Dr. Venetria K. Patton joined Purdue University on August 1, 2003, as Director of African American Studies and Research Center and Associate Professor of English. Prior to her appointment at Purdue, Dr. Patton was an Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she served in a number of administrative capacities including a term as Coordinator of African American and African Studies. She earned her B.A. in English from the University of La Verne and her M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of California-Riverside. Dr. Patton’s teaching and research focus on African American and Diasporic Women’s Literature. In 2003, she won two teaching awards: the Annis Chaiken Sorensen Distinguished Teaching Award in the Arts and Humanities and the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Patton is the author of Women in Chains: The Legacy of Slavery in Black Women’s Fiction (SUNY, 2000), the Co-editor of Double-Take: A Revisionist Harlem Renaissance Anthology (Rutgers, 2001) and editor of Teaching American Literature: Background Readings (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006). Her essays have appeared in Black Studies and Women’s Studies journals as well as the essay collections, Postcolonial Perspectives on Women Writers From Africa, the Caribbean, and the US (Africa World Press, 2003) and White Scholars/African American Texts (Rutgers UP, 2005). She is also the
co-editor of the spring 2004 issue of The Black Scholar. Dr. Patton is pursuing several new research projects, including editing a special issue of Black Women, Gender, & Families and writing a book-length study on elders and ancestors in African American women's fiction. Dr. Patton is a former Chair of the Purdue Black Caucus of Faculty and Staff and is a current board member of the National Council for Black Studies.