Andreá N. Williams: “The Cost of Love: Single Women and the Marriage Market in Contemporary Black Literature”

Amid recent public concern over declining marriage rates, Andreá Williams examines how marital status impacts crucial matters of everyday experience, including how we envision ideas such as “independence” and “success.” In this talk, Williams explores how contemporary African American drama represents a recurring figure of the “independent” black woman: the single black woman stuck in cycles of earning, consumption, debt and heartbreak. As Williams argues, by demystifying romance, black feminist artists expose its relationship to principles of market economy that both exclude and exploit black women’s value.

Andreá N. Williams is Associate Professor of English at The Ohio State University, where she teaches African American and nineteenth-century American literature. She is the author of Dividing Lines: Class Anxiety and Postbellum Black Fiction (University of Michigan Press, 2013), which examines class differences in African American literature in the late nineteenth century. Her research interests also include auto/biographical studies, periodical studies, and black print culture. Her work appears in journals including African American Review, American Literary History, Legacy, American Periodicals and Meridians. She is now at work on an interdisciplinary cultural study of unmarried African American women, tracing how singleness evolved from an intermediary life-stage to a prolonged lifestyle. This year, she is an ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Fellow in residence at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park

Date(s) - Nov 07
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

EUC Maple Room, UNCG


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