Anissa Wardi, Ph.D.

Logo: Chatham C
Professor of English
Lindsay - 7

Hometown:  Warren, PA
Joined Chatham:  1996


20th Century African American Literature, Toni Morrison, Ecocriticism 


Anissa Wardi has been a faculty member at Chatham University since 1996. As a member of the English Department, Dr. Wardi has taught courses including The Harlem Renaissance, Toni Morrison Seminar and August Wilson and Pittsburgh. The author of two books, Dr. Wardi has published widely in the area of 20th century African American literature.

  • Ph.D., Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY), 1999
  • M.A., Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA), 1993
  • B.A., Penn State Erie (Erie, PA), 1991
  • Buhl Professor, 2004-2005, MLA First Book Nominee, 2005, Who's Who Among America's Teachers, 2004, 2005, Central Research Fund Grant, 1999, 2006, Member, Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
  • The Toni Morrison Society, Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • Women's Studies, Syracuse University, 1999
  • Water and African American Memory: An Ecocritical Perspective, Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2011
  • "The Cartography of Memory: An Ecocritical Reading of Ntozake Shange's Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo" (forthcoming, African American Review).
  • "Currents of Memory: Ancestral Waters in Henry Dumas's 'Ark of Bones' and August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean," (forthcoming, ISLE),
  • "Memories of Home: Reading the Bedouin in Arab American Literature." Ethnic Studies Review. Vol 31.1 (2008): 65-79. (Co-authored with Katharine Wardi- Zonna).
  • "In Passing: Arab American Poetry and the Politics of Race." Ethnic Studies Review. Vol 28.2 (2005): 17-36. (Co-authored with Katherine Wardi- Zonna)
  • 'Death and the Arc of Mourning in African American Literature, Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2003
  • “Jazz Funerals and Mourning Songs: Toni Morrison’s Call to the Ancestors.” Toni Morrison and the Bible. 2006
  • "Freak Shows, Spectacles and Carnivals: Reading Jonathan Demme's Beloved." African American Review 39.4 (2005): 513-526
  • African American Literature, Penguin Academic Series,' 2004. Co-editor with Keith Gilyard.
  • “A Laying On of Hands: Toni Morrison and the Materiality of Love.” MELUS. 30.3 (2005): 201-218
  • “Divergent Paths to the South: Echoes of Cane in Mama Day.” Gloria Naylor: Strategy and Technique, Magic and Myth. 2001.
  • "'Loud with the presence of plants and field life': The Ecology of Resistance in Toni Morrison's Tar Baby." American Literature Association Symposium on American Fiction 1890 to the Present. (Savannah, Georgia) October 2009.
  • “Between Breath and Death: Waters of the Diaspora in Toni Morrison’s Tar Baby.” Toni Morrison and Modernism Conference (Charleston, S.C. ) July 2008,
  • “Freak Shows, Spectacles and Carnivals: Reading Jonathan Demme’s Beloved.” Northeast Modern Language Association Conference, (Pittsburgh, PA.) March 2004
  • “Oprah Loves This Book: Toni Morrison, Pop Culture and the Politics of Reading.” Third Biennial Toni Morrison Conference: Toni Morrison and the Politics of Learning, Washington, D.C. (June 2003)
  • “Graveyard Dust: The Embodied South in Cane.” Invited Symposium Speaker. Martin Puryear: The Cane Project. Temple University Gallery, (Philadelphia, PA. )November 2001.
  • “The Journey Back Home: Narratives of Dis/Placement in Cane and Jazz.” Second Biennial Toni Morrison Conference: Toni Morrison and the Meaning of Home, (Lorain, OH) September 2000.,
  • “Memories of Sugarcane: Eulogizing the South in Song of Solomon.” Women Writers of Color Conference, (Ocean City, MD) 1999.