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Jimmy Worthy

Assistant Professor

headshot of Jimmy Worthy

E356 South College

Professor Worthy’s research focus on black lived experiences relative to death consciousness, African Diasporic literature, and the ways in which such literature inflects the trope of transformation with the characteristics of initiatory rituals found in many West-Central African faith practices. His book project, Defiant Resurrection: A Study of Subjectivity, Restoration, and Sacred Imperative in African American Literature, investigates the redemptory orientations of African American authors from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century. By analyzing West-Central African cosmology and Christianity as engendering belief systems, Professor Worthy situates authors’ resistance to white supremacist ideologies within an inherited, religious endeavor to achieve fundamental transformation. Defiant Resurrection argues that authors figure death as a porous boundary of exchange, making possible resurrected embodiment and community restoration.

In his forthcoming book, Professor Worthy is the editor of a previously unpublished book of poetry by Georgia Douglas Johnson. His introduction to this volume argues that Johnson endows such poetry with a transgressive persona that uses memories of lost, attained, and redefined love to prioritize black female subjectivity, sensuality, and sacred essence.

Professor Worthy teaches survey and thematically based undergraduate and graduate courses on 20th and 21st century African Diasporic literature. His pedagogical approach to teaching literature challenges students to cultivate a speculative condition of the mind that leads them to an edified imagination and the regenerative possibilities of critically engaging language.   

Ph.D. English. Emory University
M.A. English. University of West Georgia
B.A. English. University of West Georgia  

Awards and Accolades

The Nancy and Randall Burkett Fellowship for Research in Black Print Culture, 2019.

Faculty Research Award, 2018.

Faculty Development and Excellence Teaching Grant, 2017.

Andrew W. Mellon Graduate Teaching Fellow, 2017.

Piedmont Teaching Assistant and Opportunity Fellowship, 2015.