Katherine Fusco

Katherine Fusco is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno where she teaches American literature and film studies. She has published two books: Kelly Reichardt (University of Illinois Press, 2017) and Silent Film and U.S. Naturalist Literature: Time, Narrative and Modernity (Routledge, 2016). She is currently working on a third book about celebrity in the 1920s and 1930s.

Contributions

Placing Du Bois’s Ophelia: Multi-Scalar Black Modernity

To encounter black modernity via W. E. B. Du Bois is to tangle with questions of exemplarity and exceptionality. For my students in a large lecture class on the “American Experience,” many of whom are the first in their family to receive a college degree, many of whom are first- or second-generation immigrants, Booker T. Washington’s message of casting one’s bucket down can resonate more strongly than what they sometimes read as the elitism of Du Bois’s talented tenth. As a member of that tenth, Du Bois does not always speak to them—yeah, well, that guy went to Harvard, but that’s not most people; that’s not me.