Upcoming Events

Promotional flyer for academic writing workshopAcademic Writing for the Public: A Workshop for Humanities Ph.D. Students

Monday, May 20 – Thursday, May 23, 2024

10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Location: Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall 208

This workshop will guide you through the craft of writing engaging and intellectually serious articles for general readers. You will analyze public-facing academic writing, do writing exercises, and workshop an essay of your own. You will learn valuable skills in narrative, argument, presenting information, and pitching, so that when the public needs your expertise and insight, you will be ready. Open to Ph.D. students in the humanities.

If interested, please register here and send a 500-word statement to Dr. Charles Wuest at cwuest@smu.edu. Statements should include a brief overview of your field of study and how this workshop may be useful to you and your career.

Registration only guarantees consideration of your application to the workshop. Once the committee has decided on admittance, based on applicants' submitted statements of research and interest, we will notify all applicants of their status.





The Many Resurrections of Henry Box Brown

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Martha J. Cutter

Location: Texana Room, Fondren Library 211

Lecture: 5:30 pm, Followed by reception


In 1849, an enslaved man named Henry Box Brown obtained a large postal crate and had himself mailed from slavery in Richmond, Virginia to freedom in Philadelphia, PA.  Brown survived this voyage and went on to carve out a life for himself that entailed performing his story in the US, the UK, and Canada until his death in 1897. This talk traces his resurrections of himself as an abolitionist speaker, writer, hypnotist, actor, magician, concert singer, and even a ventriloquist. It shows how Brown’s multiple resurrections manipulate the traumatic legacy of enslavement to create subversive messages about the everywhere of slavery while also creating a unique and radical style of Black performance art. The speaker also discusses the nature of her own archival work, with a key emphasis on what literature and humanities scholars bring to the study of history.


Martha J. Cutter is a professor of English and Africana Studies at the University of Connecticut and the Director of the American Studies Program. She is the author of  four books: Unruly Tongue: Language and Identity in American Women’s Writing (University Press of Mississippi, 1998), Lost and Found in Translation: Contemporary Ethnic American Writing and the Politics of Language Diversity (University of North Carolina Press, 2005), The Illustrated Slave: Empathy, Graphic Narrative, and the Visual Culture of the Transatlantic Abolition Movement, 1800-1852 (University of Georgia Press, 2017), and The Many Resurrections of Henry Box Brown (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022). She is also the coeditor (with Cathy J. Schlund-Vials) of a collection of essays on multi-ethnic graphic narrative titled Redrawing the Historical Past: History, Memory, and Multiethnic Graphic Novels (2018, the University of Georgia Press). She has published more than forty articles or book chapters on women writers, American multi-ethnic literature, African American literature, abolition, and racial passing. She has received numerous awards, including the College English Association’s award for the best book in Literary Theory/Criticism in 2000, a University of Connecticut Humanities Grant for work on The Illustrated Slave in 2015, a Provost’s fellowship from the University of Connecticut in 2007, and the CELJ (Council of Editors of Learned Journals) Award for the Best Journal in North American Studies, for MELUS. Most recently, she was awarded an NEH academic year fellowship from 2019-2020 for research on her book on Henry Box Brown.