Maryemma GrahamMaryemma Graham has been professor of English at the University of Kansas since 1998, including one year as the Langston Hughes Professor. Author or editor of eight books, including The Cambridge Companion to the African American NovelTeaching African American Literature: Theory and Practice, a complete collection of Frances Harper’s poetry, and a book of conversations with Ralph Ellison, she is perhaps best known for her scholarship and programs on Langston Hughes (the 2002 Langston Hughes Centennial and International Symposium; the Langston Hughes National Poetry Project); Margaret Walker (3 books published and a biography, The House Where My Soul Lives: The Life of Margaret Walker scheduled for release in 2013 by Oxford); Richard Wright (Richard Wright Newsletter, Co-Chair Richard Wright Centennial, involving more than 20 planned 2008 events in Europe, US and Japan) and Toni Morrison (President of the Toni Morrison Society 2004-7, director of the Language Matters Teaching Initiative).

The Cambridge History of African American Literature (with Jerry W. Ward, Jr.), which was published in 2011, is the first African American literary history to be published in the 21st century. Professor Graham is the founder/director of the Project on History of Black Writing, a documentary literary and archival project, which sponsors professional development workshops and literacy programs devoted to the preservation and teaching of African American literature and culture. She has been a John Hope Franklin Fellow at the National Humanities Center, an American Council of Learned Societies fellow and a recipient of more than ten grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.