Terrence Tucker

Department Chair, Professor

Patterson 467
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Terrence Tucker


B.A., 2000, Louisiana State University
M.A., 2002, University of Kentucky
Ph.D., 2006, University of Kentucky

Academic Summary

Terrence T. Tucker is an associate professor and chair of African American literature in the Department of English at the University of Memphis. He is the author of Furiously Funny: Comic Rage from Ralph Ellison to Chris Rock (University Press of Florida, 2018). He has also published essays on topics ranging from race and pedagogy to Ernest Gaines to African-American superheroes and in journals from Pedagogy, Southern Literary Journal, and College Language Association Journal. He is finishing work on his second book project, The Rise of the Afristocracy: Portraits of the Black Elite in Contemporary African American Literature contracted with University Press of Florida. This book traces the representation of the black elite in African-American literature from the lives of free blacks during slavery to rising black middle and upper classes in the twenty-first century. 

Select Publications


  • Furiously Funny: Comic Rage from Ralph Ellison to Chris Rock. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2018. 

Articles and Book Chapters

  • Tucker, Terrence and Shelby Crosby. "Afrofuturism: Past, Present, and Beyond." Special issue of CLA Journal 65.1. (March 2022). 
  • "'Where I Come From It's Like This' The African American Lens and the Critical Role of the Local South in Teaching Social Justice." Special Issue on Southern Studies, Pedagogy, and Activism, South: A Scholarly Journal 50.2 (Spring 2019)" 212-224. 
  • "In the Shadow of Cosby: Gloria Naylor's Linden Hills and the Postintegration Black Elite." Gloria Naylor's Fiction: Contemporary Explorations of Class and Capitalism. Eds. Sharon A. Lewis and Ama S. Wattley. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017: 77-100.
  • "Humor, Fantasy, and Myth: Dramatic Marginalized Voices and Mississippi's America" A Literary History of Mississippi. Ed. Lorie Watkins. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2017: 211-227. 
  • "Cackling Through the Country: Beth Henley and The South's' America." Writing the Crooked Letter State: A History of Mississippi's Literature.
  • "Blackness We Can Believe In: Authentic Blackness and the Evolution of Aaron McGruder's The Boondocks" Post-Soul Satire: An Interdisciplinary Critical Overview. 2014.
  • "Confessions of a Bakke Baby: Race, Academia, and the 'Joshua Generation.'" Overcoming Adversity in Academia: Stories From Generation X Faculty. 2014.
  • "Workingman's Blues: The Blues as Working-Class Music." Blue Collar Pop Culture. 2012.
  • "Revolutionary Hustler: Liberatory Violence in Donald Goines's Kenyatta Series." Word Hustle: Critical Essays and Reflections on the Works of Donald Goines. 2011.
  • "(Re)Claiming Legacy in the Post-Civil Rights South in Richard Wright's 'Down by the Riverside' and Ernest Gaines's A Gathering of Old Men." Southern Literary Journal. Spring 2011.
  • "American Negroes Revisited: The Intellectual and The Badman in Walter Mosley's Fearless Jones Novels." Finding a Way Home: A Critical Assessment of Walter Mosley's Fiction. 2008.
  • "Do You See What I See?: Teaching Race in the Age of ColorBlind America." Teaching Race in the Twenty-first Century: College Teachers Talk About the Fears, Risks, and Rewards. 2008.
  • "African-American Superheroes and Comics." With M. Keith Booker. African Americans and Popular Culture. 2008.
  • "Teaching Race to Students Who Think the World is Free: Aging and Race as Social Change." Pedagogy. Winter 2006.