R. Baxter Miller

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R. Baxter Miller is an American writer and professor at University of Georgia.[1] His book The Art and Imagination of Langston Hughes won the 1991 American Book Award. He is recognized as one of the nation’s most prominent experts on African American literature. Much of his scholarship has focused on the great Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes. Of the 10 books Miller has written, compiled or edited, four are on Hughes. With his 1989 book, The Art and Imagination of Langston Hughes, which won the American book award in 1991, he produced what is widely regarded as the first scholarly work to address fully the literary complexity and significance of Hughes’s writing. Miller is credited with remapping the historical renaissances in American literature by demonstrating that the Harlem or New Negro Renaissance of the 1920s and the New Chicago Renaissance of the 1930s to 1970s were part of three complementary historical streams within a broader movement. Between 2008 and 2012, Miller has produced three well-respected books, and he continues to present his research to audiences throughout the world.

Early life[edit]

The son of Marcellus Cornelius and Elsie Bryant Miller, Ronald Baxter Miller was born in Rocky Mount, NC on October 11, 1948. One of eight African Americans to integrate Rocky Mount Senior High School in 1963-64, he later graduated magna cum laude from N.C. Central University in 1970. During the interim, he was a fellow in the Intensive Summer Studies Program, sponsored by the Ford Foundation, at Yale University in 1969.


Having defended his dissertation in December, 1973, Miller graduated from Brown University with a PhD. in English in 1974 at the age of twenty-five. Immediately after graduation, he taught for a term at SUNY-Oneonta and then for two and a half years at Haverford, a premier liberal arts college. For the next fifteen years, he served as professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, rising to the rank of full professor in four years. Since 1992 he has held the appointment as Professor at Georgia, including the leadership of the African American Studies Institute for fourteen years. During the years 2013-2015, he has directed the relatively new Center for Social Justice at UGA and served as the Hollowell Professor of Civil Rights. [2] In addition to writingThe Art and Imagination of Langston Hughes (1989; paperback 2006), he introduced and edited the internationally acclaimed Black American Literature and Humanism (1981). One of five co-editors and co-authors to bring out Call and Response: the Riverside Edition of African American Literature (1998, 2003), he specializes in the study of poetics across the centuries. His most important essays are extensively revised and published as Artistry of Memory (2008). Of his several works, the critical edition Black American Poets between Worlds, 1940-1960 (1986) is an academic bestseller, and The Southern Trace in Black Critical Theory (1991), a critical study, helped establish the new series of the Xavier Review Press. In many ways, On the Ruins of Modernity: New Chicago Renaissance from Wright to Fair (2012) represents his most mature critical thought, reprising his imaginative restructuring of American literary canons. The commissioned editor of Langston Hughes: the Short Stories (2002), Miller has completed Critical Insights: Langston Hughes, a new edition that appeared in mid-October, 2012 with an official publication date of 2013. He has earned both the Langston Hughes Award and the Ford-Turpin honor for the stewardship of African American critical legacy. In 2013 he received the Albert Christ-Janer Award for distinguished contributions to the arts and humanities, and the next year the Daryl C. Dance Award, by the College Language Association, for lifetime scholarly achievement.




  • Killens, John Oliver and Jerry Ward, Jr. Black Southern Voices (1992).
  • Miller, R. Baxter. Artistry of Memory (2008).
  • Ostrom, Hans, ed. Encyclopedia of African American Literature (2005).
  • International Author and Writer's Who's Who (1986).
  • Who' Who in America (1996-).
  • Who's Who in Education (1996-).
  • Who's Who in the World (1996-).

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