Jervette Ward

Jervette Ward

Associate Professor


Department of English
P.O. Box E
Mississippi State, MS 39762


  • PhD    University of Memphis

Teaching Interests

African American Literature, Contemporary Cultural Studies, Media Studies, and Women’s Literature

Recent Courses



Dr. Jervette R. Ward is the editor of Real Sister: Stereotypes, Respectability, and Black Women in Reality TV (Rutgers University Press, November 2015). Her research and teaching areas focus on American Literature with an emphasis in African American Women's Literature. She has taught and published on Zora Neale Hurston, the addition of the African American characters to the Dick and Jane series, and Black women in reality television.
Dr. Ward is a life-time member of the College Language Association (CLA) where she serves as the English Area Representative on the Executive Committee. She was recently elected to serve as CLA President for 2022-2024. CLA is the largest and oldest professional organization for professors of color who teach world languages. She also is a member of the Executive Committee of the Modern Language Association (MLA) Languages, Literatures, and Cultures African American Forum.
She earned the rank of Associate Professor with Tenure at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), and she earned her Ph.D. in English – Literary & Cultural Studies from The University of Memphis.


  • 2019 -2020 MSU Faculty Leadership (FL) Program – James D. McComas Class
  • Elizabeth Tower Endowment for Canadian Studies, Faculty Award for Research, Study, or Presentation in or about Canada, 2017-2018, Fall 2017
  • Elizabeth Tower Endowment for Canadian Studies, Public Speaker Funding to bring Dr. Lance T. McCready of the University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education to UAA, 2017-2018, Fall 2017
  • Clay Nunnally Teaching Award, UAA Department of English, Spring 2017
  • UAA Diversity Action Council Fund Award and Alaska Airlines Travel Voucher Award, Spring 2017
  • UAA Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Diversity, Fall 2016
  • United Academics Faculty Development Award, Spring 2015
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute Fellow,
  • Finding Mississippi in the National Civil Rights Narrative: Struggle, Institution Building, and Power at the Local Level, Summer 2014
  • United Academics Travel Grant Recipient, Fall 2013
  • Alpha Chi Honor Society Honorary Inductee, Pine Manor College, February 2013


Edited Book

  • Ward, Jervette R., ed. Real Sister: Stereotypes, Respectability, and Black Women in Reality TV. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2015. Print.

Refereed Journal Article

  • Ward, Jervette R. “In Search of Diversity: Dick and Jane and Their Black Playmates.” Making Connections: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Cultural Diversity 13.2 (2012): 17-26. Print.

Refereed Book Contributions

  • Ward, Jervette R. “Reunion Chapter: A Conversation among Contributors.” Real Sister: Stereotypes, Respectability, and Black Women in Reality TV. Ed. Jervette R. Ward. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2015. 180-201. Print.
  • Ward, Jervette R. “The Real Scandal: Portrayals of Black Women in Reality TV.” Real Sister: Stereotypes, Respectability, and Black Women in Reality TV. Ed. Jervette R. Ward. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2015. 1-15. Print.

Edited Book Contributions

  • Ward, Jervette R. “In Defense of Black Womanhood and Femininity in Slavery.” Liberating Minds Liberating Society: Black Women in the Development of American Culture and Society. Eds. Lopez D. Matthews, Jr. and Kenvi C. Phillips. San Bernardino: Association of Black Women Historians, 2014. 244-258. Print.
  • Ward, Jervette R. “Seraph on the Suwanee: Hurston’s “White Novel.” Critical Insights: Zora Neale Hurston. Ed. Sharon Jones. Ipswich: Salem Press, 2013. 250-269. Print.
  • Ward, Jervette R. “Zora Neale Hurston: Coming Forth as Gold.” Introduction.  Zora Neale Hurston: An Annotated Bibliography of Works and Criticism. Eds. Cynthia Davis and Verner Mitchell. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2013. 1-5. Print.

Professional Service

  • Modern Language Association of America (MLA) LLC African American Forum Executive Committee Member
  • The College Language Association (CLA) Lifetime Member and English Area Representative
  • South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA)
  • Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW) Lifetime Member
  • Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)

Faculty & Staff