Past Presentations: On the Real Side (2009); Blacks, Jews, and the Comedy of Subversion (2009)
Mel Watkins is a former editor and writer/critic for The New York Times Sunday Book Review. He has edited several anthologies, including Black Review. His books include On the Real Side: A History of African American Humor from Slavery to Chris Rock (1994); a memoir, Dancing with Strangers (1998); a humor anthology, African American Humor: The Best Black Comedy from Slavery to the Present (2002); and Stepin Fetchit: The Life and Times of Lincoln Perry (2006). A frequent contributor to national magazines and newspapers, Watkins has spoken or taught at a number of universities, including Rutgers, Yale, and the University of California. He is currently the NEH Professor of the Humanities at Colgate University.