Professor Mitchell studied literature, philosophy, and religion — how they converge, how they shape one another, how they fashion our sense of being modern. Methodological insights from black studies guide me in this research.
Ernest Mitchell’s literary focus is the “Harlem Renaissance,” viewed expansively as integral to transatlantic modernism. Professor Mitchell philosophical writing centers on aesthetics and phenomenology, largely in German thinkers from Kant to Benjamin. Ernest Mitchell interest in religion ranges from the ancient Mediterranean to the contemporary Caribbean.
professor Mitchell is finishing a biography of the Jamaican writer Claude McKay for Yale University Press and preparing a new edition of Jean Toomer’s Cane for the Norton Library. I am also completing a study of the rich yet undervalued theological vein in the work of Zora Neale Hurston. These books reflect on questions of style — charm, revision, grace.
“Tenderness in Early Richard Wright.” The Cambridge Companion to Richard Wright, ed. Glenda R. Carpio, 199-216. Cambridge UP, 2019.
“Zora’s Politics: A Brief Introduction.” Journal of Transnational American Studies 5, no. 1 (2013).
“‘Black Renaissance’: A Brief History of the Concept.” Special issue, “African American Literary Studies: New Texts, New Approaches, New Challenges,” ed. Glenda R. Carpio and Werner Sollors. Amerikastudien / American Studies 55, no. 4 (2010): 641-65.