In an ongoing attempt to remain an integral part of the scholarly and cultural conversations that literature can evoke, throughout my career thus far, I have worked on full-length projects too such as edited volumes. Each volume below examines a vital text, author, or movement in the larger scope of U.S. literary history and/or African-American literature that has been vital to documenting the changing social, political, and racial landscape of the larger society. For the table of contents for each volume, click on the book cover; the file will open in a separate window.


Critical Insights: Harlem Renaissance

published with Grey House/Salem in 2015

Critical Insights: Harlem Renaissance presents the period of unparalleled growth in both art and literature from the African-American community. With its production from key authors, such as Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, among others, the Harlem Renaissance saw the rise in creative endeavors by black artists/writers eager to celebrate the unique characteristics of black life and to also challenge the institutionalized racial hierarchy pervasive within the twentieth-century United States. These creative thinkers, intellectuals in their own right, each used their poetry, short stories, novels, and plays as vehicles to critique longstanding issues within society that limited socioeconomic mobility for blacks while perpetuating startling stereotypes about a community too long oppressed. Because of its undeniable impact in shaping both the U.S. cultural imagination regarding Blacks and the larger literary canon, the Harlem Renaissance has since been heavily studied as perhaps the most significant period of artistic and cultural development the African-American community has experienced to date. This title seeks to offer not only expanded readings of central themes that have long captivated the attention of scholars but also to provide readers valuable insight into the texts, authors, and critical perspectives too often overlooked.

Critical Insights: Civil Rights Literature, Past and Present

published with Grey House/Salem in 2017

U.S. civil rights literature has largely been associated with the speeches, letters, and non-fiction works produced by African-American activists of the 1950s and 60s such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. This volume not only examines key works of the African-American civil rights debate past and present; it also explores issues of gender equality, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic inequities that are integral to civil rights studies across genre. This title therefore seeks to offer not only expanded readings of the central themes that have long captivated the attention of scholars across time but also to provide valuable insight into texts, authors, and critical perspectives too often overlooked. For that reason, Critical Insights: Civil Rights Literature, Past and Present is much more expansive in its scope than other Critical Insights volumes, offering three unique chronologies of civil rights events and literature as well as a broad range of scholarly inquiries that will help us all to better understand the civil rights struggle of the past and present day, from the African-American Freedom Struggle to the current Black Lives Matter Movement to the efforts to combat violence against women and other marginalized sectors of the United States.

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"I will have my voice . . . 
I will overcome the tradition of silence."

—Gloria Anzaldúa

"There is no greater agony 
than bearing an untold story inside you."

—Maya Angelou

Contact Dr. Varlack directly via E-mail at cavarlack@gmail.com for inquiries regarding speaking engagements and more.