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University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst

W.E.B. Du Bois Department

Steven C. Tracy, Professor

 

304 New Africa House

545-3275

sctracy@afroam.umass.edu

 

Office Hours:  by appointment

 

Cincinnati Blues Fest 2007 Live Performance!!  'Going Down to the Graveyard'

Here is a list of connections for scholars who were invited to be in residence at the University of Konstanz in Germany in the summer of 2012, including Fulbright Senior Specialist Steve Tracy, who will be teaching, lecturing, and performing:  http://www.uni-konstanz.de/transatlantik/gaeste.htm (scroll down to his name, and click).


Brief Bio

Steven C. Tracy is Professor of Afro-American Studies at UMass Amherst. Tracy, who has written, edited, co-edited, of provided introductions for 30 books,  is author of Langston Hughes and the Blues (U of Illinois Press 1988), Going to Cincinnati: A History of the Blues in the Queen City (U of Illinois P, 1993), and A Brush with the Blues (1997). He also served as general co-editor of The Collected Works of Langston Hughes (U of Missouri P, 2001-2004) and editor of Write Me a Few of Your Lines: A Blues Reader (UMass P, 1999), Langston Hughes: Works for Children and Young Adults (U of Missouri P, 2001), A Historical Guide to Langston Hughes (Oxford UP, 2004), A Historical Guide to Ralph Ellison (Oxford UP, 2004), After Winter: The Life and Work of Sterling A. Brown (with John Edgar Tidwell Oxford UP, 2009), and Chicago Bound: Black Writers of the Chicago Renaissance (University of Illinois Press, 2012). Tracy provided the introduction for Howard W. Odum’s novels Rainbow Round My Shoulder (Indiana University Press, 2006) and Wings On My Feet, and for Roark Bradford's John Henry (Oxford UP 2008). He has contributed more than 100 essays to journals, dictionaries, encyclopedias, critical works, and textbooks on topics such as August Wilson, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, African American music, Sutton Griggs, T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and others. He has lectured and presented at conferences in such places as France, Belgium, England, Germany, China, and Canada. Most recently, he has traveled many times to China to give keynote addresses and a series of lectures on American and African American literature and music at a wide selection of Chinese universities, and returned twice in 2011 and 2012 to lecture and research. In 2010, he was placed on the roster of Senior Specialists of the Fulbright Foundation, and served as Senior Specialist teaching and lecturing at the University of Konstanz in Germany. He has also been named as a prestigious Chu Tian Scholar (the most prestigious scholarly award in Hubei Province, China) at Central China Normal University, where he will teach, lecture and perform two months a year for five years under the auspices of the Chinese government. His current volume, Touched by the Blues: Futuristic Jungleism, Ragmentation, and the Bluing of American Literature, is under publication consideration. He is currently working on contributing an essay on Ralph Ellison to a new collection of essays, working with the US Government on a new postage stamp, writing LP liner notes for a historical reissue of Cincinnati blues recordings, and planning volume two of his series of books on blues and literature.

A singer and harmonica player, Tracy has recorded with his own band, Pigmeat Jarrett, Big Joe Duskin, and Albert Washington, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and opened for B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Albert King, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, James Cotton, Canned Heat, Johnny Winter, and many others. While a senior at Walnut Hills High School, Steve won a national harmonica championship for ages 13-18 that put him as a guest on the Johnny Carson Tonight Show, initiating his career as a performer. He also appeared locally on a number of variety shows, including Nick Clooney’s (George’s father) and Bob Braun’s, taking along Cincinnati bluesmen when possible. Tracy toured the Netherlands with Steve Tracy and the Crawling Kingsnakes following the release of the CD Going to Cincinnati, performing also in the UK, France, China, and via teleconference to Israel. He has also written 50 CD liner notes for a variety of labels, including Document Records, and for Albert Washington's two releases on Ace (UK). As a long-time researcher and supporter of the Cincinnati blues scene, Tracy organized his activities in such a way as to emphasize the importance of the scene in a variety of ways. As a writer for Blues Unlimited, Living Blues, Jefferson, and Juke Blues, he document the history and contemporary Cincinnati blues scene. Steve has also served as a co-performer, sometime booking agent, and friend of a variety of bluesmen, helping nurture the careers of Cincinnati's elder statesmen of the blues. Steve spent over a decade as a blues DJ on WAIF, WNOP, and WVXU radio stations during that time helping to organize blues days and blues cruises on the Ohio River. He produced an LP by Pigmeat Jarrett for June Appal Records, which brought Pigmeat some national acclaim and gigs outside the country, and he did Pigmeat's obituary on NPR. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Cincinnati Blues Society along with his friend Albert Washington the year he left Cincinnati for Massachusetts. He returns to Cincinnati annually to host the Blues and Boogie Woogie Piano Stage at the Greater Cincinnati Blues Festival, and periodically performs at the Festival as well.

 

Curriculum Vitae

 

Publications

Touched by the Blues: Futuristic Jungleism, Ragmentation, and the Bluing of American Literature,
Forthcoming Oxford University Press 2012

 

Writers of the Black Chicago Renaissance,
Edited by Steven C. Tracy (University of Illinois Press, Fall 2011)

 

 

JOHN HENRY: Roark Bradford's Novel and Play,

Introduction and Scholarly Materials by Steven C. Tracy (Oxford University Press, April 2011)

 

AFTER WINTER: The Art and Life of Sterling A. Brown,

Edited by Steven C. Tracy and John Edgar Tidwell  (Oxford University Press, Jan. 2008)

 

 

Introduction by Steven C. Tracy

Wings on My Feet: Black Ulyssess at the Wars,

Howard W. Odum, ed. (Indiana University Press, 2007)

 

 

 

Introduction by Steven C. Tracy

Rainbow Round My Shoulder: The Blue Trail of Black Ulysses,

Howard W. Odum, ed. (Indiana University Press, 2006)

 

 

A Historical Guide to Ralph Ellison

(Oxford University Press, 2004)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Historical Guide to Langston Hughes

(Oxford University Press, 2004)

 

 

The Collected Works of Langston Hughes, Volume 12

Works for Children and Young Adults: Biographies

(University of Missouri Press, 2002)

 

Write Me a Few of Your Lines: A Blues Reader

(University of Massachusetts Press, 1999)

 

A Brush with the Blues

26 portraits by Jack Coughlin; commentary by Steven C. Tracy

(Rep House LLc, 1997)

 

Going to Cincinnati: A History of the Blues in the Queen City

(University of Illinois Press, 1993)

 

 

Langston Hughes and the Blues

(University of Illinois Press, 1988)

 

Steve Tracy and the Crawling Kingsnakes

CD: Going to Cincinnati  (1990)