Cedric R. Tolliver (NHC Fellow, 2022–23)

Project Title

Spook(ed): African American Literature, National Security, and the Fictions of Statecraft

University of Oklahoma

Return to All Fellows

Fellowship Work Summary, 2022–23

Cedric R. Tolliver is associate professor in the English department at the University of Oklahoma. His scholarship and teaching focus on African American literature, culture, and politics. His book, Of Vagabonds and Fellow Travelers: African Diaspora Literary Culture and the Cold War, was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2019 and recognized as a 2020 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title. His work has appeared in Arizona Quarterly and the Journal of Postcolonial Writing, among other venues.

During his time at the National Humanities Center, Tolliver will conduct research for and write his second book manuscript, Spook(ed): African American Literature, National Security, and the Fictions of Statecraft. Reading spy thrillers alongside political memoirs, the book mines a fundamental tension at the heart of the project of racial integration in the United States over the last seventy years: the incorporation of individual African Americans into the state apparatus while as a group African Americans have been viewed almost exclusively as an internal subversive threat.

Selected Publications

Of Vagabonds and Fellow Travelers

  • Tolliver, Cedric R. Of Vagabonds and Fellow Travelers: African Diaspora Literary Culture and the Cultural Cold War. Class, Culture. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2019.
  • Tolliver, Cedric R. “The Fragmented Heart of Blackness: The Congo Crisis in African American Culture and Politics.” In Neocolonial Fictions of the Global Cold War, edited by Joseph Keith, and Steven Belletto, 38-56. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2018.
  • Tolliver, Cedric R. “The Racial Ends of History: Melancholic Historical Practice in Pauline Hopkins’ Of One Blood.” Arizona Quarterly 70, no. 1 (Spring 2015): 25-52.
  • Popescu, Monica, Cedric R. Tolliver, and Julie Tolliver, eds. Journal of Postcolonial Writing 50, no. 4 Alternative Solidarities: Black Diasporas and Cultural Alliances During the Cold War (August 2014): 379-83.