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Barbara McCaskill

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Professor; Co-P.I., Culture and Community at the Penn Center and Civil Rights Digital Library;
Associate Academic Director, Willson Center for Humanities & Arts

I earned a B.A. (summa cum laude) from Columbus State University and M.A. and Ph.D. from Emory University. I held a UGA General Sandy Beaver Teaching Professorship (2005-08), and have received such honors as the Martha Munn Bedingfield Excellence in Teaching Award from the Department of English, the M. G. Michael Award for research excellence from the Franklin College, and the Lorraine A. Williams Leadership Award from the Association of Black Women Historians. In 2012 I was named the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Society and Culture at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.   

My seventh and most recent book is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in 2024: African American Literature in Transition, 1880-1900, co-edited with Caroline Gebhard.  I also have completed The Magnificent Reverend Peter Thomas Stanford: Transatlantic Reformer and Race Man, co-authored by Sidonia Serafini with Rev. Paul Walker, Highgate Baptist Church, Birmingham, UK (UGA Press, 2020). It will be published in paperback by UGA Press in 2024. My other major publications are a single-authored study titled Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery: William and Ellen Craft in Cultural Memory (UGA Press, 2015); Post-Bellum, Pre-Harlem: African American Literature and Culture, 1877-1919 (NYU Press, 2006), a collection of fifteen original essays co-edited with Caroline Gebhard; a teaching edition of the 1860 memoir Running 1,000 Miles for Freedom: The Escape of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery (UGA Press, 1999); and a collection of essays, co-edited with Suzanne Miller, titled Multicultural Literature and Literacies: Making Space for Difference (SUNY Press, Series on Literature, Culture, and Learning, 1993). I am currently co-editing a collection of eighteen original essays on the poet Phillis Wheatley Peters with Sarah Ruffing Robbins and Mona Narain.  This project has evolved out of the year-long series of virtual and online events we organized titled The Genius of Phillis Wheatley Peters: A Poet and Her Legacies

In addition, I have published scores of peer-reviewed journal essays and book chapters, which have been included in such publications as The Journal of Transatlantic Studies special themed issue on the "transnational turn" (2022); The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the American Civil War and Reconstruction (2022);The Cambridge History of African American Autobiography (2020); The Routledge Companion to American Literary Journalism (2019); Visions of Glory: The Civil War in Word and Image (UGA Press, UnCivil Wars Series, 2019); Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers (2019, 2016); The Cambridge Companion to American Civil Rights Literature (2015); The Oxford Handbook of the African American Slave Narrative (2014); MELUS special themed issue,"Cross-Racial and Cross-Ethnic Collaboration and Scholarship" (2013);  and The Cambridge History of the American Novel (2011). 

My national leadership currently includes membership on the editorial boards of the Journal of Transatlantic Studies, Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, and ESQ.  Previous service has included elected membership to the executive committee of C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, Co-Chair of the Modern Language Association's Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession, Chair of the Women's Committee of the American Studies Association, Consultant Reader for the Society for the Study of American Women Writers, Advisory Board Member for UGA Press, Member of C19 Early Career Connections Committee, and Editor and Co-Founder with Professor Layli Phillips Maparyan of Womanist Theory and Research, formerly The Womanist, which was supported by a Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowship.  In 1999 I created the listserve, MISIS-L: Multicultural Studies in the American South.  

I was a Co-Principal Investigator for the Civil Rights Digital Library Initiative (CRDL), initially funded by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  We are interviewed in the two-hour documentary How We Got Over (2009), hosted by Andrew Young, former U.N. Ambassador and Mayor of Atlanta.  We earned an Emmy@ for this program, in the category of Television Crafts Achievement Excellence: Technical Achievement, from the Southeast Regional Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (2010).  In 2008 we earned the Award for Excellence in Archival Program Development from the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board.  In 2010 we earned a national award, the Helen and Martin Schwartz Prize for Public Humanities Programs, and in 2011, an Award for Excellence in Research Using the Holdings of an Archives from the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board. 

In 2020, I was creative producer for the Georgia Incarceration Performance Project, which received an Honorable Mention for the performance By Our Hands from the National Council on Public History. I am currently co-P.I. for Culture and Community at the Penn Center National Historic Landmark funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

I have been the recipient of summer seminar grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Ford Foundation, and of prestigious fellowships from centers such as the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and W. E. B. Du Bois Institute (Harvard University), Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York Public Library).   


Office hours:

Please email me to make an appointment. Thank you.





Culture and Community at Penn Center National Historic District, Mellon Foundation, 2021-25, $1,000,000

"A World Within Worlds: The Visionary Art of San Doyle," Henry Luce Foundation American Art Grant, 2023, $20,000 

"Favored by The Muses," Public Impact Grant, Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, 2023, $8,000

"Family Literacy and Children's Literature Webinar, The Genius of Phillis Wheatley Peters: A Poet and Her Legacies, Georgia Humanities Grant, 2023, $2500

"Black Activism: A Transatlantic Legacy," Mellon Foundation through Global Georgia Program, Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, 2020, $23,900

The Civil Rights Digital Library, Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant, 2005-10, $761, 427

"Black Poets Lean South: A Cave Canem Symposium," with Regents Professor Judith Ortiz Cofer, Georgia Humanities Grant, 2008, $2500

"New Voices in American Literature: A Multicultural Symposium," with Regents Professor Judith Ortiz Cofer, Georgia Humanities Grant, 2007, $2500

The Womanist Fellowship Program and Womanist Theory and Research, Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowship, 1994-2004, $250,000

Selected Publications:



P. T. Stanford Post-Bellum, Pre-Harlem
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Articles Featuring Barbara McCaskill

Barbara McCaskill's Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery: William and Ellen Craft in Cultural Memory was featured on the nationally syndicated Criminal podcast ("In Plain Sight," Episode #59, 1/20/17).  In a review of that episode…

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