Dr. Kalenda Eaton is an Associate Professor in The Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies at the University of Oklahoma. As a scholar of Black literary and cultural studies, her research specifically reads Black women’s lives and historical narratives through the lenses of afro-optimism and womanist ideology. Among other scholarly publications, Dr. Eaton is the author of Womanism, Literature, and the Transformation of the Black Community, 1965-1980 (Routledge 2008, 2012 reprint). She recently co-edited (with Jeannette Jones and Michael Johnson) New Directions in Black Western Studies, a special issue of American Studies Journal (2019). Dr. Eaton is a Fulbright Scholar, an Associate Fellow in the Center for Great Plains Studies, a SSRC-MMUF Fellow, and has received funding from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Social Science Research Council. From 2017-2019, she held the Steinbrucker Endowed Chair in Humanities at Arcadia University. At OU, she is an affiliate faculty member in the Department of English, the African Studies Institute, and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies.
Dr. Eaton frequently teaches courses on the African American West, Black Women Writers, African American literature (from 1619-present), the Black Arts Movement, Literary Theory, Womanism and Black Feminism, literatures of the African Diaspora, as well as other topics relevant to her research. She has been active teaching in and developing education abroad programs since 2010.