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Ira Dworkin

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Associate Professor
Areas of Speciality
  • Transnational Literatures
  • Race and Ethnicity Studies
  • African American and African Diaspora Literature
  • Multi-Ethnic Literature
  • 20th-Century American
  • 19th-Century American
  • (979) 862-8305
  • LAAH 404
Professional Links


Ph.D., City University of New York (CUNY), 2003

M.Phil., City University of New York (CUNY), 2000

M.A., City College of New York (CUNY), 1998

B.A., Wesleyan University, 1993

Research Interests

Dr. Dworkin’s Scholars@TAMU Profile

  • American Studies in the Middle East and North Africa
  • African American Anti-colonialism
  • Islamic Diasporas
  • Transatlantic Studies

Honors and Awards

  • Finalist, Pauli Murray Book Prize in Black Intellectual History, African American Intellectual History Society, 2018. For Congo Love Song.
  • Ray A. Rothrock ’77 Fellow in Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University, 2018–2021.
  • Arts & Humanities Fellow, Division of Research, Texas A&M University, 2017-2020.
  • John Eugene and Barbara Hilton Cay Visiting Scholar Grant, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2018.
  • Glasscock Faculty Research Fellowship, Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research, Texas A&M University, 2017-2018.
  • Publication Support Grant, Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities, Texas A&M University.  2015
  • Travel Grant, John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.  2012
  • Yasuo Sakakibara Prize of the American Studies Association.  2011
  • Fulbright US Scholar (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State.  2005-2006
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Africana Studies and American Studies, University of Miami.  2003-2005
  • Melvin Dixon Prize for the Best Dissertation in African American Studies, The Graduate Center, CUNY.  2003


Congo Love Song - DworkinCongo Love Song: African American Culture and Crisis of the Colonial State. The University of North Carolina Press, 2017.
In his 1903 hit “Congo Love Song,” James Weldon Johnson recounts a sweet if seemingly generic romance between two young Africans. While the song’s title may appear consistent with that narrative, it also invokes the site of King Leopold II of Belgium’s brutal colonial regime at a time when African Americans were playing a central role in a growing Congo reform movement. In an era when popular vaudeville music frequently trafficked in racist language and imagery, “Congo Love Song” emerges as one example of the many ways that African American activists, intellectuals, and artists called attention to colonialism in Africa.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass - DworkinNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (1845) by Frederick Douglass. Penguin Classics, 2014.

Edited volume with introduction, bibliography, and apparatus by Ira Dworkin. In addition to Douglass’s classic autobiography, this new edition also includes an original introduction by Dworkin and Douglass’s most famous speech “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” and his only known work of fiction, The Heroic Slave, which was written, in part, as a response to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.


The Other Americas - DworkinThe Other Americas. A Special Issue of Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics (Number 31). 2011. Co-edited by Ira Dworkin and Ferial Ghazoul.
This issue of Alif focuses on critical understandings of America beyond its frequent equation with the physical borders of the United States of America and the ideological jurisdiction of its official state. Critically exploring issues of transnationalism, globalization, ethnic pluralism, and cultural cross-fertilization, “The Other Americas” disavows narrow traditions of American exceptionalism and develops a conversation about the less visible “Americas” in the domestic and global senses, considering less well-known-but no less central-cultural productions within the borders of the U.S. and beyond them.

Nonfiction works of Pauline E. Hopkins - DworkinDaughter of the Revolution: The Major Nonfiction Works of Pauline E. HopkinsRutgers University Press, 2007.  Edited and annotated volume with introduction by Ira Dworkin.

Pauline E. Hopkins came to prominence in the early years of the 20th century as an outspoken writer, editor, and critic. This work brings together many of her essays, including non-fiction works such as ‘Famous Men of the Negro Race’, ‘Famous Women of the Negro Race’, ‘The Dark Races of the Twentieth Century’, and more.

Other Publications

  • “Radwa Ashour, African American Criticism, and the Production of Modern Arabic Literature.” Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry 5.1 (January 2018): 1–19.
  • “Thinking Outside of America: The State, the Street, and Civil Society.” Global Perspectives on the United States: Pro-Americanism, Anti-Americanism, and the Discourses Between. Edited by Jane C. Desmond and Virginia Dominguez. University of Illinois Press. 161-166.
  • On Demand and Relevance: Transnational American Studies in the Middle East and North Africa. Co-guest editor with Ebony Coletu of special journal issue of Comparative American Studies 13. 4 (Winter 2015).
  • “Mapping African American Literature and Human Rights.” Teaching Human Rights in Literary and Cultural Studies. Edited by Alexandra Schultheis Moore and Elizabeth Swanson Goldberg. Modern Language Association (Options for Teaching series), 86-95.  2015
  • “On the Borders of Race, Mission, and State: African Americans and the American Presbyterian Congo Mission.” Borderlands and Frontiers in Africa. Edited by Steven van Wolputte. LIT Verlag Berlin, 183-212.  2013
  • “‘Near the Congo’: Langston Hughes and the Geopolitics of Internationalist Poetry.” American Literary History 24.4 (Winter 2012): 631-657. Reprint in: Langston Hughes, New Edition. Edited by Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 2014.
  • “‘In the Country of My Forefathers’: Pauline E. Hopkins, William H. Sheppard, Lucy Gantt Sheppard, and African American Routes.” Atlantic Studies 5.1 (April 2008): 101-120.