Mark Sanders is Professor of African American Studies and English at Emory University. He specializes in early twentieth-century American and African American literature and culture, more specifically, the connections between “mainstream” American modernism and the Harlem Renaissance. His research interests also include American and African American poetics, race theory, the African American novel, African American autobiography, and Afro-Cuban and Afro-Latino literature and culture. Sanders teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century African American literature and culture, exploring issues of racial and cultural identity, citizenship, and freedom. He also teaches courses on Afro-Cuban literature and culture of the colonial, republican, and revolutionary eras.
Sanders recently published A Black Soldier’s Story: The Narrative of Ricardo Batrell and the Cuban War of Independence, a translation of Batrell’s original memoir, Para la historia: Apuntes autobiograficos de la vida de Ricardo Batrell Oviedo, 1912. Sanders is now working on a republication of the original for a Cuban audience. He is also working on a collected volume of poetry by Anne Spencer.
Sanders has served as Chair of African American Studies at Emory from 2008 to the present; he currently serves on the MLA Executive Committee on English Literature Neither British or American, 2009-present; and he served as the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program Co-Coordinator 2001-2008.
Sanders’s talk is part of Cuba and the US South: A Shared History, an international symposium exploring the ties between Cuba and the Southern United States stretching back to the antebellum era. The symposium, co-sponsored by the Dean Rusk International Law Center, will also include a panel discussion exploring Georgia’s historic ties to Cuba, from the antebellum Atlantic trade to the emigration of Cubans to Atlanta following the Mariel boatlift.
The symposium is an event in the Willson Center’s Global Georgia Initiative, which brings world class thinkers to Georgia. It presents global problems in local context by addressing pressing contemporary questions, including the economy, society, and the environment, with a focus on how the arts and humanities can intervene. Global Georgia combines the best contemporary thinking and practice in the arts and humanities with related advances in the sciences and other areas.