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Indiana University Bloomington

Walton Muyumba

Walton Muyumba

Associate Professor
Assistant Director of Creative Writing

PhD, Indiana University, 2001

MA, University of Virginia, 1996

BA, Indiana University, 1994

My areas of specialization and interest include African American literature, African Diaspora literature, late nineteenth and twentieth-century American literature, literary and arts criticism, creative nonfiction, Black Atlantic studies, jazz studies, cultural studies, pragmatism, and postcolonial studies.

Currently, Iím completing a book about contemporary American literary art and popular music. Iím also building projects on John Edgar Widemanís literary works and about ethnic American art in the age of terrorism.

My scholarship has appeared in The Cambridge History of American Poetry, College Literature, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisational Studies, and Trained Capacities: John Dewey, Rhetoric, and Democratic Practice.

I publish criticism frequently in The Atlantic, The Chicago Tribune, The Crisis, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The New York Times, The New Republic, and Oxford American, among other outlets.

Select Publications (click images for more information)


The Shadow and the ActThe Shadow and the Act: Black Intellectual Performance, Jazz Improvisation, and Philosophical Pragmatism (University of Chicago Press, 2009).

Reviewed in American Literature 83.1 (2011); American Literary History 24. 2 (2012); Callaloo 33.4 (2010); Journal of American Studies 45.3 (2011)

Selected Scholarly Works

Book Chapters

"Black and Blues Configurations: African American Poetics Since 1960." The Cambridge History of American Poetry, Alfred Bendixen and Stephen Burt, eds. (Cambridge University Press, October 2014)

"‘All safety is an illusion’: John Dewey, James Baldwin and the Democratic Practice of Public Critique." Trained Capacities: John Dewey, Rhetoric, and Democratic Practice, Brian Jackson and Gregory Clark, eds. (University of South Carolina Press, 2014)

Websites and Social Media