Dana Williams to Lead the Howard University Graduate School

Dana Williams has been named interim dean of the Howard University Graduate School. She is chair of the department of English and a professor of African American literature. She has been a Howard University faculty member since 2003.

Before coming to Howard, Dr. Williams’ had held a Ford Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University and was a faculty fellow at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University. She is the past president of the College Language Association and currently serves as a member of the executive council of the Modern Languages Association. In 2016, President Barack Obama nominated Dr. Williams to serve as a member of the National Council on the Humanities.

Dr. Williams is the author of two books: Contemporary African American Female Playwrights: an Annotated Bibliography (Greenwood, 1999) and In the Light of Likeness—Transformed: The Literary Art of Leon Forrest (Ohio State University Press, 2005). Additionally, she has co-edited August Wilson and Black Aesthetics (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2004) edited African American Humor, Irony, and Satire: Ishmael Reed, Satirically Speaking (Cambridge Scholars, 2007),  and Contemporary African American Fiction: New Critical Essays (Ohio State University Press, 2009).

“I am excited about the prospect of extending the legacy of scholar deans who are deeply invested in teaching and in fostering collegial relationships across the university,” says Dr. Williams. “It would be impossible to understate the importance of Howard at this moment in this nation’s history, especially Howard’s role as the producer of so many Ph.D.s of color across all disciplines. This significance is not lost on me as I step into a long tradition of servant leadership at my alma mater.”

Dr. Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Grambling State University in Louisiana and a master’s degree and Ph.D. both in African American literature from Howard University.

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