Carolivia Herron: Biography

Current Work
Dr. Carolivia Herron has recently left her position as an English Professor at California State University, Chico. She currently lives in Washington, DC where she is writing fiction, pursuing scholarship, developing multimedia online educational products, establishing writing clubs in Washington, DC public schools, and teaching periodic specialty courses in universities.

Upcoming Courses

Upcoming courses include:

Minority Images in Children’s Literature – Summer course at Hollins University

Creative Writing – Fall 2000 course at SUNY – Binghamton

Star Trek as American Epic – short course at Grinnell College, Iowa, Spring 2001

Dr. Herron’s specialty courses are African American Literature, Comparative Epic Tradition (Europe, Africa, and the Americas), and Jewish Africana.

Herron is also on leave in order to continue a speaking tour related to her controversial book, Nappy Hair and to introduce her multimedia educational programs to schools and communities nationwide. These multimedia programs are being produced by her company, Epicenter Literary Software under the general titles of The Function at the Junction (for adults) and The Drum of Anansi (for children).

These programs use epics, group stories, and cultures of the learners themselves as a multimedia framework for educational programs to be experienced via computers and throughout communities. Herron’s present focus is on the development of Writing Clubs for fourth graders in several Washington, DC public schools: Brookland, Martin Luther King, Jr., Kenilworth, and Neval Thomas. Go to the chapter Teaching to read more about these programs.

Writings, Scholarly Appointments

Herron’s novel Thereafter Johnnie was published by Random House in 1991 and her edition of the Selected Works of Angelina Weld Grimké was published by Oxford University Press that same year. Dr. Herron has received three awards for her children’s book, Nappy Hair which was published in 1997 by Knopf Books for young readers.

Carolivia Herron has spent most of her professorial career at Harvard University as a professor and as a Visiting Scholar (African American Studies, Comparative Literature, Divinity School, School of Education, Electronic Education.) Herron has also held professorial appointments at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and California State University, Chico. She has been a visiting scholar at Brandeis University, Hebrew College of Brookline, Massachusetts, Carlton College, the Marien N’Guabi University of Congo, Brazzaville, and several universities in the Republic of Congo.

Fellowships include: Fulbright Fellowship to Mexico, Bunting Fellow of Radcliffe College, Beinecke Fellowship to Yale, Folger Shakespeare Library Scholarship, NEH Fellowship in Curriculum Development in African American Studies, NEH Visit to Collections Fellowship and a Smithsonian Fellowship in Art History.


Carolivia Herron was born in Washington, DC and attended the following public schools: Neval Thomas Elementary, Carter G. Woodson Jr. High, Paul Jr. High, Spingarn High, and Coolidge, High.

Her degrees include a B.A. in English from Eastern Baptist College (now Eastern College) in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, an M.A. in English from Villanova University, an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory, also from the University of Pennsylvania.


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