About Dr. Thabiti Lewis

Thabiti Lewis is from St. Louis Missouri, where he grew up in West and North St. Louis. After he graduated from Sumner High School where he was a member of the drama club and captain of the baseball team.  He attended the University of Rochester where he graduated with degrees in both English and History (with honors). The following year he obtained an M.A.T. (English) from the University of Rochester's School of Education.

After spending a few years living between Chicago and St. Louis working as a high school teacher and university lecturer, freelance writer, newspaper columnist and radio host he obtained a doctorate in English from Saint Louis University with a special focus on the 1950s-1990s and Black Feminist writer Toni Cade Bambara.  While completing his doctorate he earned a fellowship at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. 

As a faculty member at Willamette University Dr. Lewis was a member of the English department and was instrumental in the development of the American Ethnic Studies Program, which he chaired for two years.  In 2008 he was awarded a Lilly Library Grant; in 2012 he was selected to participate in the NEH Summer Institute about contemporary African American literature; in 2014 he became a Visiting Scholar in the Center for the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis.

He is currently an Associate Professor of English at Washington State University Vancouver. He has published widely in the areas of American literature, masculinity, African American Studies, and popular culture (music and sports).

Thabiti Lewis has written for several newspapers, magazines, journals and magazines such as The Source Magazine, Crisis Magazine, AmeriQuests, News One, The St. Louis American, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Oregon Humanities Magazine, and The Oregonian. He has also contributed several political and cultural commentaries to cable and radio programs.

In December of 2010 he published a pioneering book about sports, race, and American culture, Ballers of the New School: Race and Sports in America (Third World Press). Prior to this he edited and co-edited special issues of journals (The Willamette Journal and AmeriQuests Journal). He is the editor of  Conversations with Toni Cade Bambara (University Press of Mississippi), and is completing a book-length study about the art of the politics in the fiction of the writer Toni Cade Bambara. He is also at work on a study of the performance of heroism, race, and gender in four American sports museums.

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