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Houston A. Baker, Jr.

February 23, 2011
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Houston A. Baker Jr. (1943- ) is a Black American literary critic, author, and professor. During the summer of 1966, Baker became an instructor at his alma mater, Howard University. Two years later, Baker received a teaching position in the Department of English at Yale. The next year, he was appointed to a four-year term as assistant professor in Yale. He left in 1970 to pursue an opportunity to be associate professor and member of the center for advanced studies at the University of Virginia becoming a professor there in 1973. Around this time, Baker, an expert in British Victorian literature, shifted his focus to African American literature and culture.

Houston Baker joined the University of Pennsylvania as a professor of English in 1974. He was also appointed as the first director of the Afro-American studies program which he held until 1977. After leaving Penn, Baker went on to teach at Duke and Vanderbilt. Additionally, he has served as president of the Modern Language Association of America and has written a myriad of articles, books, and essays concerning African American Literary Criticism and Theory.

 

Juna Dawson-Murray, C‘11

 

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