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African-American Literature Scholar to Address Ralph Ellison’s Works


The great modern African-American novelist, Ellison, is an example of America's rich cultural history

Posted:  2011-01-12

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Ralph Ellison

STEUBENVILLE, OH—Dr. Herman Beavers, graduate chair of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, will speak on the modern African-American novelist and musician, Ralph Ellison, at Franciscan University of Steubenville on Tuesday, November 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Egan Hall, room 209.

In 1952, Ellison, the grandson of slaves, became the first African-American novelist to receive the National Book Award for his highly acclaimed novel, Invisible Man. The novel concerns a young, college-educated black man who struggles to survive and succeed in a racially-divided society that denies him human dignity. Ellison adapts the existentialist struggle for meaning in a seemingly meaningless universe to the black struggles of oppression and prejudice in America. Ellison's brilliantly woven story has become a canonical work of American literature because of the rich tapestry of African-American history that it presents.

Beavers teaches courses on African-American and American literature, as well as “The Literatures of Jazz.” His poems have appeared in MELUS, The Langston Hughes Colloquy, and Versadelphia, and he has recently published essays on August Wilson, Charles Johnson, Toni Morrison, and Ralph Ellison. Beavers' talk is sponsored by the English Department and Philosophy Department. It is free and open to the public.

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