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Benjamin Fagan

Benjamin Fagan

Associate Professor


Benjamin Fagan

Contact Me


9092 Haley Center

Office Hours

Tuesday, Thursday 2-3 pm


PhD, University of Virginia

BA, University of Iowa

About Me

Benjamin Fagan received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, and his B.A. from the University of Iowa. He is the author of The Black Newspaper and the Chosen Nation, editor of African American Literature in Transition, 1830-1850, and co-editor of Visions of Glory: The Civil War in Word and Image. His work has also appeared in journals such as American Literary History, Civil War History, and American Periodicals, as well as in edited collections focused on the Colored Conventions Movement, Frederick Douglass, and antebellum African American literature. His work has been supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Beinecke Library at Yale University, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the German Historical Institute, and the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies. He is also an elected lifetime member of the American Antiquarian Society. He is currently completing a book on Black organizing and Frederick Douglass’s newspapers.

Research Interests

African American Literature and Culture



African American Literature in Transition, 1830-1850 (Cambridge University Press, 2021)

Visions of Glory: The Civil War in Word and Image (with Kathleen Diffley) (University of Georgia Press, 2019)

The Black Newspaper and the Chosen Nation (University of Georgia Press, 2016).


Recent Articles and Book Chapters

“The Collective Making of Frederick Douglass’ Paper,” Civil War History 68.2 (June 2022): 131-146.

“‘The Organ of the Whole’: Colored Conventions, the Black Press, and the Question of National Authority,” The Colored Convention Movement: Black Organizing in the Nineteenth Century, eds. P. Gabrielle Foreman, Jim Casey, Sarah Patterson (University of North Carolina Press, 2021), 195-210.

“Black Newspapers, Novels, and the Racial Geographies of Transnationalism,” African American Literature in Transition, 1850-1865, ed. Teresa Zackodnik (Cambridge University Press, 2021), 171-190.

“Journalism,” Frederick Douglass in Context, ed. Michaël Roy (Cambridge University Press, 2021), 108-120.

“Emancipation Illustrated,” Visions of Glory: The Civil War in Word and Image, eds. Kathleen Diffley & Benjamin Fagan (University of Georgia Press, 2019), 97-105.

“The Fragments of Black Reconstruction,” American Literary History 30.3 (September 2018): 450-465.