Dr. Violet Harrington Bryan

Professor of English
Ph.D., Harvard University, 1981
M.A., Harvard University, 1972
B.A., Mount Holyoke College, 1970

Specialties: African American Literature, Medicine and Literature, New Orleans Literature, Black Women Writers, Women Witers of African Diaspora

Violet Harrington Bryan is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of English. She holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University (1981). She specializes in African American Literature, New Orleans Literature, and Women Writers of African Diaspora. A native of Florence, South Carolina, Violet Harrington Bryan teaches classes in World Literature, African American Literature, Caribbean Writers, and seminars in such areas as Women Writers of the African Diaspora and New Orleans Writers. She has her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. Her book, The Myth of New Orleans in Literature: Dialogues of Race and Gender (U of Tennessee P, 1993) has been read widely. She has also published analyses of the writings of New Orleans writers, such as Marcus Christian, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Brenda Marie Osbey, Mona Lisa Saloy, Quo Vadis Gex-Breaux, Thomas C. Dent, Sybil Kein, and Pinkie Gordon Lane, and has studied the life and accomplishments of New Orleans founder of the Louisiana juvenile court system and the Gaudet School for African Americans, Frances Joseph-Gaudet, an acknowledged saint in the Episcopal Church. She has contributed a literary biography of Lorenzo Thomas and an entry on African American Poetry Collectives to the Encyclopedia of American Poetry, and has published papers on the works of Zora Neale Hurston, VS. Naipaul, James Baldwin, and Velma Pollard. Dr. Bryan’s recent research is on the lived and imagined homeland—Woodside, St. Mary, Jamaica—in the fiction, nonfiction, and poetry of the Jamaican sister-authors, Erna Brodber and Velma Pollard. She is interested in the writers’ use of place as a portrayal of the Caribbean identity and the significance of slavery, migration, and creolization in their works.

Professor Bryan may be contacted at: (504) 520-7635 or by e-mail at vbryan@xula.edu.