Namwali Serpell announced on Twitter this week that she will be joining the Harvard English Department as Full Professor of English in Fall 2021.
Serpell worked previously as Professor of English at University of California-Berkley where she began teaching in 2008. Her academic career is marked by numerous journal publications and three books of literary criticism: Seven Modes of Uncertainty (Harvard UP, 2014), Stranger Faces (Transit, 2020) and forthcoming American Psycho Analysis (Columbia UP).
After completing a one-year writers fellowship with The Cullman Center, Serpell is set to join the Harvard English department alongside colleagues like Homi Bhabha, Teju Cole, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Jamaica Kincaid.
Serpell shared the news on Twitter, reflecting that her mother would have been proud:
News: I’m joining the Harvard English department as full professor, starting Fall 2021 (after a year @CullmanNYPL ). Notwithstanding my general wariness of institutions, I’m very grateful and aware that this is a big deal for a black woman. And my mother would have been so proud!
— Namwali Serpell (@namwalien) July 27, 2020
Her news was met with hearty congratulations from hundreds in the literary community including Books & Rhymes, Laila Lalami, Min Jin Lee, and Viet Thanh Nguyen among others.
That is *fantastic* news, Namwali. Congratulations, sister!
— Laila Lalami (@LailaLalami) July 27, 2020
Serpell’s new Harvard faculty profile already lists her Harvard e-mail address and academic qualifications: B.A., Yale University (2001), M.A., Harvard University (2005), Ph.D., Harvard University (2008).
Congratulations to Namwali Serpell!