Erica Edwards

Erica Edwards's picture
Professor of English & African American Studies
81 Wall Streer Room 305
Ph.D., Literature, Duke University B.A., English and Spanish, Spelman College

On leave for the 2024-25 academic year

Professor Edwards teaches courses in American literature, Black studies, and feminist theory. Her primary research is in African American literature, which she approaches with a deep interest in the intersection of literature, politics, social movements, and popular culture and the ways that Black feminism affords us particularly generative insights about connections among these formations.  

Professor Edwards’s most recent book, The Other Side of Terror: Black Women and the Culture of U.S. Empire (New York University Press, 2021; winner of the American Studies Association’s John Hope Franklin Prize for most outstanding book in American Studies; honorable mention for the Modern Language Association’s James Russell Lowell Prize for outstanding book; honorable mention for the Gloria E. Anzaldúa Prize from the National Women’s Studies Association; finalist for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History Book Prize; finalist for the Prose Award in Literature from the Association of American Publishers; and shortlisted for the Charles H. Stone Book Award), offers an account of contemporary Black women’s culture and its entanglements with US imperialism. Her first book, Charisma and the Fictions of Black Leadership (University of Minnesota Press; winner of the Modern Language Association’s William Sanders Scarborough Prize), was published in 2012. She is the co-editor, along with Roderick Ferguson and Jeffrey Ogbar, of Keywords for African American Studies (NYU Press, 2018).

Professor Edwards has written about African American literature, politics, and gender critique in scholarly journals such as differences, Callaloo, American Quarterly, American Literary History, and Black Camera and in public-facing venues like The Los Angeles Review of Books and The Washington Post

Before coming to Yale, Professor Edwards taught at Rutgers University and, before that, at the University of California, Riverside, where she founded the Lindon Barrett Scholars Mentoring Program at and co-founded, with Grace Kyungwon Hong, the University of California Consortium for Black Studies in California.

Recent Articles

Taking Over, Living In: Black Feminist Culture and the Radical Politics of Repair, Radical History Review, 2024 

The Black AnteriorAmerican Quarterly, 2023

Recent Courses

Theorizing Racial Formations

Wayward Lines: Black Feminist Literature and Theory

Black and Beyond: 21st-Century Black Aesthetics


FASENG English