Our keynote speaker

Ralph Ellison in His Labyrinth

Opening keynote lecture by Eric Sundquist, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities, the Department of English at Johns Hopkins University.

Eric J. Sundquist is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanties at Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches in the Department of English.  Professor Sundquist received his B.A. from the University of Kansas and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.  He has also taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and Vanderbilt University and is the author or editor of thirteen books, including King’s Dream (2009); Strangers in the Land: Blacks, Jews, Post-Holocaust America (2005), which received the Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute Book Award; To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature (1992), which received the Christian Gauss Award from Phi Beta Kappa and the James Russell Lowell Award from the Modern Language Association; The Hammers of Creation: Folk Culture in Modern African American Literature (1993); Faulkner: The House Divided (1985); and Home as Found: Authority and Genealogy in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (1979), which received the Gustave Arlt Award from the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States.
He has edited essay collections devoted to Mark Twain, Ralph Ellison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and W. E. B. Du Bois, and contributed to the Cambridge History of American Literature (reprinted as Empire and Slavery in American Literature, 1820-1865).  He has served on the National Council of the American Studies Association and the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association, and directed four summer seminars for the National Endowment for the Humanities.  From 1997 to 2002, he was Dean of the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University.  In 1997 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and currently serves on its Council.  In 2007 he was named a recipient of a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.