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University of Delaware

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Kimberly Blockett

Chair and Professor of Africana Studies
University of Delaware
218 Memorial Hall
Newark, DE 19716
302-831-2897
 

Biography

Kimberly Blockett earned her Ph.D. in English and a graduate minor in African Literature from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining UD, Blockett taught at the Pennsylvania State University, Swarthmore College, University of Pennsylvania and UW-Madison. Blockett’s leadership and administrative experience include 5 years as a campus Honors Program coordinator and 8 years of service in the University Faculty Senate at Penn State, culminating as the chair-elect. As a liaison to the senate, she served on the Faculty Advisory Committee to the president; the board of trustees Committee on Academic Affairs, Research, and Student Life; the vice provost for faculty affairs Advisory Committee; the vice provost for faculty affairs Committee on Equity in Promotion and Tenure; and several other task forces and leadership committees across the university.

Selected Publications

Blockett has published two books: Race, Religion and Rebellion in the Nineteenth-Century Travels of Zilpha Elaw, Black Woman Evangelist (Duke UP, 2023) and a scholarly edition of Memoirs of the Life, Religious Experience, Ministerial Travels and Labours of Mrs. Zilpha Elaw, an American Female of Colour for West Virginia UP Regenerations series (2021). Her essays appear in the Cambridge History of African American Literature, MLA Approaches to Teaching Hurston, MELUS, African American Review, Legacy and Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers and Theologies of the Afterlife.

​Research Interests

A literary historian, Blockett has earned fellowships from Harvard, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, and the Smithsonian to unearth the forgotten life of Zilpha Elaw, whose travels and preaching complicate our contemporary understandings of nineteenth-century Black womanhood.

​Teaching Interests

Blockett enjoys teaching courses in literary theory, African American literature, cultural studies and women’s studies.

Education

University of Wisconsin-Madison Ph.D., Literature 2002
Eastern Michigan University B.A., English (summa cum laude)1993​​

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