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Tess Eufamia Chakkalakal
Presidents and Trustees of Williams College (Williamstown, MA 01267-2600)
Literary Fellows: James Weldon Johnson and Brander Matthews

Brander Matthews, a leading critic of American literature in the 1890s, played a pivotal role in the making of the first modern African American novel: The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson. Yet Matthews’s connection to Johnson and the African American literary tradition has received little critical attention. A comparison of their literary projects reveals striking similarities. This project examines Johnson’s connection to Matthews’s ideas on literature and their importance to shaping the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.

Project fields:
Literature, General

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2004 – 9/30/2004