Eleanor W. Traylor, Graduate Professor of English, is an acclaimed scholar and critic in African-American literature and criticism. Dr. Traylor obtained a B.A. from Spelman College; an M.A. from Atlanta University; and a Ph.D. from Catholic University, where she pursued her interests in African-American literature and mythology concentrating this focus in a dissertation on Richard Wright. She later received a Merrill Scholarship to the Stuttgarter Hochschule in West Germany and a research fellowship to study at the Institute of African Studies in Ghana and Nigeria. More recently, Dr. Traylor has traveled to South Africa, Paris, Brazil, Jamaica, Martinique, Jerusalem, Switzerland, Germany, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands to address scholarly forums. Her work has appeared in the form of chapter essays, biographies, articles, and papers on such challenging African-American writers as Larry Neal, Henry Dumas, Toni Cade Bambara, Margaret Walker, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Richard Wright. Among the texts that she has produced are Broad Sympathy: The Howard University Oral Traditions Reader (1996), The Humanities and Afro-American Literary Tradition (1988), a multimedia piece entitled The Dream Awake: A Spoken Arts Production (1968),College Reading Skills(1966), and biographical and cultural scripts for the Smithsonian Institution's Program in Black American Culture. She is currently working on a book on the pedagogy of African-American literature.
Prior to joining Howard University's graduate English faculty, Dr. Traylor was a lecturer at Georgetown University; adjunct professor of Drama at Howard; visiting humanist at Tougaloo and Hobart and William Smith Colleges; English professor at Montgomery College; visiting professor in the African Studies and Research Center at Cornell University; and department chair for the U.S. Department of Agriculture English program. Not exclusively an academician, Dr. Traylor has maintained national and local ties via her advisory roles to the D.C. Repertory Theater Company; the Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the National Endowment for the Arts; the National Black Arts Festival; and Educators for the Advancement of African-American Literature in the (Public) Schools, which Dr. Traylor established.
In appreciation for her commitment to the African-American community, Dr. Traylor has received numerous awards including the Hazel Joan Bryant Recognition Award of the Midwest African-American Theater Alliance, the Larry Neal Georgia Douglass Johnson Award in Literature and Community Service of the Marcus Garvey Memorial Foundation, the Alumni Achievement Award in Literary Criticism from The Catholic University of America, an Excellence in Teaching Award of the Amoco Foundation, and The George Kent Award for Literary Criticism of The Gwendolyn Brooks Center of Black Literature and Creative Writing, Chicago State University; inducted in The National Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent, The Gwendolyn Brooks Center of Black Literature and Writing, Chicago State University, October 21, 1999; awarded The Doctor of Humane Letters, Spelman College, May 19, 2002.