Richard Yarborough

Phone: (310) 825-2914


Office: Kaplan 201

Office Hours:

Meeting times must be made by appointment

Professor, Department of African American Studies and Department of English

He has received UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award and commendations from the City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles.  In 2012 he was given the American Studies Association’s inaugural Richard A. Yarborough Award in Mentoring, which is named in his honor.  In 2014 he received the UCLA Academic Senate’s Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Award.  He has written on authors such as Frederick Douglass, Charles Chesnutt, Ann Petry, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Richard Wright.  He is the director of the University Press of New England’s Library of Black Literature series and the associate general editor of the Heath Anthology of American Literature.

Professor Yarborough teaches and conducts research on a wide range of issues relating to African American literature and to U.S. literature and culture more broadly. Particular topics on which he focuses in his classes and scholarship include African American literature before World War I, the representation of slavery in American culture, black writers and radical politics in the U.S., and the construction of race in American film and popular music.

  • B.A., Michigan State University, 1973
  • Ph.D., Stanford University, 1980
  • With Frances Smith Foster, eds.  Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs.  2nd ed.  New York: W. W. Norton, 2019.
  • Associate General Editor, with Paul Lauter (General Editor), John Alberti, Mary Pat Brady, Kirk Curnutt, Daniel Heath Justice, James Kyung-Jin Lee, Wendy Martin, D. Quentin Miller, Bethany Schneider, Ivy T. Schweitzer, and Sandra A. Zagarell.  The Heath Anthology of American Literature.  7th ed., rev.  Boston: Wadsworth-Cengage Learning, 2014.
  • General Editor, The Library of Black Literature series, Univ. Press of New England (formerly published by Northeastern Univ. Press), 1988-2013.  Winner of the 2002 African American History Award from the Boston Museum of Afro-American History.
  • “James David Corrothers and Henry Demarest Lloyd: Black Poet and White Patron in 1890s Chicago.”  Roots of the Black Chicago Renaissance: New Negro Writers, Artists, and Intellectuals, 1893-1930.  Ed. Richard A. Courage and Christopher Robert Reed.  Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 2020.  78-93.
  • “His Foot in the Door That Slavery Built: History, Symbol, and Resistance in Gaines’s Of Love and Dust.”  Approaches to Teaching Gaines’s The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and Other Works.  Ed. John Wharton Lowe and Herman Beavers.  NY: Modern Language Assoc., 2019.  115-27.
  • With Dianne Pinderhughes.  “A Changing Political Context: The Pinderhughes, Yarborough Report.”  Inclusive Scholarship: Developing Black Studies in the United States.  New York: Ford Foundation, 2007.  159-229.
  • “Violence, Manhood, and Black Heroism: The Wilmington Riot in Two Turn-of-the-Century African American Novels.”  Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy.  Ed. David S. Cecelski and Timothy B. Tyson.  Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1998.  225-251.  Rpt. in Chesnutt, Charles W.  The Marrow of Tradition.  Ed. Werner Sollors.  1901.  NY: W. W. Norton, 2012.  313-337.
  • Introduction.  Uncle Tom’s Children.  By Richard Wright.  1940.  New York: Perennial-Harper Collins, 1993.  ix-xxix.
  • “Race, Violence, and Manhood: The Masculine Ideal in Frederick Douglass’s ‘The Heroic Slave.’”  Frederick Douglass: New Literary and Historical Essays.  Ed. Eric J. Sundquist.  New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1990.  166-188.  Rpt. in Haunted Bodies: Gender and Southern Texts.  Ed. Anne Goodwyn Jones and Susan V. Donaldson.  Charlottesville: Univ. Press of Virginia, 1997.  159-184.
  • “Strategies of Black Characterization in Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Early Afro-American Novel.”  New Essays on Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Ed. Eric J. Sundquist.  New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1986.  45-84.  Rpt. in Literary Influence and African-American Writers.  Ed. Tracy Mishkin.  New York: Garland, 1996.  23-64.

    Selected Film, Theatre, and Television Project

  • Scholarly Advisor and Featured Commentator, The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne, a film documentary by Kirk Marcolina and Matthew Pond, 2012-13.
  • Featured Commentator, “Novel Reflections of the American Dream,” produced by WNET-TV (New York) and broadcast as part of the American Masters television series, PBS, 2007.
  • Dramaturg, House Arrest, a play by Anna Deavere Smith, in workshop at the Mark Taper Forum, 1998; and at the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue, Harvard Univ., 1998.
  • Scholarly Advisor, The Josephine Baker Story, a film produced by Home Box Office, 1989-90.
  • Darwin T. Turner Distinguished Scholar Award, African American Literature and Culture Society, 2016
  • UCLA Academic Senate’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award, 2014
  • First annual Richard Yarborough Award in Mentoring, American Studies Association, 2012
  • County of Los Angeles Commendation, October 9, 2001
  • City of Los Angeles Commendation, June 4, 1990
  • UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, 1987