Top of page
Skip to main content
Main content

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.