Phillip Brian Harper
Phil Harper is program director for Higher Learning at Mellon, having joined the Foundation after serving as Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Science at New York University. He graduated from the University of Michigan and went on to earn an MFA in creative writing and an MA and PhD in English at Cornell. A literary scholar and cultural critic, Mr. Harper has written extensively on twentieth- and twenty-first-century American and African American fiction, and on aspects of lived experience in the contemporary United States, including the negotiation of racial, gender, and sexual identities, and various modes of mass-cultural production, circulation, and consumption.
In addition to publishing numerous articles and co-editing Queer Transexions of Race, Nation, and Gender (a special 1997 double issue of the journal Social Text), Mr. Harper has authored four books: Framing the Margins: The Social Logic of Postmodern Culture (1994); Are We Not Men? Masculine Anxiety and the Problem of African-American Identity (1996); Private Affairs: Critical Ventures in the Culture of Social Relations (1999); and Abstractionist Aesthetics: Artistic Form and Social Critique in African American Culture (2015).
Mr. Harper has furthered the work of the Modern Language Association as a member of the advisory boards for the journals PMLA and Profession, and as member and chair of the James Russell Lowell Book Prize Committee. He has served on the editorial boards of American Literature, Camera Obscura, GLQ, Postmodern Culture, and Social Text.