Autumn Womack

Assistant Professor
Department of African American Studies and Department of English
Ph.D, Literature
Columbia University
office phone:
(609) 258-1864
Autumn Womack

Professor Autumn Womack specializes in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century African American literature, with a particular research and teaching focus on the intersection of visual technology, race, and literary culture. She earned her PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, and from 2015-2016 she was a postdoctoral fellow in Rutgers University's Department of English. Most recently Professor Womack as a 2016-2017 faculty fellow at Penn State University's Center for the History of Information (CHI).

Professor Womack's book manuscript ,“Reform Visions: Race, Visuality, and Literature in the Progressive Era," examines the important formal and technical features of emergent visual technologies such as photography, motion pictures, and social surveys to black literary culture from the 1880s through the 1920s. She has published on this and other topics in Black Camera: An International Film Journal, Women and Performance, American Literary History, and SmallAxe Salon. Her contribution to a published roundtable on "Racism's Afterlives"is forthcoming in J19: A Journal of 19th Century Americanists and her exploration of antebellum data visualization in The Anglo-African Magazine will appear in Cambridge University's volume Transitions in African American American Literature, 1850-1865.

Like her research, Professor Womack's teaching is interdisciplinary in its scope. In addition to regularly teaching courses in the area of Nineteenth-Century African-American literary culture, she has taught and developed courses on race and visual culture, literature and surveillance, as well a single author course on Toni Morrison.


AAS 353/ENG 352
African American Literature: Origins to 1910

This introductory course focuses on black literature and literary culture from the mid-18th century to the early 20th; it will cover the poetry of Phillis Wheatley and Paul L. Dunbar; the political oratory of Sojourner Truth and David Walker; slave narratives by Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs; non- fiction prose by W. E. B. Du Bois and Anna Julia Cooper; and Frances Harper’s and James Weldon Johnson’s novels. In readings, assignments, and discussions, we will explore the unique cultural contexts, aesthetic debates, and socio-political forces that surround the production of an early African American literary tradition