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  • Laura Helton, Assistant Professor, English and History in the History Department at the University of Delaware

    Assistant Professor, English and History
    University of Delaware
    308 Memorial Hall
    Newark, DE 19716

    Biography

    Laura Helton specializes in American literature and history of the twentieth century, with an emphasis on African American print culture and public humanities. Her research and teaching interests include archival studies, memory and material culture, gender and sexuality, and literary practices of the black freedom struggle. Her current book project, Collecting and Collectivity: Black Archival Publics, 1900-1950, examines the emergence of African American archives and libraries to show how historical recuperation shaped forms of racial imagination in the early twentieth century. 

    Currently a Scholar-in-Residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, she has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2019), the Center for Humanities & Information at Penn State (2015-2017), the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia (2013-2015), and the Bibliographical Society of America (2012).  In 2016, she was awarded the University of Pennsylvania’s Zuckerman Prize in American Studies for a dissertation connecting American history to literature or art.  Professor Helton's interest in the social history of archives arose from her earlier career as an archivist. She has surveyed and processed collections that document the civil rights era, women's movement, and American radicalism for several cultural institutions, including the Mississippi Digital Library, Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, CityLore, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

    Education

    B.A. Anthropology, Barnard College; M.A. History, New York University; M.L.I.S. Library & Information Studies, Rutgers University; Ph.D. History, New York University

    Publications

    Articles and Book Chapters

    “On Decimals, Catalogs, and Racial Imaginaries of Reading,” PMLA 134, no. 1 (January 2019): 99-120. (Honorable Mention, William Riley Parker Prize, Modern Language Association, 2020)

    “Making Lists, Keeping Time: Infrastructures of Black Thought, 1900-1950,” in Against a Sharp White Background: Infrastructures of African American Print, ed. Brigitte Fielder and Jonathan Senchyne (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2019): 82-108. 

    “The Question of Recovery: An Introduction,” with Justin Leroy, Max Mishler, Samantha Seeley, and Shauna Sweeney, Social Text 33, no. 3 (December 2015): 1-18.

    “Legacies of Freedom Summer in the Classroom,” with Deborah McDowell, Nicole Burrowes, and LaTasha Levy, Southern Quarterly 52, no. 1 (Fall 2014): 155-172.

    “Low-Wage Legacies, Race, and the Golden Chicken in Mississippi: Where Contemporary Immigration Meets African American Labor History,” with Angela Stuesse, Southern Spaces (December 31, 2013). 

 

 

308 Memorial HallNewark, DE 19716<div class="ExternalClassA81B968BB6984A9D956B48F27FC576B6"><p>Laura Helton specializes in American literature and history of the twentieth century, with an emphasis on African American print culture and public humanities. Her research and teaching interests include archival studies, memory and material culture, gender and sexuality, and literary practices of the black freedom struggle. Her current book project, <em>Collecting and Collectivity: Black Archival Publics, 1900-1950</em>, examines the emergence of African American archives and libraries to show how historical recuperation shaped forms of racial imagination in the early twentieth century.  <br></p><p> </p><p>Currently a Scholar-in-Residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, she has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2019), the Center for Humanities & Information at Penn State (2015-2017), the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia (2013-2015), and the Bibliographical Society of America (2012).  In 2016, she was awarded the University of Pennsylvania’s Zuckerman Prize in American Studies for a dissertation connecting American history to literature or art.  Professor Helton's interest in the social history of archives arose from her earlier career as an archivist. She has surveyed and processed collections that document the civil rights era, women's movement, and American radicalism for several cultural institutions, including the Mississippi Digital Library, Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, CityLore, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. </p></div><div class="ExternalClass0F1DA95C342049B6855DD855F570C151"><p>B.A. Anthropology, Barnard College; M.A. History, New York University; M.L.I.S. Library & Information Studies, Rutgers University; Ph.D. History, New York University </p><p> </p><p> </p></div><div class="ExternalClassD1F6E29AB8DD4D7691876CC8FDFF5F2C"><p>Articles and Book Chapters</p><p>“On Decimals, Catalogs, and Racial Imaginaries of Reading,” <em>PMLA </em>134, no. 1 (January 2019): 99-120. (Honorable Mention, William Riley Parker Prize, Modern Language Association, 2020)</p><p>“Making Lists, Keeping Time: Infrastructures of Black Thought, 1900-1950,” in <em><a href="https://muse.jhu.edu/book/65849" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://muse.jhu.edu/book/65849&source=gmail&ust=1578663860152000&usg=AFQjCNG5_z7BxMoZraBy8fdgKZzzryI6kg">Against a Sharp White Background: Infrastructures of African American Print</a></em>, ed. Brigitte Fielder and Jonathan Senchyne (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2019): 82-108. </p><p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1215/01642472-3315766" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https://doi.org/10.1215/01642472-3315766&source=gmail&ust=1578663860153000&usg=AFQjCNF5k150EmwCOf_oLrhfOzDWXfQyvw">“The Question of Recovery: An Introduction,”</a> with Justin Leroy, Max Mishler, Samantha Seeley, and Shauna Sweeney, <em>Social Text</em> 33, no. 3 (December 2015): 1-18.</p><p>“Legacies of Freedom Summer in the Classroom,” with Deborah McDowell, Nicole Burrowes, and LaTasha Levy, <em>Southern Quarterly</em> 52, no. 1 (Fall 2014): 155-172.</p><p><a href="http://southernspaces.org/2013/low-wage-legacies-race-and-golden-chicken-mississippi" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=http://southernspaces.org/2013/low-wage-legacies-race-and-golden-chicken-mississippi&source=gmail&ust=1578663860153000&usg=AFQjCNGlMywCqA9LKpHVPLtsZjjqJYmb_w">“Low-Wage Legacies, Race, and the Golden Chicken in Mississippi: Where Contemporary Immigration Meets African American Labor History,”</a> with Angela Stuesse, <em>Southern Spaces</em> (December 31, 2013). </p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p></div>EducationPublicationslehelton@udel.eduHelton, Laura<img alt="Professor Laura Helton" src="/Images%20Bios/faculty/HELTON_LAURA.JPG" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Assistant Professor, English and History

 

 

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  • Department of History
  • 46 W. Delaware Avenue
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • University of Delaware
  • Phone: 302-831-2371
  • history@udel.edu