Arnold Rampersad

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Arnold Rampersad
Born (1941-11-13) 13 November 1941 (age 74)
Trinidad and Tobago
Alma mater Bowling Green State University
Harvard University
Occupation Biographer, literary critic, academic

Arnold Rampersad (born 13 November 1941) is a biographer and literary critic, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago and moved to the US in 1965.[1] The first volume (1986) of his Life of Langston Hughes was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and his Ralph Ellison: A Biography was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award.[2]

Also an academic, Rampersad is currently Professor of English and the Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University. He was Senior Associate Dean for the Humanities from January 2004 to August 2006. As Senior Associate Dean, he was responsible for the full array of departments in the humanities, including Art & Art History, Asian Languages, Classics, Comparative Literature, Drama, French and Italian, German Studies, Linguistics, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Slavic Languages and Literature, and Spanish and Portuguese.

Professor Rampersad was a member of the Stanford English Department from 1974 to 1983, before accepting a position at Rutgers University. Since then he taught there and at Columbia and Princeton before returning to Stanford in 1998.

Rampersad graduated from Bowling Green State University with a bachelor's degree and master's degree in English (1967 and 1968).[3] In 1973 he earned a Ph.D from Harvard University, his dissertation being subsequently published as the intellectual biography The Art and Imagination of W. E. B. DuBois.[4]

Rampersad's teaching covers such areas as 19th- and 20th-century American literature; the literature of the American South; American and African-American autobiography; race and American literature; and the Harlem Renaissance. From 1991 to 1996, he held a MacArthur "Genius Grant" fellowship. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society. In 2007, his biography of Ralph Ellison (1914–1994), which he had worked on for eight years, was a nonfiction finalist for the National Book Award.[5] In 2010, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal,[4] and in 2012 was the recipient of the BIO Award from Biographers International Organization.[6] Also in 2012, he won a Lifetime Achievement Prize from the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards.[7]

He is also the half-brother of Roger Toussaint, the president of Transport Workers Union Local 100.[8]


In addition, Rampersad has edited several volumes, including the following:


  1. ^ Edward Guthman, "ISOLATED MAN / Arnold Rampersad's biography examines how foibles and fame became powerful hurdles in the literary life of Ralph Ellison", SF Gate, 19 June 2007.
  2. ^ "National Book Awards - 2007". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  3. ^ "Stanford Professor a Visiting Scholar at BGSU", BGSU, 9 September 2005.
  4. ^ a b Randall Fuller. "Awards & Honors: 2010 National Humanities Medalist — Arnold Rampersad". National Endowment for the Humanities. 
  5. ^ Jennifer Gonnerman, "2007 National Book Award Nonfiction Finalist Interview With Arnold Rampersad", National Book Foundation.
  6. ^ "The BIO Award". Biographers International Organization. 
  7. ^ Tara Jefferson, "Biographer Arnold Rampersad Is The 2012 Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Winner", Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, 11 July 2012.
  8. ^ Sewell Chan, "TRANSIT NEGOTIATIONS: THE LEADER; Public Face of Union's Clash With Transit Management", The New York Times, 17 December 2005.

External links[edit]