P. Gabrielle Foreman is Professor of English and
American Studies at Occidental College where she teaches African
American and American literature and culture as well as issues of social
justice. She is the author of three books and editions including
Activist Sentiments: Reading Black
Women in the Nineteenth Century. In her Penguin Classic’s reissue of Harriet Wilson’s Our
Nig or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, Foreman and her
co-editor Reginald Pitts “managed to pick up one of the coldest trails
in 19th century African American studies,” as one
reviewer put it. Instead of dying in poverty shortly after Our
Nig was published as many had assumed, Wilson was well known across
the East for her hair care products, and, after the Civil War, as
“Boston’s eloquent and earnest colored medium.” Foreman has published
more than a dozen essays and book chapters in critical anthologies and
leading academic journals such as Representations, the Yale
Journal of Criticism and American Literary History. She has received
academic grants from the National Humanities Center, the Ford
Foundation, the Huntington Library, and others. Her teaching has been
recognized by her campus and by the American Council for Learned
Society through a Graves Award for Teaching and Scholarship. She was
also named a Kellogg National Leadership Fellow for her work with youth.
With young activists and partners from the non-profit sector she
co-founded Action for Social Change and Youth Empowerment. AScHAYE put
young activists on boards of directors and provided training and support
to help build cohesive groups of youth leaders of color to work across
issue areas, race, and the geographical divide of Southern California.
She continues to work with L.A. community-based organizations on the
issue of sustainable community/academic partnerships.
She is at work on a project entitled Disruptive Narratives: Harriet Wilson and the
Politics of Place, Race and Religion.
Dr. Foreman has
the consulting or editorial boards of several academic journals
including American Literature. She graduated from Amherst
College, Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude, and received her Ph.D. from
the University of California, Berkeley in Ethnic Studies. Dr. Foreman
has received Occidental College's most prestigious
faculty awards for
both her teaching and her scholarship. She has served at Bowdoin College as Visiting Distinguished Professor of
Africana Studies and will soon join the faculty at the University of
Delaware as the Ned B. Allen Professor of English.