Autumn Womack earned a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. Her research and teaching interests are located at the intersection of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century African American literary culture, visual studies, and print culture. Her first book, The Matter of Black Living: The Aesthetic Experiment of Racial Data, 1880-1930 is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press in Fall 2021. Weaving together previously unexplored archives and seemingly familiar texts, The Matter of Black Living shows how African American intellectuals and cultural producers used aesthetic experimentation negotiated the intimate relationship between black life and data regimes at the turn of the twentieth century. Her second book project, “The Reprint Revolution,” considers the circulation politics and practices that brought many nineteenth-century African American literary texts into the marketplace in the 1960s. At Princeton, she teaches classes on 19th and 20th century African American literature and the history of race and media. In keeping with her investment in archival research, her course “Toni Morrison and the Ethics of Reading” makes extensive use of the University’s collections. Womack has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a postdoctoral fellowship at Rutgers University’s Department of English and a faculty fellowship at Penn State’s Center for the History of Information.
Professor Womack’s work has been published in Black Camera: An International Film Journal, American Literary History, Women and Performance, J19: A Journal of 19th Century Americanists, The Paris Review of Books and The Times Literary Supplement as well as numerous edited volumes. She serves on the editorial board of The Langston Hughes Review and Aster(ix) Journal.