August Wilson Expert Is African American Studies Program Scholar-in-Residence

Posted: February 3, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryan Call

The African American Studies Program welcomes Sandra Shannon, PhD, this semester as the 2006 African American Studies Scholar-in-Residence. Shannon will give a series of three lectures titled “Exploring the Dramatic Vision of August Wilson.”

The first lecture takes place on Monday, Feb. 20, at 2:30 p.m. in Room 240 of the Johnson Center as part of the university’s celebration of Black History Month. Shannon will present the second and third lectures on March 27 and April 24, respectively.

Shannon, who received her doctorate from the University of Maryland in 1986, is a professor of African American literature, criticism and drama in the Department of English at Howard University.

Her research on August Wilson has established her as an important authority on his work and its cultural significance. Wilson, who died last year, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. He wrote a cycle of 10 plays, each set in a different decade, depicting the African-American experience in the 20th century.

In 1995, Shannon published the first biographical and critical study of Wilson, “The Dramatic Vision of August Wilson.” Since then she has released two more books: “August Wilson’s Fences: A Reference Guide” and “August Wilson and Black Aesthetics.”

Shannon has received many grants to support her research and has been published in many peer-reviewed journals. She is also a much sought-after lecturer. Her most recent projects focus on a growing trend in theater – the contemporary female African American playwright.

As a scholar-in-residence, Shannon will work closely with faculty and students in the African American Studies Program and be a resource for students and faculty interested in enhancing their research with a new perspective.

Write to at