Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Praised in American Historial Review

Living with Lynching is praised in the October 2012 issue of American Historical Review, the official publication of the American Historical Association (AHA), which was founded in 1884 and chartered by Congress in 1889 to serve the interests of the entire discipline of history.  It means a lot to me that my book is commanding attention from traditional historians.

Scholar Julie Buckner Armstrong says of the study, "Mitchell points out that the plays direct the audience's focus away from the lynched black body toward the homes and communities left behind.  In doing so, they enact what the white power performance tried to erase: stable, loving black families.  Mitchell's thoughtful and thought-provoking book not only makes its case through fine-tuned analysis but also raises important questions about evidence, resistance, and literary value. "  

Armstrong concludes, "[Mitchell's] study offers significant new insights into a key historical moment and provides a model of academic scholarship."  

For more, see American Historical Review 117.4 (October 2012): 1231 - 1232.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ohio University

On Thursday, October 25, 2012, I visited Ohio University's School of Interdisciplinary Arts.  Students and faculty members in Film, Art, Art History, Literature, Theatre and Playwriting, and Music attended.  It's a truly unique program.  See their website:

This was my first trip to Ohio University in Athens, but I knew several scholars from their work, including Gary Holcomb, William Condee, Ayesha Hardison, and Amrit Singh, so I felt quite at home.  Still, what made this an exceptional experience was the welcome I received from film theorist Michael Gillespie, filmmaker Annie Howell, and playwright Charles Smith.  Dr. Gillespie arranged for the visit and hosted me from beginning to end.  Annie Howell gave me an enlightening crash course in the politics of independent filmmaking.  Charles Smith made time to participate in every part of my visit, which was a delight because I traveled to Indianapolis last year to see his play The Gospel According to James, which I blogged about: "Grappling with Midwestern Memories: A New Lynching Play"

In short, this visit was a remarkable treat for me.  The next day, I taught my own students, and they definitely benefited from the intellectual high that the good folks at OU inspired!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Award Arrives!

     Today was the first day that my "Womanhood in Black & White" class discussed a novel that I love, Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones.  However, I did not feel that I was on top of my game.  I did not feel that I led discussion in a way that did the book justice, despite how well this novel fits into the conceptual frameworks on which the course is based.  Because I am a bit too good at beating myself up about such things, I was not in the best of moods when I got home.  Well, SSAWW to the rescue!  This is what was waiting on me!

Because I could not attend the conference in Denver, Vice President Kristin Jacobson mailed my award.  Being the creative organization that it is, SSAWW opted not to give certificates.  I received an engraved business card holder.  As you can see, I am tired but elated!  A nice boost!  Next class, I'll be back on my A game!

My photography skills don't do it justice.  Rest assured, though, I will have a new joy whenever someone asks me for my business card!

Many, many thanks to the entire leadership team that has kept SSAWW strong in recent years, but especially to those with whom I have had the most contact: President Deborah Clarke and vice presidents Sarah Robbins, Kristin Jacobson, and Donna Campbell and to the members of the 2012 book award selection committee:  Elizabeth Duquette, Julia C. Ehrhardt, and Gregory Eiselein.

For more information about the Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW), including how to become a member, click HERE.

Another Book Award!!!

I am especially humbled to receive this recognition from the Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW) because it was the first organization that took lynching plays seriously.  I am pleased that these literary scholars see the book's contribution to the same degree that the theatre scholars of ATDS did.  What an amazing way to celebrate that my baby turned one year old this month!  The playwrights are taking their rightful place!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Black LIT Radio, Segment #1

As promised, you can listen to the radio segment online and on-demand.  I expect that these will get better and better.  Listen to segment #1 on Nella Larsen's Passing (1929) by going HERE and please let me know what you think!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Black LIT Radio debuts!

This Monday (10/8/2012), KAZI Book Review with Hopeton Hay debuts Black LIT Radio, a 10-minute segment on African American literature. The show airs at 7 AM Central, 8 AM Eastern on Austin's KAZI-FM 88.7. Those outside of Austin can listen live online at (click the microphone on left side of page) or through the TuneIn Radio app on iPhone or Droid phones. An iTunes podcast will be available shortly thereafter, which I'll share. 

The first segment is about Nella Larsen's 1929 novel Passing.

Yay! It's happening! If you listen at some point, let me know what you think!