death or Distance Do Us Part: Love and Marriage in African America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Paperback edition 2010.
  • Still Brave: The Evolution of Black Women’s Studies. New York: Feminist Press, 2010. Edited with Stanlie James and Beverly Guy-Sheftall.
  • Love and Marriage in Early African America: An Anthology. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England, 2007.
  • La Familia En Africa Y La Diaspora Africana: Estudio multidisciplinar/Family in Africa and the African Diaspora: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Salamanca: Almar-Anglistica, 2004. Edited with Olga Barrios.
  • Norton Critical Edition of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. New York: W.W. Norton, 2001. Edited with Nellie Y. McKay. 2nd edition edited with Richard Yarborough 2019.
  • Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. Edited with William L. Andrews and Trudier Harris. Online Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature. New York: Oxford UP, Ed with William L. Andrews.
  • Behind the Scenes: Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House by Elizabeth Keckley. Chicago: R.R. Donnelley and Sons, 1998. Edited with extensive introduction. Paperback edition. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2001.
  • The Oxford Companion to African American Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. Edited with William L. Andrews and Trudier Harris.
  • Teaching with The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1997. Co-authored with Helen Houston.
  • The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1997. Edited with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Nellie McKay, et al. 2nd Revised. 2004.
  • Minnie's Sacrifice, Sowing and Reaping, Trial and Triumph: Three ReDiscovered Novels by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. Boston: Beacon Press, 1994. Edited with extensive introduction. Paperback edition. Boston: Beacon Press, 1995.
  • Written By Herself: Literary Production by African American Women, 1746-1892. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993.
  • A Brighter, Coming Day: A Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Reader. New York: Feminist Press, 1990. Compiled, edited with extensive introduction.
  • Witnessing Slavery: The Development of the Ante - Bellum Slave Narrative. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1979. Enlarged paperback edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1994.

Selected Articles

“Unraveling the Strands.” Early American Literature2(2012):449-451.

"Anyway, We Certainly Don’t Want To Be Lumped in With Black Studies!” In True Confessions: Feminist Professors Tell Stories Out of School. Susan Gubar. (New York: W. W. Norton, 2011)219-234.

”Mammy’s Daughters or the DNA of a Feminist Sexual Ethics.” In Beyond Slavery: Overcoming Its Religious and Sexual Legacies. Bernadette J. Brooten. New York: Palgrave, 2010):267-286.

“Race and Literary Politics” A Companion to American Literature and Culture. Paul Lauter. (West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010): 316-327.  Co-authored with Cassandra Jackson

“Ports of Call, Pulpits of Consultation: Rethinking the Origins of African American Literature” A Companion to African American Literature. Gene Andrew Jarrett (West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010): 45-58. Co-authored with Kim D. Green

“Genealogies of Our Concerns, Early [African] American Print Culture, and Transcending Tough Times” American Literary History 2(Summer 2010): 368-380.

“Looking Back is Tricky Business.” 18.1(January 2010): 19-28.

“Early African American Literature.” The Cambridge Guild to African American Women’s Literature. Angelyn Mitchell and Danille Taylor.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.  Co-authored with LaRose Davis.

“Nellie Y. McKay.” In African American Lives. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004):412.

“After words; Or,Whistling “Dixie” on the Front Porch of My Southern Home.” The Southern Quarterly. 45.3(Spring, 2008): 177-184.

“The Personal is Political, the Past Has Potential, and Other Thoughts on Studying Women’s Literature – Then and Now.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature1(Spring 2007): 29-38.

“Hurry Up, Please, It’s Time,” Said the White Rabbit as S/he Followed Bre’r Rabbit into the Briar Patch.” Legacy2(2007): 322-330.

“Teaching African American Poetry of the Reconstruction Era: Frances E. W. Harper’s ‘Moses: A Story of the Nile.’” Teaching Nineteenth Century American Poetry. Paula Bernat Bennett, Karen L. Kilcup and Phillipp Schweighauser. (New York: MLA, 2007): 142-150.  Co-authored with Valerie L. Ruffin.

“How Do You Solve a Problem Like Theresa?” African American Review.4(Winter, 2006): 631-645.

“Nellie–In Her Own Words: Professing the McKay Way.” African American Review. 40.1(Spring 2006): 6-9.

“Regenerating and Redeeming American Literary Studies.” English Language Notes 1(Spring 2006): 271-274.

“Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911).” Kindred Hands: Letters on Writing by British and American Women Authors, 1865-1935. Jennifer Cognard-Black and Elizabeth MacLeod Walls.  Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2006: 43-57.

“Creative Collaboration: As African American as Sweet Potato Pie.” Post-Bellum, Pre-Harlem: African American Literature and Culture, 1877-1919. Barbara McCaskill and Caroline Gebhard.  New York: New York University Press, 2006, 17-33.

“An Interesting Narrative of the (Somewhat) Surprising Development of African American Print Culture.” American Literary History. 4(Winter 2005):714-740.