Daniels, Melissa Asher

Melissa Asher Daniels (Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2012) specializes in nineteenth-century African American and American literature and culture, with a special emphasis on American literary realism. Her other research interests include American film, Critical Race Theory, and Queer Studies. Her book manuscript, African American Realisms and the Romances of Race: Rethinking Nineteenth-Century Literary History, explores how late nineteenth-century battles over the meanings of race, slavery, and genre created alternative modes of mimetic writing that borrowed heavily from ostensibly outdated discourses like the gothic, historical, and sentimental romance. Arguing that these seemingly anti-realist discourses were better equipped to depict the crisis of racism as an intrinsically emotional phenomenon, regulated by an economy of feeling, Daniels's study highlights a longstanding tradition of black writings about affect and subjectivity during the "nadir of American race relations." She is also the editor for a forthcoming Broadview Press edition of Pauline Hopkins's novel, Of One Blood; Or, The Hidden Self (1902-03). Her work has appeared in Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters, African American Review, and Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture.