Yolanda Manora

Yolanda Manora

Associate Professor


  • PhD, English, Emory University

Research Areas

  • African-American Literature
  • Late American Literature


Associate Professor Yolanda Manora joined the faculty of the Department of English after receiving her PhD in English, along with a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies, from Emory University. An affiliated faculty member in the Departments of Gender Studies and African American Studies, she has also taught classes in the Department of American Studies. Professor Manora is a Senior Fellow with the Blount Scholars Program, an interdisciplinary undergraduate liberal arts program and living and learning community within the University’s College of Arts & Sciences, and a 2022-2024 Collaborative Arts Research Initiative (CARI) Fellow.

An Americanist, Manora focuses on issues related to race, class, gender, sexuality, and subjectivity in texts by 20th/21st century women writers of color. Her work with Harlem Renaissance texts has turned upon an examination of African American modernists’ (re)negotiation of African American subjectivity/identity and social place through discourses and dialectics related to maternity, while her work in progress includes a study of the poetics and politics of fragmented forms in African American women’s memoir and a book project on bohemian Black feminism in African American literature and culture with a focus on African American women’s fiction, film, and music.

Dr. Manora, who served as the faculty advisor/chapter sponsor for the Department’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society, for several years, is also the former Director of Undergraduate Studies in English.


Works in Progress

Something Else to Be: Bohemian Black Feminism in African American Women’s Fiction, Film, and Music (Book Project)

Half Notes: The Poetics, Praxis, and Politics of Fragmented Forms in African American Women’s Memoir (Critical/Creative Project)

Selected Publications

  • “The Dialectical You, Representin’ I/i, Signifyin’ We: A Pronouns Primer for Claudia Rankine’s Citizen and the Black Arts Movement’s Grammar of Resistance.” ANQ/Taylor & Francis (April 2022).
  • “Half Notes: On the Fragmented Lyric in Black Girl Memoir–Vernacular Theory, Prose Poetic Praxis.” Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, 48.1 (forthcoming, Spring 2023).
  • “Saying Her Name, Hearing Her Voice (Part 1): Edmonia Lewis, The Greek Slave, and the Say Her Name Movement” in Disruption and Convergence: Generating New Conversations through Arts Research. Co-Author with Catherine Roach and Hannah Drake. Brill (forthcoming, 2024).
  • “Papa’s Baby, Mama’s Maybe: Reading Beyond the Palimpsestic Black Paternal to White Maternal Absence in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand.” (European Journal of American Studies, Summer 2019).
  • “‘She was in th family way’: The Dialectics of Modernity and Maternity in Jean Toomer’s Cane.” Short Story Criticism (Fall 2016).
  • “Transgressive Tendencies or The Case for ‘The Wrong Man’: Narrative Strategies and Scenes of Passing in Nella Larsen’s Allen Semi Short Story.” Short Story 18.2, (Fall 2010/2011): 55-70.
  • “What You Looking At Me For? I Didn’t Come to Stay: Displacement, Disruption, and Black Female Subjectivity in Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Ed. Mildred R. Mickle. Pasadena, CA: Salem, 2010. 192-210.
  • “‘She was in th family way’: The Dialectics of Modernity and Maternity in Jean Toomer’s Cane,” Obsidian III: Literature in the African Diaspora, 8.1 (Spring/Summer 2007/2009): 51-67.
  • “The Name of the Mother: Modernity, Maternity, and the (Bi)Racialized Failure of Relational Female Subjectivity in Nella Larsen’s Quicksand,” Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture 8.4 (October 2008).
  • “Discourse and Intercourse: Gender, Exile, and Dialogical Subjectivities in Maria Irene Fornes’s Mud,” Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 37.7 (October 2008): 845-860.
  • “Us: Southern Black Communal Subjectivity and Male Emergence in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple” in Southern Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the South 16.3-4 (Fall/Winter 2006): 77-99.
  • “‘What you looking at me for? I didn’t come to stay’: Displacement, Disruption, and Black Female Subjectivity in Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” in Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 34.5 (July/August 2005): 359-375.

Reviews & Encyclopedia Articles

  • “Freedom” in Writing African American Women: An Encyclopedia of Literature by and about Women of Color. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2006. 345-354.
  • Review of Africanism and Authenticity in African American Women’s Novels in South Atlantic Review71.1 (Winter 2006): 154-157.
  • “Elaine Jackson, playwright/educator” in The Oxford Concise Companion to African American Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Other Publications

  • William Smith’s Fatigue & Poverty in Freedom? Selections from the Paul R. Jones Collection (Spring 2017).
  • “Through the Doors: Reflecting on UA’s Desegregation,” The Chambered Nautilus 3.1 (Spring 2013)
  • “Everyday Saviors,” a circle of women (Spring 2002)
  • Additional work in Southern Living and Travel South