Eric Gardner

Professor of English
Department of English
Arts & Behavioral Sciences
Academic and Student Affairs

SVSU Main Campus
Brown Hall 313


Eric Gardner is the Chair of SVSU's English Department. He joined SVSU’s faculty in 1996 and rose to his current rank of Professor of English in 2006. He served two previous terms as the Chair of the English Department (2006-2010) and was the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences from 2013 to 2015. His work has garnered, among other recognition, two NEH Fellowships (2021 and 2012), SVSU's inaugural DEI Research Award (co-winner, 2022), SVSU’s Roosevelt Ruffin Diversity Award (2020), a Saginaw County NAACP “Regional Hero” Community Service Award (2017), SVSU's Warrick Award for Research (2010), and a Braun Fellowship (2008-2010). Professor Gardner’s teaching and learning center on American literature and culture and the praxis of literary history; his research focuses specifically on nineteenth-century African American literature and culture. He has twice won the Research Society for American Periodicals Book Prize—for his first monograph, Unexpected Places: Relocating Nineteenth-Century African American Literature (Mississippi 2009), and again for his second monograph, Black Print Unbound: The Christian Recorder, African American Literature and Periodical Culture (Oxford 2015).  He has also edited several books—most recently, the volume on Reconstruction for the African American Literature in Transition series (Cambridge 2021). His shorter work has appeared in journals like African American Review, American Literary History, ESQ, Legacy, and PMLA and collections including The Colored Conventions Movement: Black Organizing in the Nineteenth Century (North Carolina 2021), Visions of Glory: The Civil War in Word and Image (Georgia 2019), and Who Writes for Black Children? African American Children’s Literature before 1900 (Minnesota 2017). He was a founding convener of the online Just Teach One: Early African American Print project and wrote about this effort for Teaching with Digital Humanities: Tools and Methods for Nineteenth-Century American Literature (Illinois 2018). He currently serves as Chair of the C19 Nominations Committee and as the Features Editor for Legacy, A Journal of American Women Writers. Whether engaging with students and colleagues on interactive community-centered projects or searching through dusty archives, he remains committed to the importance of the liberal arts as a mode for exploring, understanding, and improving our diverse world.


Doctor of Philosophy
Univ Illinois