In efforts to advance scholarship on race, racism, and social justice in the past as well as the contemporary world, the directors of the Center for Antiracist Scholarship, Advocacy, and Action (CASAA) at Arcadia University unveiled a new initiative—the CASAA Microgrants Program—in March 2022. Part...
This year, poet, activist, and scholar Sonia Sanchez will receive an honorary doctoral degree and address the Class of 2022 at Commencement ceremonies for Arcadia University. Renowned for the messages of freedom and activism in her work, Sanchez once declared that "[r]esist is an ancient word. A...
Arcadia University's three-part Q&A series with the founding and associate director of the Center for Anti-Racist Scholarship, Advocacy, and Action, Dr. Doreen Loury and Dr. Christopher Allen Varlack, respectively, concludes below. Read Part I of the series here, and Part II here....
Arcadia University's Q&A three-part series with the founding and associate director of the Center for Anti-Racist Scholarship, Advocacy, and Action, Dr. Doreen Loury and Dr. Christopher Allen Varlack, respectively, continues below. You can read Part I of the series here. Read Part III of...
In a November 2021 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Anti-Black Racism Initiatives (ABRI) in development at Arcadia University were put on center stage in “Race on Campus: One University’s Plan to Combat Anti-Black Racism” by Sarah Brown. The article highlighted “plans to diversify...
The founding director and associate director of Center for Antiracist Scholarship, Advocacy, and Action (CASAA) Dr. Doreen Loury and Dr. Christopher Allen Varlack, respectively, answer questions about the importance of CASAA, how the Center plans to engage with the community, and how it...
On Nov. 16, 2021, the anti-Black Racism Initiatives (ABRI) Project Team and the Provost’s Office at Arcadia University announced the establishment of the Center for Anti-Racist Scholarship, Advocacy, and Action (CASAA)--an interdisciplinary academic center that will bring together individuals from...
By Timothy Stasek '21
Many may tend to think of learning as a process specifically for students, but Dr. Christopher Allen Varlack, assistant professor of English, emphasizes how much professors can grow and adapt as well through this process. In fact, a guiding principle for him and for...
Dr. Christopher Allen Varlack, also known as the #BLKLitProfessor, is an assistant professor in the Department of English at Arcadia University (2020-present) where he teaches undergraduate as well as graduate courses in African-American literature, world literature, and creative writing. Before joining the faculty at Arcadia, he worked with students as a full-time lecturer at UMBC (2014-2018), where he taught as part of the Individualized Study Program, the Honors College, and the Department of English. He has also served as a full-time lecturer in the Department of English and Language Arts at Morgan State University (2012-2014). In addition to his role in the Department of English, he has served in a number of leadership roles at the University:
- Director of University Seminars for the Arcadia Undergraduate Curriculum (AUC), Fall 2021-Spring 2022
- Associate Director of the Center for Antiracist Scholarship, Advocacy, and Action (CASAA), Fall 2021-present
In addition to promoting the education of today's youth, he is an avid researcher and scholar with emphases on race, gender, and cultural politics, having published in journals such as the College Language Association Journal, Third Stone Journal, and the South Atlantic Review in addition to a number of edited volumes. He has served as editor of Critical Insights: Harlem Renaissance (2015) as well as Critical Insights: Civil Rights Literature, Past and Present (2017) and is currently editing a special double issue of The Langston Hughes Review on Sterling A. Brown and an edited volume titled Zora Neale Hurston in Context for Cambridge University Press. He serves in his second term as president of the Langston Hughes Society.
When he is not in the classroom or producing scholarship, he can be found writing poetry and creative non-fiction addressing issues of social justice, identity, and race. For additional information about Dr. Varlack and his work, please visit his website at BLKLitProfessor.com.
- EN 699: Master's Thesis in English
- EN344/444: Special Studies Seminar
- Topic: Diasporic Journeys: Displacement, Transplantation, and Migration in
Contemporary African Diasporic Women's Literature
- EN 699: Master's Thesis in English
- EN 651: The Harlem Renaissance--History & Classics
- Topic: Black Women Novelists of the Harlem Renaissance Era
- EN 341/441: The Slave Narrative
- EN 335/435: Special Topics in American Literature
- Topic: Race (Un)Masked: Racial Passing and the Construction of Identity in
U.S. Literature and Popular Culture
- US 253: Science Fiction and Social Reality
- Topic: Black Empires, Crumbling Cities, and Colonized Spaces Uncolonized:
Social Justice in Black Sci-Fi and Black Speculative Fiction across the Ages
- EN 231: The African American Short Story
- EN 230: African American Literature
- EN 211: Creative Non-Fiction Workshop
- EN104: Writing for the Academic Conversation
- EN 101H: Thought & Expression I (Honors)
MA Theses Directed
- King, Myisha. "Performative Allyship, the White Gaze, and the Barriers of Black Representation in Literary Fiction," 2022.
- Edwards, Deja. "Keeping It in the Family: An Analysis of Cultural Trauma and Racial Violence in Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing," 2021.
Areas Of Focus
African-American Literature, African-American Sociopolitical Thought, African-American Popular Culture