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Department of English Language and Literature


Sueanna Smith

Title: Instructor
Department: English Language and Literature
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: HOB 600
Sueanna Smith


PhD in English, University of South Carolina, 2021
MA in English, California State University Stanislaus, 2010
BS in Social Sciences, Saint Thomas Aquinas College, 2008

Areas of Specialization

African American Literature and History
Early American Literature
Print and Material Culture
Book History
Social History


ENGL 101: Critical Reading and Composition
ENGL 101 Honors: Reading and Writing About Protest, Activism, and Social Justice
ENGL 101 Preston: Reading and Writing About Race in Popular Culture
ENGL 102: Rhetoric and Composition
ENGL 102 Capstone: Researching and Writing About American Sports Culture
ENGL 102 Honors: Researching and Writing About Issues Affecting College Students


I am currently an Instructor for the University 101 Program and beginning in Fall 2024, will be serving as a faculty mentor for USC’s new First-Gen Center.


   • Bilinski Dissertation Fellowship, College of Arts and Sciences, Univ. of South Carolina
   • Lapidus Dissertation Fellowship, Omohundro Institute for Early American Literature and Culture
   • Peterson Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society
   • Andrew Mellon Fellowship, Massachusetts Historical Society
   • Love of Learning Grant, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
   • Institute for African American Research Fellowship, Univ. of South Carolina

Current Research Projects

I am currently working on a variety of different archival projects that seek to uncover the lives and experiences of early African American residents of Boston. Part of this project involves reconstructing basic biographical information from a disparate array of archival sources, while another part examines the relationship between these individuals and the local community.


   • Reimagining Prince Hall: Race, Freemasonry, and Material Culture in Boston, 1775-1870, PhD   Dissertation. 2021
   • “The Transcendence of Class Ideologies in James Weldon Johnson’s Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man.” Children’s Literature Review, Gale/Cengage’s Literary Criticism Series, 2021
   • “African Free School.” African American Leadership: A Concise Reference Guide. SAGE, 2015
   • “Homogeneity as a Source of Power in Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘Sweat’ and Their Eyes Were Watching God.” San Joaquin Valley Journal, 2011
   • “A Battle for Cherl Masculinity in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.” Sigma Tau Delta Review, 2011
   • “The Transcendence of Class Ideologies in James Weldon Johnson’s Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man.” Sigma Tau Delta Review, 2010

Invited Talks/Presentations

   • “Reconstructing Prince Hall: Fraternal Artifacts, Slave Relics, and Historical Narration.”  For a panel entitled, “Brotherhood Commodified: The Material Dimension of American Fraternal Orders,” sponsored by the Material Culture Caucus, American Studies Association Annual Meeting, 2016
   • “African Americans and the Cultural Work of Freemasonry.” Massachusetts Historical Society, 2015
   • “The Cultural Work of the Early American Fraternal Sphere.” American Antiquarian Society, 2015
   • “Freemasonry, Race, and Material Culture in Early America.” Seminar sponsored by the Institute for African American Research, Univ. of South Carolina, 2015
   • “The Power of Black Autobiography.” Black History Month Program at Watertown Correctional Facility, New York, 2011

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.