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Dr. Shanna Greene Benjamin- Summer Issue 2021

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

Author of Half in Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Nellie Y. McKay

Dr. Shanna Greene Benjamin

Shanna Greene Benjamin is a biographer and scholar who studies the literature, lives, and archives of Black women. Dr. Benjamin earned her Ph.D. in English and M.A. in Afro-American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; she received a B.A. in English from Johnson C. Smith University—a historically Black college in Charlotte, North Carolina—where she was class valedictorian. A one-time professor and associate dean at Grinnell College and the former director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program there, Dr. Benjamin is a member of the 2015-2016 HERS class—a program administered by the Higher Education Resource Service that develops women leaders in higher education—and a 2018 graduate of the Council of Independent Colleges' Senior Leadership Academy.

Dr. Benjamin has published on African American literature and Black women's intellectual history in African American Review, MELUS, a/b: Auto/Biography, Studies in American Fiction, and PMLA. Her book, Half in Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Nellie Y. McKay, is forthcoming from UNC Press (April 12). Through her coaching and consulting firm, FireStarter, and her First Book at Mid-Career Institute, Dr. Benjamin lives out her passion for giving post-tenure faculty the strategies and support they need to achieve professional goals that reflect personal, not institutional, priorities. A Mellon Mays undergraduate fellow who now facilitates Social Science Research Council writing retreats for MMUF dissertators and serves on the UNCF/Mellon Board of Advisors, Dr. Benjamin is an independent scholar who lives with her family in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Half in Shadow

The Life and Legacy of Nellie Y. McKay


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