Laura E. Helton is Assistant Professor of Print and Material Culture in the Departments of English and History at the University of Delaware.  Her work on African American print culture, archival studies, and public humanities has appeared in PMLA, African American Review, Social Text, and Southern Quarterly. Her current book project, “Collecting and Collectivity: Black Archival Publics, 1910-1950,” examines the emergence of African American archives and libraries to show how historical recuperation shaped forms of racial imagination in the early twentieth century.


PhD, History, New York University (2015)

MLIS, Rutgers University (2009)

MA/Certificate in Archival Management, New York University (2004)

Other Publications

“Schomburg’s Library and the Price of Black History,” African American Review 54, nos. 1-2 (Spring-Summer 2021): 109-127.

“Black Bibliographers and the Category of Negro Authorship,” in African American Literature in Transition, 1900-1910, ed. Shirley Moody-Turner (Cambridge University Press, 2021): 23-47.

Review of Shadow Archives: Lifecycles of African American Print, by Jean-Christophe CloutierModernism/modernity 28, no. 2 (April 2021): 383-385

Review of Diasporic Blackness: The Life and Times of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, by Vanessa K. Valdés, The American Literary History Online Review XIX, June 19, 2019. https://academic.oup.com/alh/pages/the-alh-online-review-series-xix

“Legacies of Freedom Summer in the Classroom,” with Deborah McDowell, Nicole Burrowes, and LaTasha Levy, Southern Quarterly 52, no. 1 (Fall 2014): 155-172.

Blog Posts

    Upcoming Talks and Conferences

    Co-organizer with Derrick Spires, “Black Bibliography: Dorothy Porter’s ‘Early American Negro Writings’ at 75,” Bibliographical Society of America webinar, August 2020.

    Co-organizer with Jesse Erickson and Curtis Small, “Black Bibliographia: Print/Culture/Art,” Biennial Symposium of the Center for Material Culture Studies, University of Delaware, April 26-27, 2019

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