Autumn Womack earned a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. Her research and teaching interests are located at the intersection of late nineteenth- and twentieth-century African American literary culture, visual studies, and print culture. She is the author of The Matter of Black Living: The Aesthetic Experiment of Racial Data, 1880-1930 (The University of Chicago Press, 2022), which explores intimate relationship between black life, aesthetics, and emergent data regimes at the turn of the twentieth century. Most recently, she edited the new Norton Library edition of Charles Chesnutt’s 1901 novel, The Marrow of Tradition. Her research and writing has been published in Black Camera: An International Film Journal, American Literary History, Women and Performance, J19: A Journal of 19th Century Americanists, The Paris Review of Books, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement as well as numerous edited volumes. Womack is currently at work on two projects. The first is an exploration the long history of Black writers’ and novelists’ often frustrated relationship to film and the second explores the place of financial speculation in W.E.B. Du Bois’s early twentieth century writing.
At Princeton, she teaches classes on 19th and 20th century African American literature and the history of race and media. In keeping with her investment in archival research, her course “Toni Morrison and the Ethics of Reading” makes extensive use of the University’s collections.
Autumn is the curator of the Spring 2023 exhibition, Toni Morrison: Sites of Memory.