Irvin Joseph Hunt III

Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies


M.A. and Ph.D., Columbia University (2010 and 2014), M.A., University of California, Berkeley (2007) , B.A., Morehouse College (2005)

Teaching Interests

African American cultural history, US Leftist radicalism, Marxist political theory, performance studies


African American Literature 1914-Present (ENGL 260) , The End of Poverty in the African American Novel (ENGL 461) , American Literature after 1945 (ENGL 452)


African American Studies, American, Later , Fiction, Drama

Work(s) in Progress

Hunt is currently working on a book manuscript The Common Need: Cooperative Economies in African American Literature, 1890-1980, a study of the work done by W. E. B. Du Bois, George Schuyler, Ella Baker, Ann Petry, Fannie Lou Hamer and their circles to develop national and transnational mutual aid societies.


M.A., English and American Literature, University of California, Berkeley (2007); M.A., English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University (2009); Ph.D., English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University (2014).

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • African American literature and cultural history, US literary radicalism, humor studies, Marxist political theory

Research Description

  • Irvin Hunt is completing his book manuscript, The Common Need: Cooperative Economics in African American Literature, 1890-1980, which tells the first literary history of the black cooperative movement, an anarchic effort to eliminate black poverty and resolve the tensions among race, gender and class afflicting the most progressive political parties of the day.


  • B.A., Morehouse College (2005); M.A., University of California, Berkeley (2007); Ph.D., Columbia University (2014)

Distinctions / Awards

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in African American Literature, Rutgers University, New Brunswick (2016-17)


Book Contributions

  • "Transitional Economies in the African American Press, 1940-50." African American Literature: In Transition, 1750-2015. Cambridge UP, 2016.
  • "‘There Wont Be Inny Show Tonite’: Humoring the Returns of Scopic Violence in Suzan-Lori Parks’s Venus." History and Humor: British and American Perspectives. Ed. Barbara Korte and Doris Lechner. Bielfeld, Germany: Transcript Press, 2013. 171-92.

Journal Articles

  • "The Ethics of Reading Poverty: Charles Wright, Empathy, and the US Welfare." Boundary 2 (forthcoming) (2016):
  • "Review of “The Ethics of Swagger” and “The Time Is Always Now”." American Literature 87.3 (2015):

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