Barbara McCaskill, an associate professor of English, conducts research on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century African American literature and culture. Her current projects include Post-Bellum, Pre-Harlem, a coedited collection of essays on post-Reconstruction African American culture (forthcoming from New York University Press), an on-line gallery of photographs attributed to the former slave Robert E. Williams, and essays on William and Ellen Craft, fugitive slaves from Georgia. McCaskill is also editing a collection of original and classic essays on the Crafts and wrote an introduction to their 1860 narrative, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom (University of Georgia Press, 1999).
During her fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute, McCaskill plans to complete her book “William and Ellen Craft in the Transatlantic World.” She wants to determine why so many British and American writers appropriated the Crafts’ story, why the Crafts themselves remained publicly silent on many scores about their lives, and what attractions reenactments, commemorations, and plays about the Crafts hold for twenty-first century audiences.
McCaskill earned her MA and PhD in English from Emory University. She cofounded the journal Womanist Theory and Research with a $250,000 Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowship. She has held fellowships at the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. She has been active professionally as cochair of the MLA Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession and as current chair of the Women?s Committee of the American Studies Association.