Profile

Gerald Early
Gerald Early
Professor of African and African-American studies, American culture studies, and English


Past Presentation: Black Humor: Reflections on an American Tradition (2009)



Gerald Early is the the Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters and the director of the Center for the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis, where he joined the faculty in 1982. He is the author of several books, including The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature, and Modern American Culture (1994), which won the 1994 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. He is also editor of numerous volumes, including This Is Where I Came In: Black America in the 1960s (2003); The Sammy Davis, Jr. Reader (2001); Miles Davis and American Culture (2001); The Muhammad Ali Reader (1998); and Body Language: Writers on Sport (1998). The most recent books he edited include Best African American Fiction (2009) and Best African American Essays (2009). He has served as a consultant on Ken Burns’s documentary films on baseball, jazz, Jack Johnson, and World War II, all of which aired on PBS. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1997 and serves as a member of the Academy’s Council.


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