George Hutchinson

The Newton C. Farr Professor of American Culture and the George Reed Professor of Writing and Rhetoric


George Hutchinson’s teaching and research concern nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, American racial culture, and more recently literary ecology.  He also directs the John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines.  His most recent book is Facing the Abyss:  American Literature and Culture in the 1940sa 2019 finalist for Phi Beta Kappa’s Christian Gauss Award and the MLA’s Matei Calinescu Prize for 20th and 21st century literature and thought.  His book In Search of Nella Larsen:  A Biography of the Color Line, won the Christian Gauss Award, was named one of the Best Books of 2007 by the Washington Post, and was an Editor’s Choice of the New York Times Book Review and Booklist. It also won a bronze medal for Biography in the Independent Publishers Book Awards, and was named an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice.  His book The Harlem Renaissance in Black and White, was a finalist for the Rea Nonfiction Prize and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in History. He has also won the Darwin Turner Prize of the African American Literature Division of the MLA.  He has edited four books and a journal special issue concerning African American literature, most recently the Penguin Classics edition of Jean Toomer’s Cane, an Editors Choice of the New York Times Book Review.  He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.  He is currently working on a memoir of well-digging in the village of Zéguedéguin, Burkina Faso, in the 1970s; and a biography, Jean Toomer: An American Life, for Yale University Press. 

Research Focus

  • American Modernism
  • African American Literature
  • Race in American Culture
  • Walt Whitman

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AMST Courses - Fall 2024