Irvin Joseph Hunt III

Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • African American literature and cultural history, humor studies, performance studies, social movement theory, political theory

Research Description

  • Irvin Hunt is completing his book manuscript, Before the Utopia: A Cultural History of the Black Cooperative Movement, 1890 - The Present. This study uncovers how four generations of African American artists, W. E. B. Du Bois, George Schuyler, Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, and their circles, established local cooperatives as alternative to global capital. Their grassroots activism and theoretical reflections redefine what it means for a social movement to succeed. 


  • 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)
  • Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship (2017-18)


  • The End of Poverty in the African American Novel (ENG 461)
  • Writing about Literature: Love and Sound in the Age of Consumption (ENG 300)
  • American Literature after 1945 (ENG 452)
  • Afro-American Literature I & II (ENG 259 & 260)
  • The American Novel since 1914 (ENG 251)


Book Contributions

  • "Unco-Opted: Cooperative Economics as Counter Surveillance ." African American Literature: In Transition, 1940-50. Cambridge UP, 2018. 10,000 words.
  • "‘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." Contemporary Literature (under review) (2018):
  • "Review of “The Ethics of Swagger” and “The Time Is Always Now”." American Literature 87.3 (2015):

Website Articles

  • "Not an Invitation, But a Warning (Virtual Roundtable on Get Out w/ Glenda Carpio & Namwali Serpell)." 23 May 2017.
  • "Everybody’s Protest Play?." Public Books. 1 Jun. 2014.
  • "Saints on the Dollar." Public Books. 1 Jul. 2014.
  • "“Ava Duvernay”." Public Books. 1 Jan. 2016.

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