English Prof. Publishes Paper | St. Lawrence University

English Prof. Publishes Paper

Assistant Professor of English Alvin Henry had a paper published about post-Hurricane Katrina black feminism in the October 2019 issue of English Language Notes.

According to Henry’s abstract, his article intervenes in the debates on African American memory. “After Hurricane Katrina, African Americans had to flee the Gulf, and this created a contemporary new diaspora, which shattered the traditional means of transmitting memories—extended families’ stories—as communities separated. The article analyzes Jesmyn Ward’s response to this evisceration and dispersion of Black memory in Salvage the Bones. She develops “salvaging,” which is a new form of memory and which this article juxtaposes to Toni Morrison’s concept of ‘rememory.’ Instead of rememory’s traumas, Ward suggests that southern Blacks capture the everyday to mitigate the uncertainty of their lives. Salvaging entails scavenging old memories and rememories to forge an amalgamation of overlapping, colliding, and repurposed memories. Salvaging forges independent memory bubbles that can be reentered by descendants to celebrate the periodic losses. This article illuminates a revolutionary system of Black memory making and transmission.”

Read the article.

At St. Lawrence, Henry teaches English and education courses, as well as teaches in the First-Year Program. He has recently taught “Introduction to African American Literature,” “Out of this World: Alternate Realities in Sci-Fi,” “Black Modernism,” “Contemporary African American Literature,” “Marketing Strategy and Competitive Advantage,” and the First-Year Seminar “Black Science Fiction.”

English Language Notes is a respected forum of criticism and scholarship in literary and cultural studies since 1962, English Language Notes (ELN) is dedicated to pushing the edge of scholarship in literature and related fields in new directions.

Learn more about St. Lawrence’s Department of English.