Werner Sollors earned his doctorate from the Freie Universität Berlin and holds the Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Chair as Professor of English and Professor of African-American Studies at Harvard University, where he joined the faculty in 1983. He served as chair of Afro-American Studies from 1984 through 1987 and from 1988 through 1990, of American Civilization from 1997-2002, and of Ethnic Studies from 2001 through 2004 and in academic year 2009-10.
Coeditor with Greil Marcus of A New Literary History of America (2009) http://www.newliteraryhistory.com/, and with Glenda C. Carpio of African American Literary Studies: New Texts, New Approaches, New Challenges (2011) http://www.amazon.de/African-American-Literary-Studies-Approaches/dp/382..., his major publications include Beyond Ethnicity: Consent and Descent in American Literature and Culture (1986), Neither Black nor White yet Both: Thematic Explorations of Interracial Literature (1997), and Ethnic Modernism (2008). He has written essays on ethnicity, pluralism, migration, multiculturalism, and numerous authors, among them Olaudah Equiano, Mark Twain, W. E. B. Du Bois, Charles Chesnutt, Mary Antin, Jean Toomer, Zora Neale Hurston, Henry Roth, Richard Wright, Ed Bullins, Adrienne Kennedy, Amiri Baraka, and Charles Johnson. His edited books include The Return of Thematic Criticism (1993), Theories of Ethnicity (1996), Mary Antin’s The Promised Land (1997), The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (2000), Interracialism (2000), The Multilingual Anthology of American Literature (2000), Charles W. Chesnutt’s Novels, Stories, and Essays (2002), An Anthology of Interracial Literature (2004), Frank. J. Webb, Fiction, Essays & Poetry (2005), and Alexandre Dumas’s Georges (2007).
He is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and of the Constance Rourke award for the best essay in American Quarterly. A corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and of the Bayerische Amerika-Akademie, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2001.
He is currently at work on a book tentatively called Tales of the 1940s and on editions of Charles W. Chesnutt's The Marrow of Tradition and Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson.