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Finding Aid to the Barbara Christian Papers, 1967-2000
BANC MSS 2003/199c  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Barbara Christian Papers, 1967-2000, document Christian's academic career at U.C. Berkeley. The collection is composed mainly of reprinted articles and bibliographies, research and course materials, correspondence, and original manuscripts with notes and related materials. Reprinted articles and research materials include magazine and newspaper articles as well as academic publications. Course materials are in the form of handwritten notes, syllabi and other class handouts. Correspondence includes letters from students, colleagues, and authors including Alice Walker.
Background
Barbara Christian was born on December 12, 1943 in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. She earned her Ph.D. in English Literature from Columbia University in 1970; a year later, she became an assistant professor at U.C. Berkeley. She was a prominent figure in establishing the African American Studies Department, and in 1978 she became the first African American woman at Berkeley to receive tenure. In 1986, she became a full professor and eventually received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1991. She is best known for Black Feminist Criticism and her study, Black Women Novelists: The Development of a Tradition. She was one of the first academic professors to focus attention on Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, among other black women novelists and writers. She edited portions of the Norton Anthology of African American Literature from the 1970s to the 1990s. The MELUS Award and the American Book Award were among the many honors she received during her lifetime. She taught at U.C. Berkeley from 1972 until her death on June 25, 2000. She is survived by her daughter, Najuma I. Henderson.
Extent
Number of containers: 12 cartons Linear feet: 15
Restrictions
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.
Availability
Collection is open for research.