Sandra Adell

Credentials: Professor

Position title: Director of Graduate Studies


Phone: 608-263-0425

4115 Helen C. White Hall

Ph.D 1989 University of Wisconsin-Madison (Comparative Literature)
M.A. 1988 University of Wisconsin-Madison (Comparative Literature)
B.A. 1976 Wayne State University Detroit, Michigan (French, English)

Areas of Expertise
Black literature, including Afro-American, Black Francophone, (African, Caribbean), Black Hispanophone; Modern Narrative (English, French, and Spanish); Literary Theory and Criticism; Continental French Literature and Philosophy of the twentieth century, African American Dramatic Literature and Theater History.

French (Near Native Fluency), Spanish (Proficient), Arabic (Beginning Modern Standard)

Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen. An issues-oriented memoir that looks critically at the expansion of casino gambling from the perspective of an African American woman who struggled as a young, uneducated and unwed teen mother to earn a Ph.D. in Literature and a position at a major research university only to risk losing everything she worked for after becoming addicted to slot machine gambling. (Madison, WI: EugeniaBooks, 2010)

Literary Masters: Toni Morrison. (Manly Books, Inc. 2002). A comprehensive illustrated overview of Morrison’s life and works currently on the market. It includes photos that have not been previously published and numerous excerpts from magazine and newspaper interviews with Morrison about her involvement in theater and music, an aspect of her work that has rarely been researched.

Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Culture: African American Culture (Volume Editor). This edited volume includes over 700 entries on African American art, literature, music and dance, drama and film, and radio and television. My own contribution is approximately 262 entries (Detroit: Gale Research, 1996)

Double Consciousness/Double Bind: Theoretical Issues in Twentieth-Century Black Literature (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, Fall, 1994).

Books in Progress
African American Women Playwrights: The 21st Century. (Ed. Sandra Adell). This is an anthology of ten plays by African American playwrights. Most of the plays have not been previously published or produced. The anthology includes an introduction by Adell and an interview with each of the playwrights. (Currently under consideration by the University of Illinois Press).

Feminism and Women Theater Artists of the African Diaspora: The 21st Century. A critical examination of Black Women Theater Artists and international feminism in the 21st century. This study looks at feminist practices of black women founding artistic directors, actors and designers (set, light, sound and costume) in the United States, London, France and Ghana. I also explore intercultural relations between black women theater artists and a new generation of women theater artists in Morocco and Egypt.

Recent Lectures and Presentations
Woman at Point Zero International Literary Conference (March 27-29, 2012, Coppin State University, Baltimore, Maryland). Paper Topic: “Rhodessa Jones and the Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women.”

Association for the Study of African American Life and History (Sept. 29-Oct. 30, 2010, Raleigh, North Carolina). Paper Topic: “Detroit: City of Casinos and the Economic Disempowerment of African Americans.

Writers and Literary Translators International Congress (September 2-5, 2010, Istanbul, Turkey). Paper Topic: “For Love of the Book: Literacy, Life Writing and the Cult of Celebrity in African American Literature.”

Black Theater Network Conference (July, 2010, Los Angeles, California). Introducing Black Women Playwrights: The Twenty-First Century. An overview of the anthology editing of new work by black women playwrights.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Multicultural Student Center’s Institute on Social Justice. “The Life and Legacy of Dr. James Cameron: Founder of America’s Black Holocaust Museum,” February 24, 2010, Invited.

Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago. “Tanya Barfield’sBlue Door and W.E.B. Du Bois’s “Double-Consciousness.” February 4 & 11, 2010. (Invited). A lecture about the significance of Du Bois’s Double-Consciousness for the internal conflicts suffered by Lewis, the mathematician and lead character in Tanya Barfield’s play, Blue Door.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Institute on Race and Ethnicity Symposium. “Supporting and Retaining Diverse Faculty” April 16, 2009. Invited.

University of Wisconsin System Annual Women’s Studies Conference. “Women and Casino Gambling: A reading from Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen.” April 4, 2009.

Lawrence University, Appleton. “The Life and Legacy of Dr. James H. Cameron.” Guest speaker for Black History Month (February 23, 2009), invited.

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Panelist for Fred Ho’s Arts Institute Residency. Panel topic; ‘Afro-Asian Activism and the Avant Garde Aesthetic.’ Paper topic: “The Summer of 1967.” (October 1, 2008), invited.

University of Kentucky Conference on August Wilson. Paper Topic: “August Wilson’s Last Play, Radio Golf, and the Campaign to Save the Hill.” (April 11-14, 2008).