Jones, Suzanne W(hitmore) 1950-

views updated

JONES, Suzanne W(hitmore) 1950-


Born May 26, 1950, in Surry, VA; daughter of Frank Woolson (a farmer) and Sue (a government employee; maiden name, Whitmore) Jones; married J. Frank Papovich (a professor and dean), July 12, 1986; stepchildren: Sasha Papovich, Nat Papovich. Education: College of William and Mary, B.A., 1972, M.A., 1975; University of Virginia, Ph.D., 1984.


Office—Department of English, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA 23173.


Virginia public schools, Hampton, English and drama teacher, 1972-74, and Williamsburg, English and journalism teacher, 1976-78; U.S. Geological Survey, writer and editor, 1975-76; University of Virginia, assistant director of writing program, 1983-84, visiting associate professor, spring, 1996; University of Richmond, Richmond, VA, assistant professor, 1984-92, associate professor of English, 1992-2004; coordinator of women's studies, 1985-94. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy, consultant, 1986-90, 1992, and 1997-98.


American Studies Association, Modern Language Association, Society for the Study of Southern Literature, European Southern Studies Forum, Edith Wharton Society, Phi Beta Kappa.


Virginia Center for the Humanities fellow, 1987, 1992; Distinguished Educator Award, University of Richmond, 1989, 1992; Outstanding Faculty Award, Virginia State Council of Higher Education, 1992; Outstanding Teacher designation, South Atlantic Association of Departments of English, 1994; summer research grant, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1997.


(Editor and author of introduction) Writing the Woman Artist: Essays on Poetics, Politics, and Portraiture, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1991.

(Editor and author of introduction) Growing up in the South: An Anthology of Modern Southern Literature, Mentor (New York, NY), 1991, revised edition, Signet Classic (New York, NY), 2003.

(Editor and author of introduction) Crossing the Color Line: Readings in Black and White, University of South Carolina Press (Columbia, SC), 2000.

(Editor, with Sharon Monteith; and contributor) South to a New Place: Region, Literature, Culture (essays), Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 2002.

Race Mixing: Southern Fiction since the Sixties, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 2004.

Contributor of articles to books, including The Female Tradition in Southern Literature: Essays on Southern Women Writers, edited by Carol Manning, University of Illinois Press, 1993; and The Present State of Mind: Southern Identity in the 1990s, edited by Jan Nordby Gretlund, University of South Carolina Press, 1999. Contributor to journals, including Southern Studies, Journal of American Studies, Southern Literary Journal, and Women: A Cultural Review. Member of advisory board for "Southern Reflections" series, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1985-86; member of editorial advisory board for "Southern Classics Series," University of South Carolina, 2003—.


A professor of English at the University of Richmond, Suzanne W. Jones focuses on race in literature and on Southern literature in publications she has both edited and authored. Her Growing up in the South: An Anthology of Modern Southern Literatureis a collection of writings from such authors as William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Bobbie Ann Mason, Ernest Gaines, Anne Moody, and Harry Crews, among others, grouped into thematic sections: "Remembering Southern Places," "Experiencing Southern Families," "Negotiating Southern Communities," and "Challenging Southern Traditions." A reviewer for USA Today found that "a common love of storytelling" forms the uniting factor in the stories collected in Growing up in the South.

In Crossing the Color Line: Readings in Black and White Jones provides another gathering of authors for a thematic exploration of her subject. In this case, Jones focuses on race relations in the United States since the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Eighteen authors, both black and white, are collected in the volume, from the well known, such as Toni Morrison, Reynolds Price, and Alice Walker, to the relatively obscure, such as Alyce Miller and Anthony Grooms. Speaking with Charles Slack for Sixty-four magazine, Jones commented that "There are a lot of writers people aren't familiar with.… I had to do a lot of searching to find these stories." Jones once again divides her material thematically, in sections including "Misreadings," in which she puts the spotlight on discrimination; "Rereadings," an exploration of the shifting perceptions of blacks and whites; and "New Readings," which examines inter-racial relationships. Jones also told Slack that she hopes the collection will inspire students to rethink race and race relations.

Critics were predominantly positive about the anthology. Writing in the Journal of American Studies, Sharon Monteith suggested that Jones's three-part organization of the stories "illuminates the ways in which they function as aesthetic and social commentary on socio-historical trends." Monteith also noted that Jones's collection "will entrance the general reader and will serve tutors well." Further praise came from Booklist's Vanessa Bush, who termed the book an "interesting overview of how fiction has chronicled what has changed and what has remained the same in American race relations." Similarly, Lyn Miller-Lachmann, writing in MultiCultural Review, found Crossing the Color Line to be "a good choice for college-level classrooms." A reviewer for the Sanford, North Carolina Herald called the anthology an "eye-opening compilation of short stories and novellas." For this same contributor, Jones's book would be useful reading "for any individual who is interested in combating prejudice, building bridges between disparate populations and promoting cross-racial understanding."

Collaborating with Sharon Monteith, Jones next edited South to a New Place: Region, Literature, Culture, a collection of seventeen essays divided into three sections: "Surveying the Territory," which examines the sense of "place" in Southern literature; "Mapping the Region," "a sort of refugee camp for 'the other,'" as Michael O'Brien noted in the Journal of Southern History; and "Making Global Connections," which attempts to situate Southern literature within a larger context. For O'Brien, South to a New Place is an "intelligent book." Jones has also written her own book, the 2004 title Race Mixing: Southern Fiction since the Sixties, which examines topics including interracial friendships, interracial love, mixed-race protagonists, and race relations in general in contemporary southern literature.



Booklist, December 1, 2000, Vanessa Bush, review of Crossing the Color Line: Readings in Black and White, p. 691.

Contemporary Literature, spring 2004, Katherine Renee Henniger, review of South to a New Place: Region, Literature, Culture, pp. 177-185.

Flannery O'Connor Review, 2003-04, Robert Donahoo, review of South to a New Place, pp. 126-127.

Herald (Sanford, NC), November 26, 2000, review of Crossing the Color Line.

Journal of American Studies, Volume 37, number 2, 2003, Sharon Monteith, review of Crossing the Color Line, pp. 339-340.

Journal of Southern History, May, 2004, Michael O'Brien, review of South to a New Place: Region, Literature, Culture, p. 485.

MultiCultural Review, September, 2001, Lyn Miller-Lachmann, review of Crossing the Color Line.

Sixty-four, December, 2000, Charles Slack, review of Crossing the Color Line, p. 16.

USA Today, September 22, 1992, review of Growing up in the South: An Anthology of Modern Southern Literature.

About this article

Jones, Suzanne W(hitmore) 1950-

Updated About content Print Article