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Hollis Robbins

Department of Humanities  

Hollis Robbins (on sabbatical leave 2017-2018) has taught at the Peabody Conservatory since 2006, serving as chair of the Humanities department from 2011-2017.  Robbins is the winner of the 2014 Johns Hopkins University Alumni Excellence in Teaching Award, the winner of a $100,000 Discovery Award, and recipient of a $10,000 Mellon Arts Innovation Grant.  During the 2017-2018 academic year, Robbins will be a fellow at the National Humanities Center in Durham, NC.  From 2014-2017 she was Director of the Center for Africana Studies at the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences at Johns Hopkins.  

Dr. Robbins is a noted scholar in the field of African American literature. Her most recent book is the Penguin Portable Nineteenth Century African American Women Writers, co-edited with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  Her book Forms of Contention: The African American Sonnet Tradition is under contract with University of Georgia Press.  She is editor or co-editor of four previous books on nineteenth-century African American literature, including the Penguin Classics edition of Frances E.W. Harper’s 1892 novel Iola Leroy, or, Shadows Uplifted (2010), The Selected Writings of William Wells Brown, co-edited with Paula Garrett (2006), and The Annotated Uncle Tom’s Cabin (2006), co-edited with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  Recent publications include “African American Literature of the Gold Rush,” co-authored with Janet Neary. Bordering Establishments:  Mapping Regions in Early American Writing (2015), “Killing Time:  Dracula and Social Discoordination.”  Economics of the Undead:  Zombies, Vampires, and the Dismal Science. Eds. Glen Whitman & James P. Dow (2014), and a study of census politics in Wordsworth's "We Are Seven" (1798), English Language Notes 48:2 (2010).  Her poems have been published in The Cortland Review, Per ContraMezzo Cammin, Boston Literary Magazine, and Bridges, a Jewish Feminist Journal. She lectures regularly on African American literature, poetry, and film.  Dr. Robbins has a PhD in English from Princeton University (2003) an MPP from Harvard University (1990), and a BA in the Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins (1983).

Courses taught include:
PY 260-115 Humanities Core I
PY 260-216 Humanities Core II, Moby-Dick
PY 260-211 Nineteenth Century Novel to Film
PY 260-222 Introduction to Interpretation
PY 260-226 Modern Drama
PY 260-228 Literary Trials: Justice in Black and White
PY 260-232 World Film
PY 260-249 Film Music History
PY 260-312 Literature of Imprisonment
PY 260-314 Bible as Literature
PY 260-316 20th Century Aesthetics and Politics

Courses Taught at Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

AS 061.369 The 1930s in Jazz, Film, & Poetry
AS 360-133 Great Books at Homewood
AS 362-200 African American Poetry and Poetics
AS 362.106 Civil Rights and the Black Experience


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