James Saunders

James Saunders

Professor // English
Emeriti Faculty

Office and Contact


Black Literature, American Literature

Professor Saunders has taught and written about a wide range of authors including Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty, Ralph Ellison, Howard Frank Mosher, Edward P. Jones, and others. 

"Urban Renewal and the End of Black Culture in Charlottesville, Virginia," (McFarland) (co-authored) remains what is perhaps his most impactful book, as it presents the autobiographies of dislocated residents in a community that exemplified what was the essence of blackness.

Another of his co-authored books, the historical "Black Winning Jockeys in the Kentucky Derby," (McFarland), is coming to be recognized as, in addition to being a history, an interesting study of American literature.

Professor Saunders' essay, "A Worn Path: The Eternal Quest of Welty's Phoenix Jackson," has been getting new attention, prompting him to reread, with a different eye, his own correspondence with her.


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