Gretchen Gerzina

Gretchen Gerzina

Fellow: Awarded 2023
Field of Study: Intellectual and Cultural History

Competition: US & Canada

Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina is the Paul Murray Kendall Professor of Biography and Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the author or editor of ten books, four of them biographies. Several (but not all) of the books are in Black British Studies, particularly the recently revised and updated Black England: A Forgotten Georgian History; Britain’s Black Past; and Black Victorians; Black Victoriana. Her other books include a biography of Bloomsbury group figure Carrington: A Life; Frances Hodgson Burnett: A Life about the author of The Secret Garden; and Mr. and Mrs. Prince: How an Extraordinary Eighteenth-Century Family Moved out of Slavery into Legend, about an early New England family. A former dean at UMass, previously she was the first African American women to chair an Ivy League English department (at Dartmouth). She appears frequently on American and British radio, podcasts and television. She has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Antiquarian Society, and has won prestigious grants from the University of Oxford, the NEH, Fulbright and others. This year she was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal, the highest honor that UMass awards to faculty.

Photo Credit: Michael Benabib

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