Ernest Julius Mitchell

Lecturer on History & Literature

Ph.D., Harvard University (2019)
M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School (2009)
A.B., Princeton University (2006)

Ernest Julius Mitchell is a scholar of the Black Renaissance; he studies the literary, religious, and theoretical aspects of modernist writing.

His first book (under contract with Yale University Press) is a biography of the leftist Jamaican writer Claude McKay. He is also the editor of a forthcoming centenary edition of Jean Toomer's Cane (under contract with the Norton Library). A third book project, based on his recently completed dissertation, is an academic monograph on the fictional and ethnographic works of Zora Neale Hurston, read through the lens of her novel Moses, Man of the Mountain (1939).

Beyond his projects in literary history, he also writes on aesthetics at the nexus of black diaspora thought and continental philosophy.

Research Interests

The Black Renaissance; 20th century aesthetics; Literary Nonfiction; Religion and Literature; Phenomenology; Critical Theory


Current Projects

Claude McKay: The Eternal Quest (under contract, Yale UP)

(Editor) Jean Toomer, Cane (under contract, Norton Library)

Zora’s Moses: Religion, Race, and Ethnographic Fictions (in progress)


Recent Publications

“Tenderness in Early Richard Wright.” The Cambridge Companion to Richard Wright. Glenda R. Carpio, editor (Cambridge UP, 2019)

Zora’s Politics: A Brief Introduction.” Journal of Transnational American Studies 5.1. Alfred Hornung & Nina Morgan, editors (September 2013)