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Cedrick May

Name

[May, Cedrick]
  • Associate Professor, English

Professional Preparation

    • 2003 Ph.D in EnglishPenn State University
    • 1998 M.A. in EnglishUniversity of Texas at Arlington

Other Activities

    • Uncategorized
      • "'I have don my duty as well as I could': Exploring Slavery and Servitude In The Hillhouse Family Papers." Endeavors Colloquium Series, Yale University, February 2013.
      • “‘Depths Where the Elephants May Swim’: The Literature and Religion of Jupiter Hammon.” African-American Heritage Month Lecture, Tarrant County Community College, South Campus, February 2013.
      • “‘Till Christ shall make us free’: Writing and Religion in African-American Literary Research.” American Religions/American Literatures Conference, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, October 4-5, 2012.
      • “Keynote Address: Religious Enthusiasms in the 18th Century” Critical Voices Conference, University of North Texas, April 15-16, 2010.
      • “The Influences of Black Christianity on Harlem Renaissance Writers.” SUPER Institute on the Harlem Renaissance, University of Alabama in Huntsville, July 2004.
      • “‘Enthusiasm’ as Race and Class Marker in Black Christianity.” Creative/Research Forum, Auburn University, February 11, 2004.
      • University of Texas at Arlington Faculty Development Leave (2012). The FDL grants dedicated research time in order for the recipient to develop a significant scholarly project.
      • Alicia Wilkerson Smotherman Faculty Award (2008). A College of Liberal Arts award that recognizes faculty whose research expertise and teaching abilities have inspired students to create work of exceptional merit.
      • Gilder Lehrman Fellowship in American Civilization (2002). Short-term, two-month fellowship awarded by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to scholars whose work contributes to and promotes the study of American history.
      • College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award (2013)
      • Film Review

Research and Expertise

  • Cedrick May
    18th- and 19th-Century African-American Fiction, Poetry, and Prose; Evangelical
    Literature and Theology; Black Autobiography; Civil Rights and Black Power Literature,
    Computational Textual Analysis, Digital Humanities Research Methods, Science and Literature,
    Web Design and Web Development

    Much of my research involves the development of an online database of literature related to early African-American culture.  I am in the process of digitizing early African-American authors who wrote between 1760-1830.  My current book project is a scholarly edition of the poetry and prose Jupiter Hammon, an eighteenth-century slave who was the first African-American to publish literary works in America.

Publications

      Essay 2013
      Journal Article 2013
      • "'An Essay on Slavery': An Unpublished Poem by Jupiter Hammon." Early American Literature Volume 38, Issue 2 (summer 2013).
        {Journal Article }
      2013
      • "'Till Christ shall make us free’: Writing and Religion in African- American Literary Research," in American Literary History
        {Journal Article }

      Book Chapter 2012
      • "Metaphysics of Presence in Olaudah Equiano's Narrative." Teaching Olaudah Equiano's Narrative. Ed. Eric D. Lamore. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. (Publication Date: October 5, 2012)
        {Book Chapter }

      Book Review 2010
      • "April C.E. Langley, The Black Aesthetic Unbound: Theorizing the Dilemma of Eighteenth-Century African American Literature." Rev. of The Black Aesthetic Unbound: Theorizing the Dilemma of Eighteenth-Century African American Literature, by April C.E. Langley. Early American Literature 2010.
        {Book Review }
      2010
      • "John C. Shields, Phillis Wheatley's Poetics of Liberation: Backgrounds and Contexts." Rev. of Phillis Wheatley's Poetics of Liberation: Backgrounds and Contexts, by John C. Shields. Early American Literature 2010.
        {Book Review }

      Journal Article 2008
      • May, Cedrick. "Video Production and Distribution for the Composition and Literature Classroom." Currents in Electronic Literacy (2008).
        {Journal Article }

      Book 2008
      Journal Article 2004
      • May, Cedrick. "John Marrant and the Narrative Construction of an Early Black Methodist Evangelical." African American Review 38 (2004): 553-570.
        {Journal Article }

Courses

      • ENGL 4399-003 SENIOR SEMINAR-Archives and Editing: From 1787 to The Civil Rights Act of 1875

        In this course we will engaging in hands-on, practcal work within regional archival collecions while studying black abolitionist speeches dating from roughly 1787 to 1875. We will begin with the question, “What is an archive?” and proceed to think about various historical writings and cultural-studies approaches attempting to answer that question. We will then dive into reading about and researching African-American oratory related to the American abolitionist movement. The ultimate goal of the course is completing a final seminar paper on a topic related to the abolition of slavery in the United States and the establishment of the very first Civil Rights Act in 1875. Your seminar paper will rely on the work you will do in various types of archives located around our geographical region. Students should expect to spend several hours a week deep in archival research at a number of usual (and unusual) places, such as university special collections, museums, city halls, state capitals—and possibly cemeteries! — wherever your research questions may take you as you develop knowledge and skills of using archives and archival research to answer your specific set of research questions.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2019Contact info & Office Hours
      • ENGL 5326-001 Early African-American Evangelical Literature

        In this course we will study the religious contexts of Africans and African American living in eighteenth-century British-America. Our goal is to understand the ways Africans and their descendants used Christianity as a source of inspiration in everyday life, as well as to resist social and political oppression. We will begin with the theology of influential British and British-American religious leaders, and then read foundational literary works of several early African-American texts (those written roughly between 1760 and 1829).  We will focus mainly on the religious and theological aspects of the early literature within the tradition.  In the effort to understand the emergence of Black social gospels, we will work out how Africans and their descendants in British North America incorporated unique forms of African-American Christianity into the literature and culture of the era, setting the precedent for future literatures within the tradition.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2019Contact info & Office Hours1 Link3 Documents
      • ENGL 3374-001 Rhetoric and Multimodal Authoring: Deep Listening and Natural Environments

        Audio storytelling (also known as “podcasting”) is one of the most vibrant forms of communicating new ideas, educating, and fostering community. One reason for the rise and popularity of podcasting is the intimacy of the format—it is a truly immersive storytelling medium that can be experienced almost anywhere.  A well-produced podcast is like a communal story told around a campfire, and while the medium, itself, is electronic, the canvas upon which the stories unfold is the human imagination. At the heart of every great podcast or podcast series is excellent narrative storytelling.

        The price for entry into the world of podcasting is actually very low. For very little money, anyone can produce a podcast series with an inexpensive microphone, digital recorder, cheap laptop, and some free software. However, the most important tools a person needs to do good audio storytelling, the kind that fosters knowledge and community building, is the ability to listen deeply, have empathy, and plan ahead.  

        Student Learning Outcomes:
        Students will develop an understanding of, and sensitivity to natural environments and the ways human beings interact with those environments. The knowledge gained from students’ deep listening and careful note-taking will be the subject of the audio stories produced for the class.
        Students will be able to analyze texts of significance and to practice critical analysis of work at the center of the humanities.
        Students will demonstrate a critical ability to analyze questions about the nature and value of human life and the natural environment within which we live, as embodied in the traditions of the humanities.
        Finally, by the end of the semester, every student will have a portfolio of well-produced podcasts and written audio-series scripts. This portfolio can be used as part of any application or resume in order to find internships or jobs within the media industry.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2018Contact info & Office Hours
      • ENGL 3345-001 African American Literature

        This course is designed to familiarize students with a range of African American literature, from some of the earliest autobiographical writings to literary works of the present. We will study a number of genres throughout the semester, from Black autobiographies to Black westerns, slave narratives to science fiction novels.

        One of the objectives of this course is to introduce students to writers most people know by name, but have never actually studied in depth. The goal is to provide a unique and developed perspective for people like W.E.B. Dubios, Martin Luther King, Jr., and James Baldwin. I will also introduce you to more contemporary authors, like Nnedi Okorafor and Percival Everett.

        Students should expect to take a quiz over each of the daily reading assignments. The quizzes are designed to test that you are, in fact, keeping up with the reading assignments and coming to class prepared for discussion of the text for the day.

        Student Learning Outcomes:
        --Students will develop an understanding of, and sensitivity to, our shared literary heritage.
        --Students will be able to analyze representative texts of significance and to practice critical analysis of work at the center of the humanities.
        --Students will demonstrate a critical ability to analyze questions about the nature and value of human life as embodied in the traditions of the humanities.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2018Contact info & Office Hours
      • ENGL 4399-001 Senior Seminar: Archives and Editing

        In this course we will study the histories and theories of archives and archival research while engaging in hands-on, practical work within regional archival collections. We will begin with the question, “What is an archive?” and proceed to think about various historical writings and cultural-studies approaches attempting to answer that query. We will begin our readings with Carolyn Steedman’s book, Dust: The Archive and Cultural History. We will read other theoretical works and practical guides as we jump directly into doing original archival research. The ultimate goal of the course is completing a final seminar paper on a topic of your choosing. Your seminar paper will rely on the work you will do in various types of archives located around our geographical region. Students should expect to spend several hours a week deep in archival research at a number of usual (and unusual) places, such as university special collections—wherever your research questions may take you as you develop knowledge and skills of using archives and archival research.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2018Contact info & Office Hours1 Document
      • ENGL 4345-001 Topics in Critical Theory: Cyberliteracy

        Cyberliteracy is an advanced critical theory and practice course. This course will emphasize textual analysis in digital environments and the types of writing and editing they enable.  This particular section is project-oriented, meaning students will theorize, discuss, and create web-based, “born-digital” projects.  A major goal in the course is to get all students comfortable working with computers at the level of code, as well as introduce the idea of “design thinking” to the practices related to writing and media production.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2018Contact info & Office Hours1 Document
      • ENGL 2303-006 Jesus in Contemporary Literature and Film

        In this course we will be exploring contemporary representations of Jesus in fiction and film to consider what this figure has come to mean in both secular and religious thinking today.  While Jesus has historically been presented as the ultimate heroic figure in Western thought, most popular entertainment and some popular fundamentalist movements celebrate violent heroism rather than pacifism-- is this new?  Or, has there always been this seeming split?  We will begin the course by reading the Gospels (including sections of some of the gnostic Gospels) and then look at what writers since Paul have had to say about Jesus as a historical and inspirational figure.  We will read two novels along with two films and several essays and short stories, as well as the biblical Gospels in order to examine how the figure of Jesus seems to change from writer to writer and era to era and what these changes might mean.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2017Contact info & Office Hours
      • ENGL 5360-002 Archives and Archival Theory

        In this course we will study the histories and theories of archives and archival research while engaging in hands-on, practical work within regional archival collections. We will begin with the question, “What is an archive?” and proceed to think about various historical writings and cultural-studies approaches attempting to answer that query. We will begin our readings with Jacques Derrida’s essay, “Archive Fever: A Freudian Interpretation,” and then segue into Carolyn Steedman’s book, Dust: The Archive and Cultural History. We will read several more theoretical works and practical guides regarding archives, and then jump into doing original archival research. The ultimate goal of the course is completing a final seminar paper on a topic of your choosing. Your seminar paper will rely on the work you will do in various types of archives located around our geographical region. Students should expect to spend several hours a week deep in archival research at a number of usual (and unusual) places, such as university special collections, museums, city halls, state capitals—and possibly cemeteries! —wherever your research questions may take you as you develop knowledge and skills of using archives and archival research.

        Texts:
        “Archive Fever: A Freudian Interpretation,” by Jacques Derrida
        Dust: The Archive and Cultural History, by Carolyn Steedman
        Working in the Archives: Practical Research methods for Rhetoric and Composition-Ramsey, etc.
        Exploring the C-Span Archives: Advancing the Research Agenda
        MLA Handbook (Eighth Edition)

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2017Contact info & Office Hours
      • ENGL 3345-001 AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE

        This course is designed to familiarize students with the various texts of African American literature. We will study a number of genres throughout the semester, including slave narratives, poetry, sermons, essays and science fiction. We will study the ways by which Africans and African Americans constructed identities, a useable past, enjoyed life, and resisted oppression through literature, particularly through a variety of forms of writing.

        One of the main objectives of this course in African American literature is to introduce students to writers most people know by name, but have never actually studied in depth. The goal is to provide a unique and developed perspective for people like W.E.B. Dubios, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

        Students should expect to take a quiz over each of the daily reading assignments. The quizzes are designed to test that you are, in fact, keeping up with the reading assignments and coming to class prepared for discussion of the text for the day.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2017Contact info & Office Hours
      • ENGL 4377-001 TOPICS IN SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

        This section of ENGL 4377 is an introduction to a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to reading and writing that are historically important to the study of literature and culture. We will focus our attention on architecture and digital technologies as objects of study within critical theory. We will engage these topics from a Cultural Studies perspective. Archival and field research will be a large part of our work, as you will be visiting various archives and architectural sites in the DFW area in order to produce original Cultural Studies research.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2017Contact info & Office Hours
      • ENGL 5300-001 Theory and Practice

        This course will explore the various theoretical movements that emerged during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will examine some of the works of the main theorists of the various movements. Beginning with Friedrich Nietzsche, we will examine the emergence of a modern set of critical theories that are interdisciplinary and reveal reality to be much more rich and complex than the “common sense” perception. Through this interrogation of common sense notions of reality, we will see how structuralists and later poststructuralist and deconstructionist theorists refute the classical understanding of literature as mimetic—mirroring life—and instead focus attention on language and the politics of representation. We will also examine the intersections between poststructuralist thought and other areas of literary study, including psychoanalysis, feminism, post-colonial, and post-humanist studies.

        Texts:

        The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism (ed. Vincent B. Leitch.)

        The Birth of Tragedy: Out of the Spirit of Music (Nietzsche)

        The Poetics of Space (Gaston Bachelard)

        Course Requirements:

        14 four-page Analytical Papers (70%) 1 Class Presentation (30%)

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2016Contact info & Office Hours
      • ENGL 2303-004 Afrofuturism

        In America, Afrofuturism begins with the earliest songs, poetry, and stories about a better time to come outside of and away from slavery and the anti-Black oppression that free African-Americans endured. The life of the enslaved was clearly a dystopia, so various forms of imaginative escapism that might have taken the form of religion or revolution enabled a sense of collective hopefulness that a better time was an inevitable part of a Black future. Poetry and song like, "I Thank God I'm Free at Last," "Steal Away to Jesus," and "Go Down Moses" became traditional anthems for the afro-future that mixed history, religion, mysticism, and futurism to create a distinct Black sense of the future, a type of speculative fiction that would inspire institutional forms of resistance, and a large body of futurist poetry, fiction, music, and art. For instance, Paul Laurence Dunbar's 1913 dialect poem, "An Antebellum Sermon,” relies on the narration of a biblical past juxtaposed with America's slave legacy in order to satirically attack the Jim Crow politics of Dunbar's own time. It is a poem that looks backward as well as forward, with brief interludes signifying the speaker's present moment. Just like the novel is a safe space for us to explore fictional minds and develop our empathy, speculative dreaming and writing are our safe spaces for exploring ideas that may change our world for the better.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2016Contact info & Office Hours
      • ENGL 3345-001 AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE

        Course Description

        ENGLISH 3345: ELECTRONIC AFRICAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE

        This course is designed to familiarize students with various novels, autobiographies, poetry, and short fiction of African American writers from 1760 to the beginning of the 20th century. We will study a number of genres throughout the semester, including poetry, sermons, slave narratives, essays and science fiction. All of the texts for this course will be in electronic form, so students will be required to have a portable electronic eBook reader (such as a Kindle, Nook, Sony reader, etc.).

        One of the major goals of the course is to introduce students to a new way of looking at the African American literary tradition by examining how black writers embrace and then further develop earlier traditions within the canon. The course also looks toward the future of books and writing and how readers of these materials experience these texts in electronic form.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2013
      • ENGL 2303-005 Environmental Literature and Film
        This section of American Literature will be unique in that all of the material covered will be distributed as electronic book files and read on your own personal electronic book reader. Further, this course does not require a formal academic essay but will have as a course requirement a two-part scholarly project in which students will participate in transcribing and annotating a work of early-American literature in preparation for it to be turned into an electronic book that will be distributed freely over the internet and through electronic book vendors such as Project Gutenberg. The purpose of this set of assignments is to introduce students to the field of electronic textual editing and make an original and significant contribution to early-American scholarship.
        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2012
      • ENGL 6391-012 Early American Literature
        This section of "Early American Literature" is a graduate-level independent studies course on the literature of American authors writing between 1690 to 1830.  Special emphasis will be placed on the cultural context in which these authors lived. 
        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2012
      • ENGL 3372-001 COMPUTERS AND WRITING
        This course in Computers and Writing is designed to be an introduction to composition as it relates to web design and critical theories of “New Mediaâ€.  Although the Internet is often spoken of as an element of “New Media,†it has actually been around for a good while and has become quite mature.  Increasingly, the Internet has become the main platform by which information exchange occurs, whether that information takes the form of web pages, documents, music, video, or some combination of all these elements an others.  This course will begin with an historical overview of the Internet as a platform for information exchange.  Throughout the semester we will focus on text and textuality.  Students will learn the basics of HTML and CSS in order to write and create their own webpages.  Once a basic literacy in reading and writing code has been achieved, students will examine elements of good web design, creating pages that not only feature important textual information, but that display that information in ways readers will find pleasing to read and easy to navigate.  Computers and Writing will combine composition theory, elegant code, and visual design In order to teach students best practices in writing for the Web.

        **No previous experience with HTML, CSS, or any other computer languages is necessary or expected.  Students with no experience in programming for the web are encouraged to enroll.  This course will give a basic introduction to HTML and CSS in the first few weeks, enough for students to accomplish the goals of the course and prepare them for more advanced techniques they might wish to explore in the future.


        Books:
        Hypertext 3.0: Critical Theory and New Media in an Era of Globalization—SBN-10: 9780801882579

        The Non-Designer's Design Book (3rd Edition)—ISBN-10: 0321534042

        HTML & XHTML Pocket Reference (Please note: get 4th Edition only!)—ISBN10: 9780596805869

        CSS Pocket Reference (Please note: Please get only the 3rd edition!)—ISBN-10: 9780596515058

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2011
      • ENGL 6351-001 Electronic Text Design and Web Publishing

        This course in Electronic Textual Design and Web Publishing is designed to introduce graduate students in the Humanities to the XML programming language and its usefulness as a method for rhetorical analysis of texts.  XML and its various dialects are increasingly becoming a standard for information exchange on the web and as a tool for document design.  We will explore XML  (eXtensible Markup Language) both as a linguistic artifact and as a tool for structuring and transforming textual information for scholarly study.  Along the way, we will study and discuss specific principles for electronic textual editing and learn how to use XML and its various dialects to create electronic editions of literary texts.  Also, this course will explore how computers and scientific modes of thinking can help us develop new research methods that lead to empirical studies of literary texts.

        **This course is designed for Humanities students with no previous experience with XML, HTML, CSS, or any other computer languages.  Students who have no experience with XML or programming languages of any sort are encouraged to enroll.  This course will focus on the XML markup language and also give a basic introduction to HTML and CSS in the first few weeks, enough for students to accomplish the goals of the course.  By the end of the semester, students will have acquired important and highly sought after skills necessary for scholars within the Digital Humanities as well as in various areas of the publishing industry.  All you need to succeed in this course is a lively curiosity, patience, and a willingness to work hard on interesting projects.


        Books:

        The Rhetorical Nature of XML: Constructing Knowledge in Networked Environments—ISBN-10: 9780805861808

        Electronic Textual Editing—ISBN-10: 0873529715

        Literature, Science, and a New Humanities—ISBN-10: 9780230609037

        HTML & XHTML Pocket Reference (Please note: get 4th Edition only!)—ISBN10: 9780596805869

        CSS Pocket Reference (Please note: Please get only the 3rd edition!)—ISBN-10: 9780596515058

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2011
      • ENGL 4399-002 Senior Seminar: Existentialism, or, The Projects of Our Lives
        This semester I will also introduce students to a unique new way of doing "close readings" of individual works of literature through the use of a computer languages based on XML (Extensible Markup Language). Research in the humanities relies on competency in computer technologies more than ever. It is important, therefore, for humanities scholars to not only be good users of computers and computer software, but also creators of the very software tools and technologies by which our research is done. An excellent place to begin beginning learning the skills for Digital Humanities projects are wed-based languages in which literary texts are transcribed into machine-readable form and then marked up in open, standards-based schemas for further study and interchange on the World-Wide-Web
        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2011
      • ENGL 6391-001 Graduate Training
        The focus of ENGL 6391 is and academic growth and professionalization. You will work with your instructor to set and achieve a major intellectual goal that advances your status as a PhD student and member of the profession of English studies. In this semester, we will be designing and conducting an empirical experiment on the writing processes of novice and professional writers using a range of computational tools. The object of the experiment is to discover patterns in the way individuals and groups draft toward a final writing product for course credit or publication. We will seek to discover what sort of conclusions might be made after observing individuals, over the course of time, as they write toward a goal. By the end of the semester, we will have a completed draft of a joint paper on our topic.
        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2011
      • ENGL 3345-001 AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
        This course is a survey of African American Literature, from the Early-American Period to the Present
        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2010
      • ENGL 6339-001 Literature Performed, Written, and Directed by American Indian Women
        In this course we will study the secular and religious contexts of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century America. We will focus mainly on the religious and theological aspects of the early literature within this tradition. In the effort to understand the emergence of Black social gospels in the nineteenth century, we will work out how Africans and their descendants in British North America incorporated unique forms of African-American Christianity into the literature and culture of the era, setting the precedent for future writings within the tradition. We will also read a number of theoretical essays on Black theology from Cain Hope Felder’s Stony the Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation as well as my own study of Black religion and literature, Evangelism and Resistance in the Black Atlantic, 1760- 1835.
        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2010