The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Sarah Patterson

Assistant Professor

head shot of Prof. Sarah Patterson

E456 South College

Professor Patterson's research focuses on African-American intellectuals, reform movements, print cultures and digital studies. Her current book in-progress captures a literary history of the educational and moral philosophies that undergirded Black author-activists' racial uplift initiatives and notions about women's leadership. Sarah is a co-founder of the award-winning (Colored Conventions Project) and an editor for the essay volume Colored Conventions in the 19th Century and the Digital Age, which recovers the influence of Black political reform during eras of American slavery and post-Reconstruction free life.

She teaches a range of undergraduate and graduate courses including those on topics of Black intellectualism(s) and American literary histories, social justice movements, women writers, gender studies, popular/entertainment cultures and data/media studies. She advocates for interdisciplinary approaches to literary analysis and experimentation with digital tools that advance data literacy for traditional and creative textual pursuits. 


Ph.D. English. University of Delaware

M.A. English. University of Delaware

B.A. English, Women's Studies. University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Co-Editor for essay collection, Colored Conventions in the Nineteenth Century and the Digital Age (in-progress)

"Towards Meaning-making in the Digital Age: Black Women, Black Data and Colored Conventions." Common-place, 16.1. Fall 2015.

Awards and Accolades

Best Electronic Reference Resource. Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association. Winner of the award presented to the Colored Conventions Project.

MLA Prize for a Bibliography, Archive or Digital Project. Modern Language Association, 2016. Winner of the tenth biennial award presented to Gabrielle Foreman, Sarah Patterson and Jim Casey on behalf of the Colored Conventions Project.

Digital Humanities Start-up Grant II awarded to the Colored Conventions Project. National Endowment for the Humanities, 2016.

Graduate Fellows Dissertation Award. Office of Graduate and Professional Education, University of Delaware, 2015-2016

Graduate Student Distinction Award for Academic Excellence. Office of the Provost, University of Delaware, 2015