Eric Gardner joined SVSU’s faculty in 1996, rose to the rank of Professor of English in 2006, chaired the English Department from 2006 to 2010, and served as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences from 2013 to 2015. His teaching and learning interests center on a range of issues in African American literature and culture, American literature and culture, and methods for literary study, with emphasis on the praxis of literary history. His research focuses on nineteenth-century African American writers and activists and has been recognized with, among other awards, an NEH Fellowship (2012-2013), SVSU's Warrick Award for Research Excellence (2010), a Braun Fellowship (2008-2010), and an NEH Summer Stipend (2005). His first monograph Unexpected Places: Relocating Nineteenth-Century African American Literature (UP of Mississippi 2009) won the 2010 Research Society for American Periodicals Book Prize and was named a Choice “Outstanding Academic Title.” His second monograph Black Print Unbound: The Christian Recorder, African American Literature and Periodical Culture (Oxford UP, 2015) studies the weekly newspaper of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Civil War era. It won the 2017 Research Society for American Periodicals Book Prize and has been reviewed in venues like the Times Literary Supplement. He has also edited three books as well as a special issue of the journal American Periodicals, and his shorter work has appeared in journals like PMLA, American Literary History, Legacy, and African American Review. He is a convener of the Just Teach One: Early African American Print project and a co-editor of American Periodicals. Whether engaging with students and colleagues in a range of settings 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.