Dr. William L. Andrews is E. Maynard Adams Professor of English in UNC's College of Arts and Sciences. Professor Andrews has authored or edited more than 40 books on a wide range of African American literature and culture. He has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.
His first book, "The Literary Career of Charles W. Chesnutt" (1980), deals with a seminal figure in the development of African American and Southern American prose fiction.
"The Norton Anthology of African American Literature" (1997), "The Oxford Companion to African American Literature" (1997) and "The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology" (1997), are three big collaborative projects that he has co-edited.
Andrews is series editor of "North American Slave Narratives, Beginnings to 1920" (http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh), a complete digitized library of autobiographies and biographies of North American slaves and ex-slaves, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ameritech and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He continues to study the historical linkages between white and black writers in the formation of American literature, African American literature and Southern literature.
Areas of Expertise (5)
American Literature to 1900
African American Literature
The Thomas Jefferson Award (2015) (professional)
The Thomas Jefferson Award is presented annually to a member of the UNC academic community whose work exemplifies the ideals of Thomas Jefferson.
The committee said: "His reach beyond academia, the role of his work in restoring a heritage of triumphs and meaning to a race too often reminded of bitter defeat and marginalization, reveal that Bill Andrews has extended the vision of Jeffersonian democracy to include people whom Jefferson himself was unable to include fully in the grace of America."
James W.C. Pennington Award (2015) (professional)
Established in 2011 by the Heidelberg Center for American Studies, the James W.C. Pennington Award is given to scholars who have done distinguished work on topics such as slavery, emancipation, peace, education, reform, civil rights, religion and intercultural understanding.
Bill Little Award for Distinguished Service to the College of Arts and Sciences (2012) (professional)
The Bill Little Award was established in 2009 by the UNC College of Arts and Sciences to recognize Little’s distinguished service and to honor faculty, staff and volunteers who have served the College with extraordinary distinction.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Ph.D., (Doctorate degree) 1973
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: M.A., (Master of Arts) 1970
Davidson College: B.A., (Bachelor of Arts) 1968
- Institute for the Arts and Humanities : Pardue Fellow
Media Appearances (3)
Slave narratives still move Bill Andrews
University Gazette online
On the life and career of Thomas Jefferson Prize winner Professor William L. Andrews.
How Many Slave Narratives Were There?
The Root online
Professor Andrews helps to answer the question posed in the articles title: "Now, thanks to my friend William L. Andrews and his colleagues at Doc South, an online archive hosted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, we can put an exact number out there: 204. That’s right! From the height of the slave trade to the end of the Civil War in 1865, 102 known book-length slave narratives were written, with another 102 written by former slaves after the war."
Professor Says He Has Solved a Mystery Over a Slave’s Novel
New York Times online
Professor William Andrews weighs in on a literary mystery:
"In 2002, a novel thought to be the first written by an African-American woman became a best seller, praised for its dramatic depiction of Southern life in the mid-1850s through the observant eyes of a refined and literate house servant.
But one part of the story remained a tantalizing secret: the author’s identity."
Event Appearances (4)
Work, Privilege and Class in American Slavery (2015)
Presentation Memorial Hall, the University of Delaware
James W.C. Pennington, Mark Twain, and the Moral Conscience of American Literature (2015)
Presentation University of Heidelberg
Some New Directions in Slave Narrative Scholarship (2014)
C19 conference UNC Chapel Hill
Reflections on a Quarter Century of Editing African American Texts (2012)
Editing Early African American Texts, Conference on Editorial Problems University of Toronto
ABSTRACT: During the African American literary renaissance of the 1850s, the act of narrating was novelized in many slave narratives. But Frederick Douglass's Heroic Slave (1853) and William Wells Brown's Clotel: Or, The President's Daughter (1853) are particularly ...
ABSTRACT: If, as Robert Stepto has suggested, the antebellum slave autobiography, epitomized by the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845), exemplifies in classic form the" ascent narrative" in Afro-American literature, the post-Civil-War ex-slave autobiography furnishes ...
ABSTRACT: As scholarly interest increases in Frederick Douglass as a man of letters, the vagueness of his literary origins becomes increasingly frustrating to those who wish to trace the intellectual background of the author of America's classic slave autobiography...
ABSTRACT: An evaluation of the influence of white literary critics, editors, and publishers on the growth and development of Afro American literature in general and individual Afro-American writers in particular constitutes a formidable and yet unfinished task for the student of American literature and culture...