Taylor, Carole Anne 1943-

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Taylor, Carole Anne 1943-


Born 1943. Education: Reed College, B.A., 1965, M.A.T., 1967; Harvard University, Ph.D., 1978.


E-mail—[email protected]


Cleveland High School, Portland, OR, teacher of English, 1966-67; Riverdale Country School, Bronx, NY, teacher of English and advanced placement, 1967-71; The Concord School, Sandridge, Hertfordshire, England, teacher of English and American literature, and department chair, 1971-73; Harvard University, teaching fellow (expositor writing), 1973-74, (history and literature), 1974-77; Bates College, Lewiston, ME, chair, American Cultural Studies, 1992-94, assistant professor of English, 1978-85, associate professor, 1985-92, professor of English and African American/American cultural studies, 1993—, founding member, 1990-91, and chair, 1991-93, of Committee on African American Studies and American Cultural Studies, chair, department of English, 1996-2000.


The Maine People's Alliance (state board, 1997-99), Maine Rural Workers' Coalition (state board, 1998-2003), Community ERA (founding member, 1994), The Many and One Coalition, Lewiston, Center for Justice, Equality, and Democracy (advisory board, 2002—), Phi Beta Kappa.


Reed College Creative Scholarship, summer, 1964; Susan Anthony Potter Prize in Comparative Literature, Harvard University, 1975; Whiting Foundation Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities, Harvard University, 1977-78; Fulbright Foundation Fellowship, National Taiwan University, Taiwan, 1985-86; Robert H. Kroepsch Award for Excellence in Teaching, Bates College, 1987; Project Mentor, National Council for the Humanities, 1989-90; Project Humanist, Metropolitan Life Multicultural Grant to the Olin Museum of Art, Bates College, 1992-93; Project Humanist, Project on National Healthcare, National Endowment for the Humanities, Program Committee 1999-2001; Robert H. Kroepsch Award for Excellence in Teaching, Bates College, 2002.


Roland Barthes, a Bibliographical Reader's Guide, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1983.

A Poetics of Seeing: The Implications of Visual Form in Modern Poetry, Garland Publishing (New York, NY), 1985.

The Tragedy and Comedy of Resistance: Reading Modernity through Black Women's Fiction, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 2000.


In The Tragedy and Comedy of Resistance: Reading Modernity through Black Women's Fiction, Carole Anne Taylor challenges traditional literary theories about genre in order to situate black women's writing at the center of critical theory. Focusing on novels by Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Gloria Naylor, she argues that their writing possesses a theory of resistance and struggle that is not found in liberal critical theory. For example, black women's writing disrupts traditional views of comedy and tragedy by an awareness of their intersubjectivities. As Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature contributor Doreen Alvarez Saar explained, black women writers know that "Tragedy requires a ‘witnessing’ of the great wrongs implicit in all social interaction while the comedy relief of shared laughter ultimately coexists with the deep understanding of that tragedy." This differs from liberal theory, which is premised on the role of the reader as a sympathetic viewer of the tragedy, not as an actor who participates in the struggle against whatever injustice has created the tragic conditions.

While agreeing with much of Taylor's argument, Erik Dussere, writing in the Novel: A Forum on Fiction, observed that a weakness in her analysis is that "it requires Taylor to treat the contemporary novels as didactic and prescriptive theoretical works, rather than as nuanced, open-ended literary texts." Still, Dussere concluded that "Taylor's project of reading against the grain of literary influence is a strong one, and does much to question the admittedly questionable traditions within which modernism has been categorized and canonized." Saar called The Tragedy and Comedy of Resistance an "ambitious and heartfelt project" enhanced by a "cogent" analysis.



Choice, April, 2000, J. Tharp, review of The Tragedy and Comedy of Resistance: Reading Modernity through Black Women's Fiction, p. 1470.

Modern Fiction Studies, January, 2000, Kimberly D. Blockett, review of The Tragedy and Comedy of Resistance, p. 1039.

Novel: A Forum on Fiction, fall, 1999, Erik Dussere, "Intercultural Transmission," p. 138.

Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature, Volume 59, number 1, 2005, Doreen Alvarez Saar, review of The Tragedy and Comedy of Resistance, pp. 74-75.


Bates College Web site,http://www.bates.edu/ (April 24, 2007), faculty profile of author.

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