About James West

Historian of Black activism and print culture in the United States and diaspora
James's website

NBN Episodes hosted by James:

Literary Studies November 9, 2020

That Middle World

Race, Performance, and the Politics of Passing

Julia S. Charles

Hosted by James West
In this chronologically and thematically ambitious study of racial passing literature, Julia Charles highlights how mixed-race subjects invent cultural spaces for themselves—a place she terms that middle world. Charles, an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Auburn University, focuses on the construction and performance of racial identity in works by writers from the antebellum period through Reconstruction, connecting these passing or crossing narratives to more contemporary examples of …
African American Studies September 2, 2020

Ten Days in Harlem

Fidel Castro and the Making of the 1960s

Simon Hall

Hosted by James West
In his new book Ten Days in Harlem: Fidel Castro and the Making of the 1960s (Faber, 2020), Simon Hall, a Professor of Modern History at the University of Leeds …
Photography August 13, 2020

Troublemakers

Chicago Freedom Struggles Through the Lens of Art Shay

Erik Gellman

Hosted by James West
James West speaks with Erik Gellman, an associate professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about his new book Troublemakers: Chicago Freedom Struggles Through the …
African American Studies July 15, 2020

Louis Austin and the Carolina Times

A Life in the Long Black Freedom Struggle

Jerry Gershenhorn

Hosted by James West
James West speaks with Jerry Gershenhorn, Julius L. Chambers Professor of History at North Carolina Central University, about Louis Austin and the Carolina Times: A Life in the Long Black …
African American Studies June 11, 2020

Free The Land

The Republic of New Afrika and the Pursuit of a Black Nation-State

Edward Onaci

Hosted by James West
On March 31, 1968, over 500 Black nationalists convened in Detroit to begin the process of securing independence from the United States. Many concluded that Black Americans' best-remaining hope for …
African American Studies October 30, 2019

The Fire Is Upon Us

James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America

Nicholas Buccola

Hosted by James West
Nicholas Buccola’s new book, The Fire Is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America (Princeton University Press, 2019), uses the iconic debate …
African American Studies October 23, 2019

Represented

The Black Imagemakers Who Reimagined American Citizenship

Brenna Wynn Greer

Hosted by James West
Brenna Wynn Greer’s new study Represented: The Black Imagemakers Who Reimagined American Citizenship (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019), provides a fascinating look at a trio of black imagemakers – publisher …
African American Studies September 19, 2019

The Grapevine of the Black South

The Scott Newspaper Syndicate in the Generation before the Civil Rights Movement

Thomas Aiello

Hosted by James West
In the summer of 1928, William Alexander Scott began a small four-page weekly with the help of his brother Cornelius. By 1932 the Atlanta World had become a daily paper …
Architecture February 25, 2019

The Black Skyscraper

Architecture and the Perception of Race

Adrienne Brown

Hosted by James West
Adrienne Brown joins the New Books Network this week to talk about her fascinating 2017 book, The Black Skyscraper: Architecture and the Perception of Race (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017) …
African American Studies March 22, 2017

Eye on the Struggle

Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press

James McGrath Morris

Hosted by James West
In his acclaimed biography Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press (Amistad, Reprint Edition, 2017), James McGrath Morris explores the fascinating life of pioneering …
African American Studies March 13, 2017

Blood at the Root

A Racial Cleansing in America

Patrick Phillips

Hosted by James West
This episode of New Books in African American Studies covers Patrick Phillips' powerful new book Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America (W.W. Norton and Company, 2016) At …
African American Studies October 27, 2016

The Defender

How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America

Ethan Michaeli

Hosted by James West
In his new book The Defender: How The Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016), Ethan Michaeli charts the riveting history of the Chicago Defender, one of the …