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Robbins, Hollis

Robbins, Hollis

PERSONAL: Female. Education: Johns Hopkins University, B.A.; University of Colorado, Boulder, M.A.; Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, master's degree; Princeton University, Ph.D.

ADDRESSES: Office—Millsaps College, Department of English, 1701 N. State St., Jackson, MS 39210.

CAREER: Educator, editor, and writer. Millsaps College, Jackson, MS, assistant professor of English.


(Editor, with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.) In Search of Hannah Crafts: Critical Essays on "The Bondwoman's Narrative," Basic Civitas Books (New York, NY), 2004.

(Editor and author of introduction and notes, with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.) Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Annotated Uncle Tom's Cabin, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 2006.

Also author of Flushing Away Sentiment: Water Politics in Edith Wharton's The Custom of the Country.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Coediting with Dr. Paula Garrett a collection of works by William Wells Brown.

SIDELIGHTS: Hollis Robbins is a college English professor who also has a degree in public policy and is interested in the relationship between bureaucratic and literary forms of writing. She is the editor, with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., of In Search of Hannah Crafts: Critical Essays on "The Bondwoman's Narrative." The book is a collection of essays or chapters focusing on the discovery by Gates and the eventual publication of The Bondswoman's Narrative. The novel was supposedly written by an escaped slave named Hannah Crafts and was not discovered until 2002. It may also hold the distinction of being the first novel written by an African-American woman. Among the issues addressed by the various authors are the literary influences on Crafts and the novel's place in the cannon of literature in general and African-American gothic literature in particular. Also part of the collection are essays focusing on the mystery surrounding Crafts's identity and the search to ascertain exactly who she was. Denise Simon, writing in the Black Issues Book Review, noted that "the heart of the book lies in the critical attention paid to Crafts's writing and its relation to the society in which she lived." Simon also wrote: "Gates and Robbins manage to present a full range of possibilities and perspectives." Writing in Booklist, Vanessa Bush commented that readers will enjoy the collection "for its penetrating look at issues regarding slavery and literature." In a review in the Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, Shirley Wilson Logan wrote: "One should not expect to come away with definitive answers to the questions that opened this review, but the careful reader will be challenged by some of the best thinking currently available on this fascinating, enigmatic tale."



Black Issues Book Review, May-June, 2004, Denise Simon, review of In Search of Hannah Crafts: Critical Essays on "The Bondwoman's Narrative," p. 42.

Booklist, January 1, 2004, Vanessa Bush, review of In Search of Hannah Crafts, p. 808; January 1, 2005, review of In Search of Hannah Crafts, p. 766.

Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, June, 2005, Shirley Wilson Logan, review of In Search of Hannah Crafts, p. 209.

Reference & Research Book News, August, 2005, review of In Search of Hannah Crafts, p. 269.


Millsaps College, Department of English Web site, (March 12, 2006), faculty profile of author.

Princeton University Web site, (March 12, 2006), brief profile of author's work.

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