Miriam Thaggert is an Associate Professor of English with joint appointments in the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies and the Program in African American Studies.
She teaches courses on American and African American literature in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, and she also teaches courses on the city in American literature. Her book, Images of Black Modernism: Verbal and Visual Strategies of the Harlem Renaissance (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2010) studies an early form of black American modernism, one that is characterized by a heightened attention to and experimentation with visual and verbal techniques for narrating and representing blackness. The book is interested in not only in the ways in which the biological, physiological facts of visual difference have been transformed into moral, intellectual, or social hierarchies, but also, and more significantly, the impact this transformation has had on our language and the ways we talk about race and (American) modernism.
She is currently working on a book that examines the effect of the nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century technologies on the perception of race, gender, class and nationality in American literature. The book argues that racial, gender, and economic disparities have quite often been reflections of and influenced by technologies that modernized America.
Her writings, which include readings of African American women in film, have been published in African American Review, American Literary History (forthcoming), American Quarterly, and Meridians.