The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature [Five Volumes] [5 volumes]

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature [Five Volumes] [5 volumes]

by J. David Macey
     
 

With more than 1,000 entries by more than 200 expert contributors, this encyclopedia is the most comprehensive reference available on African American literature. While most of the entries are on individual authors, the encyclopedia gives special attention to the historical, cultural, and political contexts that have shaped African American writing. Included are

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Overview

With more than 1,000 entries by more than 200 expert contributors, this encyclopedia is the most comprehensive reference available on African American literature. While most of the entries are on individual authors, the encyclopedia gives special attention to the historical, cultural, and political contexts that have shaped African American writing. Included are entries on critical movements and terms, critics and scholars, historical and social issues, cultural and historical figures, literary forms and genres, literary schools and organizations, and many other topics. The entries cite numerous print and electronic resources, and the encyclopedia concludes with a selected, general bibliography.

Designed to meet the needs of high school students, undergraduates, and general readers, this encyclopedia is the most comprehensive reference available on African American literature from its origins to the present. Other works include many brief entries, or offer extended biographical sketches of a limited selection of writers. This encyclopedia surpasses existing references by offering full and current coverage of a vast range of authors and topics. While most of the entries are on individual authors, the encyclopedia gathers together information about the genres and geographical and cultural environments in which these writers have worked, and the social, political, and aesthetic movements in which they have participated. Thus the encyclopedia gives special attention to the historical and cultural forces that have shaped African American writing.

In addition to drawing upon the learning of Hans Ostrom, J. David Macey, Jr., and more than 200 expert contributors, the encyclopedia benefits from an editorial board of such distinguished scholars as: Houston A. Baker, Jr., Emily Bernard, Michele Elam, Dolan Hubbard, and Sheila Smith McKoy.

Because of its broad scope, substantial entries, current coverage, and extensive attention to historical, political, and social contexts, this encyclopedia will be the major resource for high school students and teachers interested in the full range of the African American experience. Academic and public libraries will also treasure this work as an incomparable guide to our nation's African American heritage.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This work is both ambitious and timely. Unlike biographically based references, it focuses on the texts of African American literature and the trends and events that have influenced it. Opening with an overview and chronology, the set has as its core over 1000 entries covering both canonized greats and lesser-known artists. These entries document the work of African American writers and their critics, literary forms and techniques, geographic hubs that generate significant output, and influential figures and movements that have shaped this diverse tradition….[t]his is an important addition to all collections."

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Library Journal

"Designed for students from high school to college, this guide is also suitable for public libraries. From slave narratives to hip-hop, this set will serve researchers as a first-stop source on the full-range of African American literature."

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Lawrence Looks at Books

"This handsomely packaged set provides coverage of the foundations, development, and proliferation of African American literature, from Colonial times to the present. Crucial to an understanding of this unique body of literature is attention to the historical, social, and political climate in which it took root. Accordingly, these alphabetically arranged and extensively cross-referenced entries focus on subjects as widely divergent as sermons, the Underground Railroad, affirmative action, Mojo, hip-hop, the Black Panther Party, and the Vietnam War, in addition to the expected topics on individual writers and their works….[t]he depth and breadth of the 1,029 entries make this an invaluable resource. Highly recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates; general readers."

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Choice

"This comprehensive set covers the people, events, and themes relevant to the African-American experience and the literature that it inspired. More than 1000 signed entries of varying length are organized alphabetically and include biographical information as well as critical discussions of the works. Other articles describe major themes, historical events, places, cultural figures, and literary genres that continue to impact the African-American experience. Coverage ranges from the Colonial period through the present. Resources for further information appear at the end of each article and include both print resources and Internet sites. Alphabetical and thematic lists of entries (including important dates) appear in each volume and there is a comprehensive index in the final volume….[t]his is a completely accessible work. While it is by no means exhaustive (an impossible goal, the editors acknowledge), it is an important resource that should be considered by most libraries."

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School Library Journal

"This very impressive and compulisvely browsable encyclopedia contains 1,029 entries written by more than two hundred academicians and subject specialists….All periods of history, from slavery to the present, are well-represented. When appropriate, entries weave history and literature seamlessly so that the reader will learn much more than dry facts about a given author or literary movement….It its a treat to see entries for writers who had fallen into oblivion until the rediscovery of their works….There really isn't anything like The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature in print….[s]hould be considered by large public libraries and all academic institutions."

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Reference & User Services Quarterly.

"US institutions catering for African American cultural studies would find this a marvellous resource."

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Reference Reviews

"Junior high school students through high school students could use this set. The most obvious use is by literature classes, but American history classes could find uses too, especially in discussions of the historical and social issues. The articles provide good background materials for beginning research. Recommended."

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Library Media Connection

"With substantial bibliographies for every entry and especially strong entries on minor figures and major controversies, it is already an indispensable addition to my library."

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Year's Work in English Studies

"Gwendolyn Bennett was a poet and writer of short stories, and although she never published a book of either she kept the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance alive. Anne Spencer worked on her poetry 16 years before she was discovered and published, but it took almost no time before actor and writer Paul Robeson was discovered to be a socialist and reviled. In hundreds of objective and accessible entries, high school students, undergraduates and general readers can get the basics on the issues, events and people of African American literature. Contributors describe how writers, filmmakers and commentators reacted to social and political events, a unique approach that helps to define contexts. Writers, journalists, and editors are joined by others generally ignored in the literary world, including publishers, writers' collectives, niche journals, advocacy groups and marketeers. Entries include impressive lists of resources."

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Reference & Research Book News

Library Journal
This work is both ambitious and timely. Unlike biographically based references, it focuses on the texts of African American literature and the trends and events that have influenced it. Opening with an overview and chronology, the set has as its core over 1000 entries covering both canonized greats and lesser-known artists. These entries document the work of African American writers and their critics, literary forms and techniques, geographic hubs that generate significant output, and influential figures and movements that have shaped this diverse tradition. Compiled by Ostrom (English, Univ. of Puget Sound) and Macey (English, Univ. of Central Oklahoma) and written by over 200 scholars, the entries are accurate, cross-referenced, and appropriate in length to encyclopedic standards; photographs further augment the compilation's richness. The novice and the seasoned archivist alike are sure to encounter new names, faces, and histories. Bottom Line Given the work's scope, it is understandable that a few contributors would be overlooked, such as Paul Carter Harrison, Glenda Dickerson, and Margaret Wilkerson; additional African American theater groups; and major journals (e.g., African American Review). Overall, however, this is an important addition to all collections.-Carol Allen, Long Island Univ., Brooklyn Campus Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313329722
Publisher:
Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/28/2005
Pages:
2196
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 10.40(h) x 6.20(d)

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