After more than thirty years in academia and the Federal government, Shirley A. James Hanshaw joined the Mississippi State University English Department in 2005. Her areas of specialization include African American literature, multi-ethnic literature and technical writing, which she has taught in colleges and universities in Delaware and Mississippi. During a six-year hiatus from academia, she served as technical writer/editor for the Coastal Engineering Research Center, Corps of Engineers, in Vicksburg, MS, where she garnered commendations and awards for her work with the Coastal Engineering Research Board. Prior to and since her stint with the Federal government, she has been a recipient of several academic awards, including a six-year Associateship for Outstanding Teaching in the Sciences and Humanities by the Danforth Foundation and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Fellowship. Her diverse literary research interests have led to scholarly presentations across the African Diaspora—from Senegal and Ghana in West Africa to the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas—and at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Most recently, her scholarly pursuits have led to presentations at L’Universite’ Paris 8 in France and Lund University in Lund, Sweden. She earned the B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English with a minor in French. Her daughter, Dr. Nneka T. Hanshaw Breaux, is a Chemist (Ph.D., Purdue) at Dow AgroSciences, Indianapolis, IN, and her son, Dr. Okera S. Hanshaw (M.D., U. of Michigan) is an Anesthesiologist in Georgia.
Ph. D. English, University of Mississippi, University, MS, 2003
M. A. English, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 1973
B.A. English, Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS, 1969
Tougaloo - Brown University Exchange Program, Providence, RI, 1968
African American Literature
Re-membering and Surviving: Representation of the Vietnam War in African American Fiction (Michigan State University Press)
Articles and Book Chapters
“‘He Said’; ‘She Said’; ‘We Said’: Cultural Memory and African American Literary Pedagogy” in Memory and the Narrative Imagination in the African and Diaspora Experience. ed. Tom Spencer-Walters. Troy, MI: Bedford Publishers (in press).
“Refusal to be Can (n) on Fodder: African American Representation of the Vietnam War and Canon Formation,” in Thirty Years After: New Essays on Vietnam War Literature, Film, and Other Arts. ed. Mark Heberle Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009.
“Dear Michelle,” in Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the First Lady. Eds Barbara Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2009.
“Representation of the ‘Two-Headed Doctor’ in African American Fiction: Tricksterism, Duality and Comparative Worldviews in Chesnutt’s The Conjure >Woman,” Journal of the AfricanLiterature Association 2.1 (Winter/Spring 2008): 48-59.
"Using Information Technology for Strategic Growth from Single-Mission Transportation Company to Multi-faceted Global Logistics Corporation,” Co-authored with Dr. Lemuria Carter, Journal of Cases in Information Technology10.3 (July-September 2008): 11-23.
“Spinning the Anansean Web: Black Vietnam War Literature, Vernacular Theory, and Captain Blackman,” The Literary Griot: International Journal of Black Expressive Culture Studies, 8.2 (Spring/Fall 1996): 1-35.
Rev. of The Evolution of Gospel. Perf. Sounds of Blackness. A & M Records. “Record Reviews.” Rejoice: The Gospel Magazine (Aug/Sep 1991): 27.
“Akwabaa.” The Griot: The Journal of African American Studies 29.2 (Fall 2010) 43.
“The Time Has Come: Lines Composed in Anticipation of the Inauguration of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama,” The Griot: The Journal of African American Studies 29.1 (Spring 2010) 24.
Executive Editor, The Conveyor, A Quarterly Publication of James Group International, Detroit, MI 2008 to present
Honors and Awards
- State Pride Award, “for distinguished contributions to the missions of research, teaching and service,” English Department, Mississippi State University, 2010 and 2011
- Guest Speaker, Women’s History Month, “The Evolving Role of America’s First Ladies,” University of North Carolina, Wilmington, NC, March 2009
- Special Guest, as Contributing writer to Go, Tell Michelle, Mississippi Arts Commission “Arts Hour,” Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB – 91.3 FM and 91.3-2HD), Jackson, MS , June 2009
- Researcher of the Month, College of Arts and Sciences, Mississippi State University, 2008
- Academic Excellence Fund Award, College of Arts and Sciences, Mississippi State University, 2007
- Inducted into “SHS Hall of the Famous,” “in recognition of being a champion for women and minorities in government and academia, as an educator, writer, editor, and nationally recognized scholar,” Starkville, MS, 2007
- Danforth Associateship for Outstanding Teachers in the Sciences and Humanities, Danforth Foundation, 1980-1986
- Awarded nine Letters of Commendation and two Special Act Awards for editing and consulting by the following organizations: US Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS; Coastal Engineering Research Center’s Field Research Facility, Duck, NC; and Civil Works Directorate, Office of the Chief of Engineers, Washington, DC, 1984-1987
- Selected for National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, “Southern Black Culture: The African Heritage and the American Experience,” Atlanta University Center/Spelman, Atlanta, GA, 1982
- Woodrow Wilson Fellow, 1969-1972
- National Achievement Scholar, 1965-1969
Referee: African American Review, Southern Quarterly, The Literary Griot
Advisory Board Member-Elect: Southern Conference on African American Studies,
Inc., Houston, TX
Funded Grant: NCBS Community Engagement Grant, “OCTS/HHS Educational Enhancement Initiative,” 2009