Skip to main content

Dr. Vida A. Robertson

Dr. Vida A. Robertson

Dr. Vida A. Robertson

Associate Professor of EnglishHistory, Humanities, and Languages


Vida Robertson, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of English and serves as the Director of the Center for Critical Race Studies at the University of Houston-Downtown. He teaches a wide range of Critical Race Theory and African American literature courses. His primary research and teaching interests are in late nineteenth and twentieth century African American literature, the Africana Studies, Critical Race Theory, and Disability Studies. Dr. Robertson is deeply committed to community engagement and service opportunities related to equality, education and empowerment. His research has led to published works in African American, Caribbean and Afro-European literature and culture. Dr. Robertson is presently developing a book length project entitled The Color of Race: A Critical Exploration of Albinism in the Literature of the African Diaspora which documents and critically examines the way "Black albinism" destabilizes essentialist notions of race by facilitating a paradoxical definition of both blackness and whiteness in Western culture.

Degrees Earned

Ph.D. English Department, Miami University, Oxford Ohio. (May 2006)

Primary Area: African American Literature
Secondary Area: Harlem Renaissance, Critical Race Theory & Literary Criticism Dissertation: The Racial Pharmakon: Albinism in African American Literature

M.A. African American Literature, Miami University, Oxford Ohio. (1998-2000)

B.A. Philosophy, Murray State University, Murray Kentucky. (1991-1996)

Courses Taught

ENG 3321: African-American Literature
ENG 3340: Cultural Criticism
UHD 2304: University Seminar-Culture

Experience Qualifications

Dr. Vida Robertson earned a Ph.D. in English, with focus on African American Literature, with a dissertation titled The Racial Pharmakon: Albinism in African American Literature. He has published articles and given presentations on issues of race and literature, which qualifies him to teach a range of literature course as well as the university seminar, focused on critical race studies.

More Information


Robertson, Vida. "Thomas Jefferson, Martin Delany and the Enigma of the White

Slaves" Africana Studies. (Summer 2015)—Under Consideration

Robertson, Vida. "Dundus: Disabling the Concept of Race in Namba Roy's "Black Albino"". The Griot: The Journal of African American Studies. (Fall 2011 30:2): 16-26.

Robertson, Vida A. "The Great White Hope: Black Albinism and the Deposing of the White Subject in John Edgar Wideman's Sent For You Yesterday." Studies in Literature and Language, Vol.3, No.1 (2011): 1-10.

Robertson, Vida A. "Negritude." World History Encyclopedia. Ed. Michael Tarver. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2010.

Robertson, Vida A. "Chester Himes's Racial Pharmakon: The Politics of Black Albinism in The Heat's On." CLA Journal 53.2 (2009): 178-199.

Teaching Experience

English Composition (ENG 1301)
"Taking A Closer Look: American Culture in Circumspect"

English Composition and Literature (ENG 1302)
"The Home of the Brave: Ethnic Narratives of America"

University Seminar in Critical Race Studies (UHD 2304)
"The House That Hova Built: Race, Rap and the Evolution of Black Male Identity"

Life and Thought in American Literature 1865—Present (ENG 2312)

Contemporary Ghanaian Fiction and Culture (English 3312)

African-American Literature (ENG 3321)
"Tragedy, Transgression and Triumph: An Introduction to African American Literature"

American Ethnic Heritage (ENG 3324)
"Caught Between History and Home: An Introduction to Ethnic American Literature"

Cultural Criticism (ENG 3340)
"In Search of 'Gold Mountain:' An Introduction to Asian American Literature"

Gender Studies in Literature (ENG 3350)
"'Mules of Da World:' A Critical Examination of Lives and Writing of Black Women"

Major Authors (ENG 4314)
"In Search of LOVE: Examining the Life and Literature of Toni Morrison"

A Seminar in African-American Studies (ENG 4321)
"Harlem on My Mind: The Literature and the Sounds of the Harlem Renaissance"

Professional Affiliations

American Literature Association College English Association

College Language Association Critical Ethnic Studies Association

Modern Language Association National Association of African American Studies

Society for Disability Studies Southern Conference on African American Studies

Honors and Awards

2015 TCBHE Minority Male Initiative Grant

2014 NEH Grant—The Big Read

2014 Faculty Development Grant

2014 The Sylvester Turner Grant

2013 The Sylvester Turner Grant

2011 Southern Conference on African American Studies Article of the Year

2009 University of Houston-Downtown Quality Enhance Plan Grant

2007 University of Houston-Downtown Organized Research Grant

2004 Miami University College of Arts and Science Dissertation Award

2004 Miami University Graduate School Dissertation Award

2004 Miami University English Department Dissertation Fellowship

2004 The Graduate Students of Color Award for Outstanding Research in the Humanities

2004 The Center for American and World Cultures Teaching Grant 2004 Miami University Preparing Future Faculty Research Grant 2004, '02, '01, '99 Miami University Graduate Achievement Award 2003 Roshmand Fund Award

2002 Miami University English Department Instructor of the Year

2002 Alpha Phi Most Influential Instructor Award

2001 Pan-Hellenic Outstanding Instructor Award

2000, '01 Outstanding Graduate Student Award