African-American Literary Criticism, African-American Poetry and Fiction, Black Feminist Theory, Black Lesbian Writers


Chairperson of the Department of English from 2012 to 2015 and a 1995 recipient of an American Book Award for Literary Criticism for the collection of essays Warriors, Conjurers, and Priests: Defining African-American Literary Criticism. Joyce earned her PhD in English from the University of Georgia in 1979. She taught for ten years at the University of Maryland-College Park, three years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and five years at Chicago State University where she was associate director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center, coordinator of the Honors Program, and chairperson of the Black Studies Department.

She was also chairperson of the Department of African-American Studies at Temple from 1997 to 2001. In 2008, she gave one of two keynote presentations at the American Embassy in Paris at the “International Centennial Celebration of Richard Wright’s Birthday” and a keynote presentation at “Richard Wright 100,” an international conference held at the Universidade da Beira Interior in Coviha, Portugal. She has published articles on Richard Wright, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Margaret Walker, Arthur P. Davis, Toni Cade Bambara, E. Ethelbert Miller, Askia Toure, Gil Scott-Heron, and Sonia Sanchez. Her current project is titled “Black Literary Essays: The Kaleidoscopic Imagination.”

Her papers are housed at the Odum Library, Valdosta State University.

Selected Publications

  • Richard Wright’s Art of Tragedy, U of Iowa P, 1986
  • Warriors, Conjurers, and Priests: Defining African-centered Literary Criticism, Third World Press, 1994
  • Ijala: Sonia Sanchez and the African Poetic Tradition, Third World Press, 1996
  • Black Studies as Human Studies: Criticism: Critical Essays and Interviews, SUNY P, 2004
  • Ed. Conversations with Sonia Sanchez, U of Mississippi, P, 2007
  • Ed. The New Cavalcade: An Anthology of African-American Writing from 1760 to the Present, Vols. I &11, Howard U P, 1991, 1992

Courses Taught

  • 20th Century Black Poetry
  • Black Women Writers
  • African-American Literature
  • African-American Literature and Criticism
  • Black Feminist Criticism and Intellectual Thought
  • The Works of Sonia Sanchez
  • The Works of John A. Williams
  • Black Lesbian Writers
  • Essential Issues in Women’s Studies
  • The Black Arts Movement