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Stephen Casmier, Ph.D.

Associate Professor; Georgia K. Johnston Professor

Research Interests

Stephen Casmier's research explores the texts and criticism of African American literature of the 20th and 21s centuries. Above all, his work struggles to understand and elucidate the powerful, transcendent, resistant, and counterhegemonic notion of blackness. His book, African American Literature of the 21st Century and the Black Arts: The Case of John Edgar Wideman (2021) gives critical attention to John Edgar Wideman as one of the most significant, innovative, critically acclaimed, yet in many ways underappreciated writers of the last 50 years. This work argues that Wideman’s relentless aesthetic experimentation expresses continuities with works of the Black Aesthetic movement. He also has interests in black American expressive culture and the impact of media on consciousness. His research areas are: 20th and 21st Century African American Literature, 20th and 21st Century African American Literature, Postcolonial and Literature of the African Diaspora,

Publications and Media Placements

While teaching at Saint Louis University, Casmier has continued to contribute articles to newspapers, magazines, and blogs such as NPR, Code Switch: Race and Identity Remixed,, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Ishmael Reed's Conch magazine.


Casmier, Stephen. “Black Panther, Afrofuturism and the (Erased) Memory of Patrice Lumumba.” Black Camera.

Casmier, Stephen. “Charles Chesnutt, Joel Chandler Harris, and the Minstrel Show Legacy.” Teaching Comedy. Ed: Bev Hogue The Modern Language Association of America, 2023, pp. 30-37.

Stephen Casmier (2022) Smell and the legacy of scientific racism, The Senses and Society, 17:1, 135-138, DOI: 10.1080/17458927.2021.2020661

Casmier, Stephen. “Historicism in ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ and ‘James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket.’” I Am Not Your Negro: a Docalogue. Eds. Jaimie Baron and Kristen Fuhs. Routledge, 2021, pages 52-71.

Casmier, Stephen. “Gassire’s Heir: The Letters of Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Robert Duncan,” MELUS (Multi Ethnic Literature of the United States), Volume 44, Issue 2, Summer 2019, pages 44–70.

Casmier, Stephen. “Did I Get James Baldwin Wrong?”. NPR, Code Switch: Race and Identity Remixed, February 5, 2017

Casmier, Stephen. “The First Rainbow Coalition and the End of Multiculturalism in Ishamel Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo.” American Multiculturalism in Context. Ed. Sami Ludwig. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017, pages 145-164.

African Independence (2013). Tukufu Zuberi. TZ Production Company. Trans. French subtitles with Roswitha Zahlner Casmier.

Casmier, Stephen. “Beyond Orality and Literacy in African American Literature” in Language, Culture and Identity: The Legacy of Walter J. Ong, S.J. Eds. Sara van den Berg and Thomas Walsh. Media Ecology Series. Creskill : Hampton Press (2008).

Casmier, Stephen. “The Funky Novels of John Edgar Wideman: Odor and Ideology in Reuben, Philadelphia Fire and The Cattle Killing.” Critical Essays on John Edgar Wideman. Eds. Bonnie TuSmith and Keith Byerman. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press (2006): 191-204.