Robert Reid-Pharr is a critical essayist and Distinguished and Presidential Professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center. In 2016 he was named a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and Matthiessen Visiting Professor of Gender and Sexuality at Harvard University. His essays have appeared in, among other places, Callaloo, Social Text, Transition, Studies in the Novel, Women and Performance, African American Review, American Literary History, Fuse, AfterImage, Radical America, American Literature, Feminist Formations, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Art in America. He has been a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Bogliasco Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2015 he was inducted into the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars.
In addition to the CUNY Graduate Center Reid-Pharr has taught at the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Chicago, the University of Oregon, the University of Oxford, the American University of Beirut, Swarthmore College, and the College of William and Mary. His collection of essays Black Gay Man won the 2002 Randy Shilts Award for Best Gay Non-fiction given by the Publishing Triangle. His book Once You Go Black: Choice, Desire, and the Black American Intellectual was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. He is also the author of Conjugal Union:The Body, the House, and the Black American (Oxford University Press, 1999); and Archives of Flesh: African America, Spain, and Post-Humanist Critique (NYU 2016). He worked with the now defunct Gay Rights National Lobby and the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays. In that capacity he became associated with such black gay literary and political figures as Essex Hemphill, Gil Gerald and Barbara Smith. A native North Carolinian, Reid-Pharr holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a Ph.D. from Yale University's American Studies Program. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
He is considered a "queer public intellectual" who "attempts to write noncompliance with heteronormativity, and affirmation of other ways of being, into existence"
- Conjugal Union: The Body, the House, and the Black American (ISBN 978-0195104028)
- Black Gay Man: Essays (with introduction by Samuel R. Delany) (ISBN 978-0814775035)
- Once You Go Black: Choice, Desire, and the Black American Intellectual (ISBN 978-0814775844)
- Archives of Flesh: African America, Spain and Post-Humanist Critique (ISBN 978-1479843626)
- "CUNY Elevates Four Scholars to Distinguished Professor Rank,", CUNY Newswire, 9 February 2011.
- "Robert Reid-Pharr Named 2016 Matthiessen Professor". Harvard Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Harvard University. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
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