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Areas of Interest: American Literature, African American Literature,
Theory of the Novel, and Women & Gender Studies

Contact Information
Office: PAHB 432
Office Number: 410-455-3289

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
A.B., Washington University in St. Louis


Rafael Walker is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Before coming to UMBC, he taught at the University of Pennsylvania. A specialist in American and African American literature, he is at work on two different projects. One project constitutes the first historicist attempt to account for the differences between the American realist novel and its English predecessor; the second seeks to create a distinct space for biracial fiction beyond the prevailing monoracial paradigms into which it is almost always assimilated. Dr. Walker’s essays have appeared in leading journals, including Genre, MELUS, and Studies in the Novel. An essay derived from his second project–“Nella Larsen Reconsidered: The Trouble with Desire in Quicksand and Passing“–was awarded the 2016 Crompton-Noll Award for Best Article in LGBTQ Studies by the Modern Language Association’s Gay and Lesbian Caucus.

In addition to his academic research, he also occasionally writes about pressing issues in higher education—faculty diversity and free speech among them.

Representative Publications

  • “The Second Phase of Realism in American Fiction: The Rise and Fall of the Social Self.” Studies in the Novel 49.4 (2017). Forthcoming.
  • “The Bildungsroman after Individualism: Ellen Glasgow’s Communitarian Alternative.” Genre 49.3 (2016): 385-405.
  • “Nella Larsen Reconsidered: The Trouble with Desire in Quicksand and Passing.” MELUS 41.1 (2016): 165-92. (winner of the MLA’s 2016 Crompton-Noll Award for Best Article in LGBTQ Studies)
  • “Kate Chopin and the Dilemma of Individualism.” Kate Chopin in Context: New Approaches. Eds. Heather Ostman and Kathryn O’Donoghue. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 29-46.