William J. Maxwell

William J. Maxwell is a professor of English and African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, where he has taught modern American and African American literatures since 2009. He is the author of the books F.B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature (2015), which won an American Book Award, and New Negro, Old Left: African American Writing and Communism Between the Wars (1999). He is the editor of the collection James Baldwin: The FBI File (2017) and of Claude McKay’s Complete Poems (2004). His essays and reviews have appeared in academic and popular journals including African American Review, The American Historical Review, American Literary History, American Literature, Callaloo, Harper’s, The Irish Times, The Journal of American History, Modernism/Modernity, Politico, Publishers Weekly, Salon, and the London Times Literary Supplement.

Posts by William J. Maxwell

On Claude McKay’s Birthday: September 15, 2021

  Claude McKay, born on September 15, 1889, in rural Nairne Castle, Jamaica, thrived on shifts of locale and identity. He was a writer of pioneering dialect verse and a national culture hero on his native island; one of the inventors and toughest critics of the Harlem Renaissance; a producer of blockbuster novels (1928’s Home […]

St. Louis Time

Thanks to brand-new ancestors, St. Louis time has been reset and, for the moment, along this part of the river, restored.

Teaching Baldwin Teaching

Never better read or better loved—you can now buy votive candles bearing Baldwin’s image at your local indie bookstore—he has also never been a harder story to pass on.