Dr. Claudia May is a specialist in African American, Black British, and Anglophone Caribbean literature and popular culture. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where she is currently Visiting Scholar in the Department of African American Studies and African Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Recently she received the President’s award from the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley.
Dr. May has taught and presented papers at several universities and seminaries, including Ohio State University, California College of the Arts, the University of St. Thomas, and the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (all in the United States) and the University of Birmingham, the University of Warwick, Oxford University, York St. John University, Birmingham Christian College, and Coventry University (all in the United Kingdom),.
Dr. May has delivered lectures on subjects that explore the presence of the blues in African American literature; the relationship between biblical stories, literature, and popular culture; the significance of leftist ideas to African American literature; and representations of domestic workers in the works of African American authors. Her writings have been published by Oxford University Press, Taylor & Francis, Lexington Books, and Routledge, among others. Recent articles include “Airing Dirty Laundry: Representations of Domestic Laborers in the Works of African American Women Writers” (upcoming in Feminist Formations, Spring 2015) and “Nothing Powerful like Words Spoken: Black British ‘Femcees’, and the Sampling of Hip Hop as a Theoretical Trope’” (Cultural Studies, 2012). Recently in “Welcome to America? Praying Through Anger, Loving through Racial Storms” (Patheos, December 2014), Dr. May examines the relationship between prayer and anger in light of the recent miscarriages of justice in Ferguson. Also, in “Steady, Loving Confrontation: Dignity in the Face of Adversity” (Patheos, March 2015), Dr. May probes the legacy of the 50th anniversary of the march from Selma.