Robert Elliot Fox
Department of English
Telephone: (618) 453-6864
Office: Faner 2223
Professor Fox received his BA from Cornell University, did graduate work at the University of California at Berkeley in its countercultural heyday, and earned his PhD at the State University of New York at Buffalo, after a hiatus that included some troubadouring and working for the alternative press in San Francisco. Before joining the SIUC faculty in 1991, he taught at the University of Ife in Nigeria and at Suffolk University in Boston. In the Spring of 1992, Fox was a resident scholar at Harvard's W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research. Courses he has taught at SIUC include Black American Writers, Afrocentrism and Black Aesthetics, The African Novel, The Beat Generation, Science Fiction, and graduate seminars on contemporary American fiction. His current research primarily involves issues of postcoloniality, multiculturalism, black aesthetics, and "race."
Fox is the author of Conscientious Sorcerers (1987), a study of African American postmodernist fiction, and Masters of the Drum (1995), a collection of essays and interviews dealing with black writing. Among his more pertinent recent essays are "Afrocentrism and the X Factor" in Transition (issue 57), "Becoming Post-White" in Multi America, edited by Ishmael Reed, "Diasporacentrism and Black Aural Texts" in The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities, edited by Isidore Okpewho, et al., and two chapters in James Sallis's Ash of Stars: On the Writing of Samuel R. Delany. He also has articles in The Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History and The Oxford Companion to African American Literature. Fox's fiction and poetry have appeared in Yardbird Reader, Okike, West Africa, and elsewhere. Works in progress include another collection of essays on black expressive cultures entitled Archaeologies of Soul and a critical examination of the field of Black Studies. A collection of his poems, Masks of Light, was published in 2015. Professor Fox holds a dual appointment with SIU's Africana Studies Department.