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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

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, contends that the expressive innovations of major African American writers (Richard Wright to Nikki Giovanni) and iconic black women singers (Bessie Smith to Etta James) resonate most clearly when heard together.

Professor Lordi is currently working on two projects: a book on Donny Hathaway (Bloomsbury 33 ⅓ series) and a musical-literary history of the concept of “soul.” Her music reviews and other works of cultural criticism appear on New Black Man, The Feminist Wire, The New Inquiry, and The Root.

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

Books in progress:
- Donny Hathaway Live (Bloomsbury 33 ⅓ series, forthcoming 2016)
- Soul Sounds: Music, Literature, and the Rise of Modern Black Style

Book Chapters and Articles:
“Jazz and Blues Modernisms,” in The Cambridge Companion to the American Modernist Novel, ed. Joshua L. Miller, forthcoming 2014
- “Black Radio,” in Are You Entertained? New Essays on Black Popular Culture in the 21st Century, ed. Simone Drake, David Ikard, and Dwan Simmons, forthcoming 2015
- “Fading Out: White Flight and Sly and the Family Stone’s ‘Stand!’” Journal of Popular Music Studies 24.3 (September 2012)
- "'Window Seat': Erykah Badu, Projective Cultural Politics, and the Obama Era,” Post45 Peer Reviewed (December 2011)

Selected Online Writings:
“Calling All Stars”: Janelle Monae’s Black Feminist Futures, The Feminist Wire, September 25, 2013
- “Black Magic, White Soul” (review of Muscle Shoals documentary), The New Inquiry, November 19, 2013
- “Beyonce’s Boundaries,” New Black Man, December 18, 2013
- “We Didn’t Want the Music to End: Donny Hathaway’s Death 35 Years Ago is Remembered,” The Root, January 13, 2014
- “Why is Academic Writing So Beautiful? Notes on Black Feminist Scholarship,” The Feminist Wire, March 4, 2014

Recent Book Reviews:
Review of The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin (Pantheon 2010), ed. Randall Kenan, African American Review, forthcoming 2014
- Review of Writing the Black Revolutionary Diva, by Kimberly N. Brown (Indiana UP, 2010) & The Black Female Body in American Literature and Art, by Caroline A. Brown (Routledge, 2012), American Literature, forthcoming 2014
- Review of Women’s Work, by Courtney Thorsson (U of Virginia P, 2013), NOVEL, forthcoming 2014

Recent Courses:
African American Literary Studies (Graduate 758)
African American Music and Literature (Graduate 891 & 491AK)
James Baldwin (Graduate, 891AU)
African American Literature, 1980-Present (371)
Black Memoir (English 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