Reconstructing the Black Archive: The Life and Times of Hannah Crafts, the First African American Woman Novelist


| 05:30 pm - 07:30 pm

Dr. Gregg Hecimovich, 2024-2025 Hutchins Family Fellow and Professor of English at Furman University, will describe his extraordinary research journey to document the life and literary accomplishment of Hannah Bond, who escaped enslavement in North Carolina and subsequently wrote, using the pseudonym “Hannah Crafts,” what scholars consider to be one of the earliest novels written by an African American woman. Now a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, his book, The Life and Times of Hannah Crafts; The True Story of The Bondwoman’s Narrative (Ecco, 2023), has received stellar reviews by The Washington Post, The L.A. Times, The New York Times, and other outlets. This is actually the tale of two journeys: Hannah’s self-emancipation from bondage, and the painstaking detective work and literary analysis that has secured her book’s place in the American literary canon. Dr. Hecimovich will spend the first portion of the hour describing his research. Dr. Barbara McCaskill, Dept. of English, will then join him onstage for a conversation about conducting archival research on African American Literature. 

A reception will follow the event.         

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of English Ballew Lectures Fund, the Department of History, UGA Special Collections Libraries, and the Institute for African American Studies. It is part of the UGA Humanities Festival.