Hazel Carby

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Hazel Vivian Carby (born 15 January 1948 in Okehampton, Devon) is a professor of African American Studies and of American Studies. She serves as Charles C & Dorathea S Dilley Professor of African American Studies & American Studies at Yale University.

Early life and education[edit]

Hazel Carby was born of Jamaican and Welsh parents in Okehampton, Devon, UK, on 15 January 1948. She earned a BA in English and history from Portsmouth Polytechnic in 1970, then a PGCE in 1972, at the institute of Education, London University. She taught high school from 1972 to 1979, then went back to university, at Birmingham University Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, where she gained a M.A (1979) and a Ph.D (1984).[1]


In 1981, Carby was appointed as a lecturer in the English Department, at Yale University (1981–82), she then taught English at Wesleyan University (1982–89), and rejoined Yale University in 1989. She is now Yale's Charles C & Dorathea S Dilley Professor of African American Studies & American Studies.[2] Her teaching focuses on race, gender and sexuality in Caribbean and diasporic culture and literature; in transnational and postcolonial literature and theory; in representations of the black female body; and in genres of science fiction.[2] Identified as a Marxist feminist, her work primarily deals with detecting and probing discrepancies between the symbolic constructions of the black experience and the actual lives of African Americans.

Dr. Carby is considered a pioneer in black feminism and is also known as one of the world's leading scholars on race, gender, and African-American issues. One of her most influential contributions to African Diaspora studies came with her first book, Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist (1987). Reconstructing Womanhood offers one of the earliest and most comprehensive studies on black female writers including Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins, Anna Cooper, and Ida B. Wells among others. Carby followed this book with Race Men: The Body and Soul of Race, Nation, and Manhood (1998). Race Men, is a six-essay collection of critiques on historical sites of black masculinity. Carby's first chapter, "Souls Of Black Men" is a critique of the gender bias in W. E. B. Du Bois' Souls of Black Folk. She argues that Double Consciousness is an erasure of Black female subjectivity. Carby does not question the importance of this text in black scholarship, she recognizes that it is because of the crucial status of Du Bois and Souls that it is important that she undertakes this critique. After Race Men, she penned Cultures in Babylon: Black Britain and African America (1999). Currently she is working on her forthcoming book, Child of Empire. Carby has lectured at numerous colleges and universities worldwide including The University of Notre Dame, Stanford University, the University of Paris, and the University of Toronto.

Carby serves on the advisory board of multiple feminist academic journals, including differences, new formations, and Signs.[3][4][5]

Personal life[edit]

Carby married fellow Yale professor Michael Denning, on 29 May 1982.


  • Carby, Hazel V. Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist. New York and Oxford: OUP, 1987.[6][7][8][9]
  • Carby, Hazel V. Race Men: The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures. Cambridge, Mass. and London: Harvard University Press, 1998.[10][11][12]
  • Carby, Hazel V. Cultures in Babylon: Black Britain and African American. London and New York: Verso, 1999.

Selected publications[edit]

  • "Figuring the future in Los(t) Angeles." Comparative American Studies, 1.1 (2003): 19–34.
  • "What is This 'Black' in Irish Popular Culture?" European Journal of Cultural Studies, 4.3 (2001): 325–349.
  • "Can the Tactics of Cultural Integration Counter the Persistence of Political Apartheid? Or, The Multicultural Wars, Part Two." Race, Law and Culture: Reflections on Brown v. Board of Education. Ed. Austin Sarat. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. 221–28.
  • "National Nightmares: The Liberal Bourgeoisie and Racial Anxiety," Racial and Ethnic Identity: Psychological Development and Creative Expression. Eds. Herbert W. Harris, Howard C. Blue and Ezra E. Griffith. New York: Routledge, 1995. 173–91.
  • "Race and the Academy: Feminism and the Politics of Difference." O Canone Nos Estudos Anglo-Americanos. Ed. Isabel Caldeira. Coimbra, Portugal: Livraria Minerva, 1994. 247–53.
  • "'Hear My Voice, Ye Careless Daughters': Narratives of Slave and Free Women before Emancipation." African American Autobiography: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. William L. Andrews. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1993. 59–76.
  • "The Multicultural Wars." Radical History Review, 54.7 (1992): 7–18.
  • "Imagining Black Men: The Politics of Cultural Identity." Yale Review, 80.3 (1992): 186–97.
  • "Policing the Black Woman's Body in an Urban Context." Critical Inquiry, 18.4 (1992): 738–55.
  • "The Politics of Fiction, Anthropology, and the Folk: Zora Neale Hurston." New Essays on Their Eyes Were Watching God. Ed. Michael Awkward. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. 71–93.
  • "Re-inventing History/Imagining the Future." Black American Literature Forum, 20.2 (1989): 381–87.
  • "Proletarian or Revolutionary Literature: C. L. R. James and the Politics of the Trinidadian Renaissance." South Atlantic Quarterly, 87 (1988): 39–52.
  • "Ideologies of Black Folk: The Historical Novel of Slavery." Slavery and the Literary Imagination. Eds. Deborah E. McDowell and Arnold Rampersad. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989. 125–43.
  • "The Canon: Civil War and Reconstruction." Michigan Quarterly Review. 28.1 (1989): 35–43.
  • "It Jus Be's Dat Way Sometime: The Sexual Politics of Women's Blues." Radical America, 20 (1987): 9–22.
  • "'On the Threshold of Woman's Era': Lynching, Empire, and Sexuality in Black Feminist Theory." Critical Inquiry, 12.1 (1985): 262–77.
  • "Schooling in Babylon". The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in Seventies Britain. London: Hutchinson, 1982. 182–211.
  • "White Woman Listen! Black Feminism and the Boundaries of Sisterhood." The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in Seventies Britain. London: Hutchinson, 1982. 212–235.


  1. ^ "Carby, Hazel 1948–", Encyclopedia.com.
  2. ^ a b "Hazel Carby | Department of African American Studies". afamstudies.yale.edu. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  3. ^ "Project MUSE - differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies". muse.jhu.edu. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
  4. ^ "Project MUSE - new formations: a journal of culture/theory/politics". muse.jhu.edu. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
  5. ^ "Masthead". Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 2012-08-22. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
  6. ^ Keller, Frances Richardson (1 June 1989). "Hazel V. Carby. Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist. New York: Oxford University Press. 1987. Pp. 223. $19.95". The American Historical Review. 94 (3): 875–875. doi:10.1086/ahr/94.3.875. ISSN 0002-8762. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  7. ^ Johnson, Cheryl (Spring 1990). "Review of "Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist" by Hazel Carby (Book Review) - ProQuest". Discourse. 12 (2): 179. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  8. ^ Conn, Peter (July 1, 1991). "Hazel V. Carby, "Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist" (Book Review) - ProQuest". The Modern Language Review. 86 (3): 702. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  9. ^ Stripes, James D. (1990). "Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist". Black American Literature Forum. 24 (4): 815–820. doi:10.2307/3041806.
  10. ^ Ross, Marlon Bryan (1 April 2000). "Race Men (review)". Modernism/modernity. 7 (2): 313–315. doi:10.1353/mod.2000.0045. ISSN 1080-6601. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  11. ^ Morgan, William M. (1 December 1999). "Race Men (review)". American Literature. 71 (4): 820–821. ISSN 1527-2117. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  12. ^ Boamah-Wiafe, Daniel (2000). "Review". Biography. 23 (2): 403–407. Retrieved 29 December 2018.

External links[edit]