R. Baxter Miller (Ph.D., Brown University, 1974), is one of the nation's most prominent experts on African-American literature. Much of his scholarship has focused on the 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, Miller produced what widely is regarded as the first scholarly work to address fully the literary complexity and significance of Hughes' 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. Recently, Miller has produced three well-respected books, and he continues to present his research to audiences throughout the world (Albert Christ Janer Awards).
Miller a Professor of English and the Institute for African American Studies, is the compiler of Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks: A Reference Guide (G. K. Hall, 1978) and author of The Art and Imagination of Langston Hughes(1989; paperback, Kentucky, 2006; American Book Award,1991), Southern Trace in Black Critical Theory: Redemption of Time (Xavier Review Press, 1991), Artistry of Memory: A Literary Criticism of Five Generations of African American Writing: Artistry of Memory (Mellen 2008) and On the Ruins of Modernity New Chicago Renaissance from Wright to Fair (Univ. IL Research Center: Common Ground 2012). Miller has edited critical editions and contributed critical essays to Black American Literature and Humanism (Kentucky, 1981) and Black American Poets Between Worlds, 1940-1960 (Tennessee, 1986), as well as Langston Hughes: Critical Insights (Salem 2013). One of six co-authors and co-editors, he wrote the introduction to the period 1915-1945 and numerous headnotes of leading figures for Call and Response: The Riverside Anthology of African American Literature (Houghton Mifflin, 1998). He was the assigned scholar, by the centennial Editorial Board, to edit The Short Stories: the Collected Works of Langston Hughes 15 (Missouri 2002). Of his nearly forty chapters published in critical editions, substantial essays appear recently in the New Historical Guide to Langston Hughes (Oxford 2004), the International Journal of the Humanities (2005-2006), and Richard Wright: New Readings in the 21st Century (Palgrave 2011). More than twenty of his research articles appear in periodicals such as Southern Literary Journal, MELUS: the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, South Atlantic Review, Mississippi Quarterly, African American Review, Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association, Langston Hughes Review, American Literary Scholarship and PMLA, including at least nineteen essays that have been reprinted. Several of his writings were presented initially as research findings at the International Conference on Narrative Theory in Nice, France; the inaugural series for American Studies in Kumasi, Ghana; and the New Directions in the Humanities Conference in Cambridge, England and Granada, Spain. A featured speaker for the Belarusian State University and Minsk Linguistics University, courtesy of the American Embassy of Belarus, he contributed two essays from a course of lectures to American Studies Yearbook (Minsk: 2007). In 2008 he gave a talk on multicultural diversity by satellite hookup to the University of Jordan. Awarded research grants by the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1975 and the American Council of Learned Societies in 1978, he has collaborated with scholars in Ghana (2001) and Kenya (2002). In 2001 he received the Langston Hughes Prize as "scholar, editor, and steward of the tradition," and in 2010 the Ford-Turpin Award for distinguished scholarship in African American culture. Most recently, he received the Albert Christ Janer Award for distinguished contributions to the arts and humanities for 2013. He has written nearly a hundred essays, articles, and reviews on African American literature and aesthetics