John Edgar Tidwell


John Edgar Tidwell is professor of English at the University of Kansas.  Among his several courses, he teaches survey classes in American and African American literatures; major author courses in Gordon Parks, Sterling Brown, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston; and an introduction to the study of fiction.  Coinciding with his teaching, his areas of research are American and African American literatures.  He has published six books and a considerable number of essays, book reviews, literary dictionary entries, interviews, and a bibliography.  For the Kansas Humanities Council Speakers’ Bureau, he has presented “Against the Odds: Writers Growing up Black in Kansas” and “Gordon Parks’s Learning Tree Experience.”  Recently, he joined the KHC Talk About Literature in Kansas (TALK) program, conducting discussions thus far in the African American Experience series.  In 2001-2002, he served as Project Director for “Reading and Remembering Langston Hughes,” funded, in part, by the Kansas Humanities Council.  Prior to that, he was a Resident Scholar for KHC’s "Crossing Boundaries/Making Connections: African American and American Culture" program, in Spring 1996.  He was born and reared in Independence, Kansas. 



Bibliography ( - housed in Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection)

Books Edited:

Book Chapters and Editorial Work:

  • "The Sounds of Silence: Langston Hughes as a 'Down Low' Brother?" In  Montage of a Dream: The Art and Life of Langston Hughes (Eds. John Edgar Tidwell and Cheryl Ragar; University of Missouri Press, 2007) 
  • "Gordon Parks and the Unending Quest for Self-fulfillment" in John Brown to Bob Dole: Movers and Shakers in Kansas History. (Ed. Virgil Dean, University Press of Kansas, 2006. 293-305)
  • "Sterling A. Brown." Online essay. 
  • "Frank Marshall Davis." Online essay. 
  • "Frank Marshall Davis and the Cultural Life of Black Chicago." Under consideration for Proceedings of the Hull House Conference.
  • “Fierce Listening: Sterling A. Brown, Benjamin A. Botkin and Folk-Say.” Under consideration for Proceedings of Benjamin A. Botkin Conference. 
  • (editor and contributor), “Plateaus of Uncertainty: Symposia on Legacies and the Future of the Race.” My essay “Coming of Age in a Land of Uncertainty” and audience responses to it appear in Cottonwood 56 (Fall 2000): 43–59. 
  • (with Robert Hemenway, Valdinia Winn, and Carmaletta M. Williams) “The Legacy of the Harlem Renaissance: A Symposium,” Cottonwood 57 (Spring 2001): 45–61. 
  • (compiler and contributor), “The Future of the Race: A Symposium,” Kansas English 85.1 (Spring 2000): 69–82. 
  • (compiler and, with Cheryl Lester, co-introducer), "Frank Marshall Davis and the Chicago Black Renaissance," special issue of The Langston Hughes Review 14. 1 & 2 (Spring / Fall 1996).
  • "The Critical Realism of Sterling A. Brown," in "The Critical Methods of Africa America," edited by R. Baxter Miller, forthcoming from the Modern Language Association, 2001. 
  • "Exclusivity or Expansion: Canon Formation and the Black Literature Anthology," in "The Critical Methods of Africa America," edited by R. Baxter Miller, forthcoming from the Modern Language Association, 2001. 
  • (contributing editor), "From Renaissance to Mid-Forties," African American Literature. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1992, pp. 379-451. 
  • (contributing editor), "Sterling A. Brown," Heath Anthology of American Literature, 1st ed., vol. 2, edited by Paul Lauter, et al. Lexington, MA: DC Heath Publishers, 1990, pp. 1519-1521. Rpt. in 2nd ed., vol. 2, 1994, pp. 1656-71. Rev. and rpt. in 3rd ed., vol. 2, 1998, pp. 1655–70. See also my "Sterling A. Brown," in Instructor's Guide for the Heath Anthology of American Literature, ed. Judith A. Stanford. Lexington, MA: DC Heath Publishers, 1990, pp. 476-79. Rpt. in 2nd ed., edited by John Alberti, 1994, pp. 575-78. Rev. and rpt. in 3rd ed., edited by John Alberti, 1998, pp. 582–85. 
  • (guest editor and contributor), "Oh, Didn't He Ramble: Sterling A. Brown (1901-1989)," special section of Black American Literature Forum 23.1 (1989): includes my introduction (p. 89) and my essay "Sterling A. Brown Remembered" (109-111). 

  • "Weaving Strange Garments: Jazz in the Poetry of Frank Marshall Davis." Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz and Literature 6.1 (2001): 31-39.
  • “In Defense of African American Culture: Sterling A. Brown, Gunnar Myrdal, and An American Dilemma,” forthcoming in Contributions in Black Studies 
  • “Coming of Age in a Land of Uncertainty,” Cottonwood 56 (Fall 2000): 43–59. 
  • (with Theodore H. Genoways). “Two Lost Sonnets by Sterling A. Brown.” Callaloo, 21.4 (Fall 1998): 741–44. 
  • "Double Conscious Brother in the Veil: Toward an Intellectual Biography of Sterling A. Brown." Callaloo, 21.4 (Fall 1998): 931–39. 
  • (with John S. Wright). "Steady and Unaccusing: An Interview With Sterling A. Brown." Callaloo, 21.4 (Fall 1998): 811–21. 
  • "Alternative Constructions to Black Arts Autobiography: Frank Marshall Davis and 1960s Counterculture." CLA Journal 41.2 (1997): 147–60. 
  • "Two Writers Sharing: Sterling A. Brown, Robert Frost, and ‘In Divés's Dive.’" African American Review 13.3 (Fall 1997): 399–408. 
  • "'I Was a Weaver of Jagged Words': Social Function in the Poetry of Frank Marshall Davis." The Langston Hughes Review 14. 1 & 2 (Spring/Fall 1996): 65–78. 
  • "Brown, Sterling A.," "Davis, Frank Marshall," and "Slim Greer." Oxford Companion to African American Literature. Eds. William L. Andrews, et al. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. 104–106, 202–203, and 673 respectively. 
  • "'The Summer of '46': Sterling A. Brown Among the Minnesotans," Black Heartland, 1.l (Spring 1996): 27-41. 
  • "Ad Astra Per Aspera: [The Kansas Roots of] Frank Marshall Davis," Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains, 18.4 (Winter 1995-1996): 270-82. 
  • "Recasting Negro Life History: Sterling A. Brown and the Federal Writers' Project," The Langston Hughes Review 12.2 (Summer-Winter 1995): 77-82. 
  • "Reliving the Blues: Frank Marshall Davis and the Crafting of a Self." Intro. to Livin' the Blues, by Frank Marshall Davis. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992, pp. xiii-xvii. 
  • "The Art of Tall Tale in the Slim Greer Poems," (available in .pdf format ) Cottonwood Magazine 38/39 (Summer/Fall 1986): 170-176. 
  • "Frank Marshall Davis." Afro-American Writers from the Harlem Renaissance to 1940. Vol. 51 of Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1987, 60-66. 
  • "Interview With Frank Marshall Davis." Black American Literature Forum 19.3 (1985): 105-108. Rpt. in Black Literature Criticism. Detroit: Gale Research, Inc., 1992, 522-25. 
  • (with John S. Wright). "Alain Locke: A Comprehensive Bibliography of His Published Writings." Callaloo Nos. 11-13 vol. 4 nos. 1-3 (1981): 175-92. Rpt. in Bulletin of Bibliography 19.2 (1985): 95-104. 
  • (with John S. Wright). "Sterling Brown." Callaloo Nos. 14 &15 5.1-2 (1982): 13. 
  • "Interview With Amiri Baraka." Minnesota Daily, 21 October 1980: 7. 
  • "Ishmael Reed: Modern Mythmaker: An Essay and Interview." Minnesota Daily, 2 April 1979: 12-13. 
  • "Language Arts From a Black Perspective." Outreach: Newsletter of Minnesota University's Afro-American Studies Department 2.1 (1976): 4-5. 
  • "Teaching Minority Literatures: A Report." Minnesota English Journal 11.1 (1975): 14-16.


  • The Florida Negro: A Federal Writers' Project Legacy, ed. Gary W. McDonogh, The Journal of American History, September 1994, pp. 780-81. 
  • Blues, Ideology, and Afro-American Literature: A Vernacular Theory, by Houston Baker, Jr. South Atlantic Review 52.3 (1987): 141-43. 
  • The Sage in Harlem: H.L. Mencken and the Black Writers, by Charles Scruggs. Black American Literature Forum 20.3(1986): 341-44. 
  • Arna Bontemps--Langston Hughes Letters: 1925-1967, ed. Charles Nichols. Minnesota Daily, 5 May 1980: 12. Rpt. as "Two Writers Sharing." Callaloo Nos. 11-13, vol. 4, nos. 1-3 (1981): 215-17. 
  • When Harlem Was in Vogue, by David Levering Lewis. Minnesota Daily, 21-26 September 1981, sec. 2: 18. 
  • "The Birth of a Black New Criticism." Rev. of Afro-American Literature: The Reconstruction of Instruction, eds. Dexter Fisher and Robert Stepto. Callaloo # 7, vol. 2, no. 3 (1979): 111-14. 
  • The Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown, by Sterling A. Brown. Minnesota Daily, 16-20 March 1981: 19, 27. 
  • The Correspondence of W.E.B. DuBois, Vol. 3, ed. Herbert Aptheker. Minnesota Daily, 21 July 1980: 8. Rpt. as "A Long and Illustrious Career," in Callaloo Nos. 8-10, vol. 3, nos. 1-3 (1980): 221-24. 
  • The Journey Back: Issues in Black Literature and Criticism, by Houston Baker, Jr. Minnesota Daily, 7 July 1980: 6. 
  • Chant of Saints: A Gathering of Afro-American Literature, Art, and Scholarship, eds. Michael S. Harper and Robert Stepto and From Behind the Veil: A Study of Afro-American Narrative, by Robert Stepto. Minnesota Daily, 7 April 1980: 9. Rpt. as "Afro-American Literature Reinterpreted," in Callaloo Nos. 8-10, vol. 3, nos. 1-3 (1980): 233-36. 
  • Selected Poetry of Amiri Baraka / LeRoi Jones, by Amiri Baraka. Minnesota Daily, 31 March 1980: 16. 
  • Amiri Baraka / LeRoi Jones: A Quest for a "Populist Modernism," by Werner Sollors. Minnesota Daily, 11 February 1980: 9. 
  • Yardbird Lives, ed. Ishmael Reed. Minnesota Daily, 29 January 1979: 15, 19. 
  • Zora Neale Hurston: A Literary Biography, by Robert Hemenway. Minnesota Daily, 30 May 1978: 12, 16.


John Edgar Tidwell


Related Authors

Selected Works


Humanities Research Fellowship, Hall Center for the Humanities, University of Kansas, Spring 2006
Sabbatical, University of Kansas, Fall 2005
University of Kansas, General Research Funds, summers 2000, 2001, and 2002
Scholar-in-Residence, Johnson County Community College, Kansas City, KS, February 17–19, 1999
Faculty Improvement Leave, Miami University, Fall 1997.
Alumni Fellows Program, Washburn University, October 22-24, 1994.
Alumni of Notable Achievement, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, selected June 1994.
Langston Hughes Visiting Professor of English and of African and African American Studies, University of Kansas, Spring Semester 1994.
Visiting Scholar in English and in Ethnic Minority Studies, Kansas State University, 15-19 March 1993.
NEH Summer Stipend, awarded March 1993.
Miami University, Grant for Research Graduate Assistant, for 1993-1994.
NEH Travel to Collections Grant, awarded December 1992.
Miami University, Assigned Research Appointment, Fall 1990.
Miami University, Summer Research Appointment, 1988.
NEH Fellowship for Independent Study and Research, 1985-1986.
NEH Summer Stipend, 1985 (refused).
NEH Travel to Collections Fellowship, awarded December 1983.
American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, Fall 1982.
University of Kentucky Summer Faculty Research Fellowship, 1981, 1982, and 1983.
National Fellowships Fund Award, 1978-1981 (for dissertation work).
Jessamine Allen Dissertation Fund Award, University of Minnesota, Fall 1980.
Putnam Dana McMillan Fellowship, University of Minnesota, Summer 1979.
American Lutheran Church Future Faculty Fellowship, 1975-1977

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Frank Marshall Davis Related Authors Agent
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Black Moods: Collected Poems Book
Writings of Frank Marshall Davis: A Voice of the Black Press Book
Livin' the Blues: Memoirs of a Black Journalist and Poet Book