Laura E. Helton is Assistant Professor of Print and Material Culture in the Department of English at the University of Delaware.  Her work on African American print culture, archival studies, and public humanities has appeared or is forthcoming in PMLA, Social Text, and Southern Quarterly. Her current book project, “Collecting and Collectivity: Black Archival Publics, 1900-1950,” examines the emergence of African American archives and libraries to show how historical recuperation shaped forms of racial imagination in the early twentieth century.


PhD, History, New York University (2015)

MLIS, Rutgers University (2009)

MA/Certificate in Archival Management, New York University (2004)

Other Publications

“Making Lists, Keeping Time: Infrastructures of Black Thought, 1900-1960,” in Against a Sharp White Background: Infrastructures of African American Print, ed. Jonathan Senchyne and Brigitte Fielder (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, forthcoming).

“On Decimals, Catalogs, and Racial Imaginaries of Reading,” PMLA (forthcoming).

“The Question of Recovery: An Introduction,” with Justin Leroy, Max Mishler, Samantha Seeley, and Shauna Sweeney, Social Text 33, no. 3 (December 2015): 1-18.

“Legacies of Freedom Summer in the Classroom,” with Deborah McDowell, Nicole Burrowes, and LaTasha Levy, Southern Quarterly 52, no. 1 (Fall 2014): 155-172.

Upcoming Talks and Conferences

Co-organizer with Jesse Erickson and Curtis Small, “Black Bibliographia: Print/Culture/Art,” Biennial Symposium of the Center for Material Culture Studies, University of Delaware, April 26-27, 2019

Laura Helton

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