Seretha D. Williams earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a master's degree and doctorate in comparative literature from the University of Georgia. She is a professor in the Department of English and Foreign Languages and an affiliated faculty in the Women's and Gender Studies Program. Williams is a co-editor of the essay collection Afterimages of Slavery and the author of publications on African and African American literatures. She has presented at national and international conferences and served as a peer reviewer for scholarly journals and academic presses. A past Fulbright-Hays fellow, Williams is interested in African and African Diaspora literatures and transnational contexts. Currently, William's work examines the influence of Margaret Walker on the Black Chicago Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement and situates Walker and those periods within a transnational and transcultural framework. Her book chapters " 'The Bitter River' ": Langston Hughes and the Violent South" (Critical Insights Harlem Renaissance, 2015) and " '[B]ut yesterday morning came the worst news': Margaret Walker Alexander's Prophets for a New Day" (Critical Insights Civil Rights, 2017) discuss the role of trauma in the creative works of African American authors.
Professor Williams teaches courses on world literature and Women's and Gender Studies at Augusta University. During the Summer 2015 term, she served as a faculty mentor for undergraduate students conducting research with the Center for Undergraduate Research. The project, "Text Mining and Digital Humanities: Quantitative Analysis of African American Poetry", illustrates William's pedagogic interest in incorporating technology and research into the undergraduate experience.
Williams has served on and provided leadership for numerous committees at Augusta University and in her discipline. At Augusta University, she has organized four Women's and Gender Studies Symposia, directed Women's and Gender Studies, coordinated the Minority Advising Program, and advised student organizations. In her discipline, she has served on the Fulbright selection committee for the East Africa Region and as an edition award reviewer for Society for the Study of American Women Writers. In 2016, Williams was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award for the Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and recognized as one the top African American faculty at Augusta University.
Areas of Expertise (3)
Africa and African Diaspora
Dark Swoops: Trauma and Madness in Half of a Yellow SunMadness in Black Women’s Diasporic Fictions: Aesthetics of Resistance
Seretha D. Williams
2017 Seretha D. Williams proposes that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Half of a Yellow Sun (2006) examines the systemic, individual, and gendered traumas of the Nigerian-Biafran War in an attempt to comment on the aftermath of empire...
Neptune is truly the ruler of the Negro Race: Margaret Walker, Horoscopes, and a Black FutureJournal of Ethnic American Literature
Published by Mississippi Valley State University.
Afterimages of Slavery: Essays on Appearances in Recent American Films, Literature, Television and Other MediaMcFarland
Williams, S. D. & Allen, M. D.
Since the election of President Barack Obama, many pundits have declared that we are living in a "post-racial America," a culture where the legacy of slavery has been erased. The new essays in this collection, however, point to a resurgence of the theme of slavery in American cultural artifacts from the late twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. Ranging from disciplines as diverse as African American studies, film and television, architectural studies, and science fiction, the essays provide a provocative look into how and why slavery continues to recur as a trope in American popular culture. By exploring how authors, filmmakers, historians, and others engage and challenge the narrative of American slavery, this volume invites further study of slavery in its contemporary forms of human trafficking and forced labor and challenges the misconception that slavery is an event of the past.
Mediation, Misremembering, Creativity, and Healing in Zakes Mda’s CionAfterimages of Slavery: Essays on Appearances in Recent American Films, Literature, Television and Other Media.
Williams, S. D., 2012
In Cion (2007), the sequel to Ways of Dying (1995), South African writer Zakes Mda reads critically the collective mythic consciousness of African America. The result of his close reading is the collapsing of causal and spiritual realms and the creation of mythic spaces within which to imagine shifting identities that afford the descendants of slaves opportunities for wholeness.
Waiting for the Spider to Come Home”: Mothers and Mothering in Lalita Tademy’s Cane RiverReclaiming Home, Remembering Motherhood, Rewriting History: African American and Afro-Caribbean Women’s Literature in the Twentieth Century. Drews, M. & Theile, V.
Williams, S. D.
Through the voices of Elisabeth, Suzette, Philomene, and Emily, Tademy reconstructs the narrative of her family history; these voices, in turn, speak for those whose stories will go untold. These women, unlike many others, survived- not whole, not necessarily in tact; yet, they managed to use their limited resources and their belief in family to triumph in the face of meaningless suffering. Like Harriet Jacobs whose slave narrative recounts her decisions to take a white lover and to save herself and her family by hiding in the “loophole of [her] retreat,” Tademy’s ancestral matriarchs employ numerous strategies of mothering in an effort to rescue their families, especially their girls, from the intricate webs of race, class, and gender imbedded in Louisiana Creole culture. In Cane River, mothers use their bodies to secure the futures of their children, they sacrifice their personal freedoms to ensure the birthrights of their offspring, and they nurse away the miseries of slavery, rape, and death. However, they are also silent, absent, or unmoved during times of crisis. They are not always the nurturers: sometimes they are the nurtured. They are jealous. They are obstacles in the way of dreams. Tademy does not idealize or romanticize mothering; instead, she humanizes the roles of her foremothers by revealing their flaws and fallibilities.
Gary, Indiana on the Cusp of Greatness: Richard G. Hatcher and the National Black Political Convention of 1972Hastings College Press
Seretha Denise Williams
An in-depth look at the life and career of Richard G. Hatcher, first African-American mayor of Gary, Indiana, and a close examination of the National Black Political Convention of 1972.