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University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst

English Department

Faculty Profiles: Emily J. Lordi

Contact Information:

457 Bartlett Hall
Amherst, MA 0l003
p: 413-545-5512
f: 413-545-3880

Assistant Professor

Emily Lordi teaches and writes about contemporary African American literature and black popular culture, especially music. She received her PhD from Columbia University in 2009, worked as a visiting assistant professor at Cornell from 2009-2011, and joined the UMass English Department in 2011.

Her first book, Black Resonance, reveals aesthetic connections between the literary works of Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Gayl Jones, Nikki Giovanni, and Linda Susan Jackson and the vocal art of several iconic women singers: Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, and Etta James. According to the musical-literary tradition this book presents, the expressive innovations of major writers and popular women singers resonate most clearly when heard together.

Professor Lordi’s next book will be a literary and musical history of the concept of “soul.” She is also working on a study of poet Lucille Clifton. Her music and film reviews have appeared on such sites as New Black Man, The Feminist Wire, and The New Inquiry.

Black Resonance: Iconic Women Singers and African American Literature (Rutgers UP, 2013):

Scholarly Articles:

Music & Film Reviews:

Book Reviews:
Review essay on The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin, ed. Randall Kenan, African American Review, forthcoming 2014
Review of Haunting and Displacement in African American Literature and Culture, by Marisa Parham, Callaloo 34.3 (Summer 2011)

Spring 2014 Courses:
African American Literature, 1980-Present (371)
James Baldwin (Graduate, 891AU)

Recent Courses:
African American Literary Studies (Graduate 758)
African American Music and Literature (Graduate 891 & 491AK)
Black Memoir (300)
American Fiction (376)
American Identities (270)

Areas of Specialization: African, African American, & African Diaspora Studies, American Literature, Drama and Performance Studies, 20th Century and Contemporary Literature