John Ernest has been identified as our most knowledgeable scholar of 19th-century African American literature, a judgment confirmed by the essays he has published in PMLA, American Literary History, and American Literature, among other journals, by the modern editions he has published of classic texts by William Wells Brown and William and Ellen Craft, and particularly by his books Resistance and Reformation in Nineteenth-Century African-American Literature and Liberation Historiography: African American Writers and the Challenge of History. His most recent books are Chaotic Justice: Rethinking African American Literary History and A Nation Within a Nation: Organizing African American Communities before the Civil War. He is the editor of Douglass in His Own Time: A Biographical Chronicle of His Life, Drawn from Recollections, Interviews, and Memoirs by Family, Friends, and Associates and The Oxford Handbook of the African American Slave Narrative. John Ernest holds a PhD from the University of Virginia and taught at Florida International University, the University of New Hampshire, and West Virginia University, before taking up his current post as Judge Hugh M. Morris Professor and Chair of the English Department at the University of Delaware.
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