Sherrard–Johnson, Cherene 1973- (Cherene Monique Sherrard–Johnson)

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Sherrard–Johnson, Cherene 1973- (Cherene Monique Sherrard–Johnson)

PERSONAL:

Born 1973, in Los Angeles, CA. Education: University of California, Los Angeles, B.A, 1995; Cornell University, Ph.D., 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Office—University of Wisconsin-Madison, English Department, 7187 Helen C. White Hall, 600 N. Park St., Madison, WI 53706. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

University of Wisconsin-Madison, department of English, associate professor.

WRITINGS:

Portraits of the New Negro Woman: Visual and Literary Culture in the Harlem Renaissance, Rutgers University Press (New Brunswick, NJ), 2007.

Contributor to journals such as American Literature and African American Review. Legacy: Journal of American Women Writers, coeditor.

SIDELIGHTS:

Cherene Sherrard-Johnson earned her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and then went on to earn a doctorate at Cornell University. She serves on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is an associate professor in the department of English. Her primary areas of research interest include American and African American literature of the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, Caribbean literature, cultural studies, and feminist theory. Her writings address issues such as race and gender in literature, and she has contributed articles to a number of journals, including American Literature and African American Review. Sherrard-Johnson's first book, Portraits of the New Negro Woman: Visual and Literary Culture in the Harlem Renaissance, was published in 2007 by Rutgers University Press.

In Portraits of the New Negro Woman, Sherrard-Johnson looks at the role of African American women during the Harlem Renaissance, a time of great productivity in the African American arts community when music and literature and film and many innovative works of art were created, and many African American artists made their names known as a result of their efforts. Women, especially, prospered during this time, as they suddenly had the opportunity to be considered on their merits and to stand up as citizens contributing to their community, breaking free of many of the stereotypes that had haunted them until this point. Sherrard-Johnson uses her book to examine that role of African American women, and in particular to look at mulatto women, who had the additional stigma of not fitting easily into one social circle or the other. She also looks at how African American women were represented in the art and literature being produced during this period and how that assisted in changing their place in the community. Among the artistic works that Sherrard-Johnson examines are those of the painters Archibald Motley and William H. Johnson, for their images of African American women, particularly mulattas, and the writers Nella Larsen and Jessie Fauset. A reviewer on the University of Wisconsin-Madison Web site remarked: "One of the unique aspects of this project is the identification of ‘mulatta iconography’ as a set of visually evocative images and narrative maneuvers that enable exploration of the conflicted position of the black woman as both artist and ‘race woman.’" Sherrard-Johnson discusses how the mulatta became iconic unto herself in many of the works of art in this period and was rarely identified as a person of mixed heritage as a racial profile on its own.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Reference & Research Book News, November, 2007, review of Portraits of the New Negro Woman: Visual and Literary Culture in the Harlem Renaissance.

ONLINE

Rutgers University Press Web site,http://rutgerspress.rutgers.edu/ (February 9, 2008), author profile, press catalog.

University of Wisconsin-Madison,http://www.uwm.edu/ (February 9, 2008), review of Portraits of the New Negro Woman.

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of English Web site,http://www.english.wisc.edu/ (February 9, 2008), faculty profile.