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Susanna Ashton

Susanna Ashton

Susanna Ashton is Professor of English at Clemson University in South Carolina. Her research explores notions of authentication and identity in narratives of slavery and freedom. She is the author and editor of a number of award-winning books about nineteenth century literary culture and African American life writing, including Collaborators in Literary America 1870–1920 (Palgrave, 2010) and I Belong to South Carolina: South Carolina Slave Narratives (University of South Carolina Press, 2010) as well as works co-edited with Rhondda R. Thomas, The South Carolina Roots of African American Thought (University of South Carolina Press, 2014) and co-edited with William Hardwig, Approaches to Teaching the Works of Charles W. Chestnutt (MLA Press, 2017). She has held many academic awards and fellowships, including a position at Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman’s Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition as well as a Fulbright to the Republic of Ireland. For 2021–22, she was a W. E. B. Du Bois Fellow at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.

She has also published related work in journals such as Studies in the Novel, Symploke, College English, and MELUS as well as more outward-facing publications such as Commonplace, The Appendix, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

A Plausible Man: the True Story of the Fugitive Slave Who Inspired Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a biography of author and activist John Andrew Jackson, is forthcoming from The New Press in August 2024.

Design shows female with flag with "for the Union"

Capturing the Civil War

The images, diaries, and ephemera in Grand Valley State University’s Civil War and Slavery Collection reveal the cold realities of Abraham Lincoln’s world.

Eastern Kentucky University American Slavery Collection

Sixteen documents, including slave bills of sale, tell the cruel story of the enslaved lives that were listed in ledgers.
John B. Cade

John B. Cade’s Project to Document the Stories of the Formerly Enslaved

A recently digitized slave narrative collection consists of original manuscripts compiled by John Brother Cade and his students at Southern University.