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 published entries in several encyclopedias provided below. Each entry examines a person, event, or issue of historical or literary significance to U.S. and/or African-American literature or culture. 

Black Women of the Harlem Renaissance Er

edited by Lean'Tin L. Bracks and Jessie Carney Smith

Entries in Black Women of the Harlem Renaissance Era

Rowman & Littlefield, 2014

Publisher Description

"The Harlem Renaissance is considered one of the most significant periods for creative and intellectual expression for African Americans. Beginning as early as 1914 and lasting into the 1940s, this era saw individuals who rejected the overall stereotypes of African Americans and confronted the racist, social, political, and economic ideas that denied them citizenship and access to the American Dream. While the majority of recognized literary and artistic contributors to this period were black males, African American women were also key contributors. Black Women of the Harlem Renaissance Era profiles the most important figures of this cultural and intellectual movement. Highlighting the accomplishments of Black women who sought to create positive change after the end of WWI, this reference work includes representatives from not only the literary scene, but also: activists, actresses, artists, educators, entrepreneurs, musicians, political leaders, and scholars. By acknowledging the women who played vital—if not always recognized—roles in this movement, this book shows how their participation helped set the stage for the continued transformation of the black community well into the 1960s." 


- Jessie Redmon Fauset: 77-78
- Dorothy West: 250-251

Spirit Possession around the World (2015

Entries in Spirit Possession around the World:

Possession, Communion, and Demon Expulsion across Cultures

 ABC-CLIO, 2015

Publisher's Description
"Possession and exorcism are elements that occur in nearly every culture. Why is belief in spiritual possession so universal? This accessible reference volume offers a broad sample of the traditions and cultures involving possession and exorcism, presenting thoughts on this widely popular topic by experts from the fields of anthropology, sociology, religious studies, history, neuroscience, forensics, and theology. The entries cover the subject of possession and exorcism across all inhabited continents, from the Bronze Age to the 21st century, providing information that is accessible and intriguing as well as scholarly and authoritative.

Beyond addressing the Christian tradition of possession and exorcism, Pentecostalism, and 'New Age' and less widely known Western concepts about possession and exorcism, this work examines ideas about possession and exorcism from other world religions and the indigenous cultures of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. It also covers historic cases of possession and presents biographies of famous theologians, exorcists, and possessed individuals. High school and undergraduate readers will learn about world history, religious and spiritual traditions, and world cultures through a topic that figures prominently in popular culture and modern entertainment. Bibliographies that accompany each entry as well as a selected, general bibliography serve to help students locate print and electronic sources of additional information."

- Zora Neale Hurston: 158-160

edited by Joseph Laycock

Edited Image 2014-12-27-20:10:44

edited by Tyson King-Meadows

Entries in African American Leadership: A Concise Reference Guide

Mission Bell Media, 2015

Publisher Description

"Exploring the major interdisciplinary themes related to individual and group leadership in the African American communities and beyond, this authoritative, up-to-date, A to Z reference thoroughly covers such subjects as: Harlem Renaissance, Motown, Gender and Leadership, Black Business Network, NAACP, Civil Rights Leadership, Million Man March, Negro Baseball Leagues, and so much more. 


African American Leadership includes many extras for researchers, including a Chronology and Resource Guide as well the complete Leadership Glossary: Essential Terms for the 21st Century covering over 950 essential leadership terms. Because this reference title features relevant, engaging and inspiring content on the best of leadership in the African American communities, it belongs on the shelves of all public, academic and school libraries."


- Harlem Writers Guild: 120-122

- The Talented Tenth: 251-252

Entries in American Myths, Legends, and Tall Tales:

An Encyclopedia of American Folklore

Greenwood Press, 2016

Publisher's Description

"Folklore has been a part of American culture for as long as humans have inhabited North America, and increasingly formed an intrinsic part of American culture as diverse peoples from Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania arrived. In modern times, folklore and tall tales experienced a rejuvenation with the emergence of urban legends and the growing popularity of science fiction and conspiracy theories, with mass media such as comic books, television, and films contributing to the retelling of old myths. This multi-volume encyclopedia will teach readers the central myths and legends that have formed American culture since its earliest years of settlement. Its entries provide a fascinating glimpse into the collective American imagination over the past 400 years through the stories that have shaped it.


Organized alphabetically, the coverage includes Native American creation myths, 'tall tales' like George Washington chopping down his father's cherry tree and the adventures of 'King of the Wild Frontier' Davy Crockett, through to today's 'urban myths.' Each entry explains the myth or legend and its importance and provides detailed information about the people and events involved. Each entry also includes a short bibliography that will direct students or interested general readers toward other sources for further investigation. Special attention is also paid to African American folklore, Asian American folklore, and the folklore of other traditions that are overlooked or marginalized in other studies of the topic."


- Henry, John: 533-535

- Huck Finn: 484-487

- Hughes, Langston: 492-495

- Hurston, Zora Neale: 495-498

- John the Conqueror, High: 535-537

- Minstrel Shows: 652-655

- Turner, Nat: 966-968

- Twain, Mark: 968-970

- Uncle Remus: 977-979

edited by Jeff Webb

and Christopher Fee

American Myths, Legends, and Tall Tales

edited by Rosanne M. Welch and Peg A. Lamphier

Entries in Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection

ABC-CLIO, 2017

Publisher Description

"Based on the content of most textbooks, it would be easy to reach the erroneous conclusion that women have not contributed much to America's history and development. However, nothing could be further from the actual truth. Offering comprehensive coverage of women of a diverse range of cultures, classes, ethnicities, religions, and sexual identifications, this four-volume set identifies the many ways in which women have helped to shape and strengthen the United States.


This encyclopedia is organized into four chronological volumes, each volume further divided into three sections. Each section features an overview essay and thematic essay as well as detailed entries on topics ranging from Lady Gaga to Ladybird Johnson, Lucy Stone, and Lucille Ball, and from the International Ladies of Rhythm to the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. The set also includes a vast variety of primary documents, such as personal letters, public papers, newspaper articles, recipes, and more. These primary documents enhance users' learning opportunities and enable readers to better connect with the subject matter."


- Forten, Charlotte: 56-57

- Harper, Frances: 73-74

- Jacobs, Harriet: 80-81

- Stewart, Maria: 123-124

- Wheatley, Phillis: 326-328

Entries in Reforming America: A Thematic Encyclopedia

and Document Collection of the Progressive Era

ABC-CLIO, 2017

Publisher's Description

"During the Progressive Era, influential thinkers and activists made efforts to improve U.S. society through reforms, both legislative and social, on issues of the day such as working conditions of laborers, business monopolies, political corruption, and vast concentrations of wealth in the hands of a few. Many Progressives hoped for and tirelessly worked toward a day when all Americans could take advantage of the economic and social opportunities promised by U.S. society.

This two-volume work traces the issues, events, and individuals of the Progressive Era from approximately 1893 to 1920. The entries and primary sources in this set are grouped thematically and cover a broad range of topics regarding reform and innovation across the period, with special attention paid to important topics of race, class, and gender reform and reformers. The volumes are helpfully organized under five categories: work and economic life; social and political life; cultural and religious life; science, literature, and the arts; and sports and popular culture."


- Bert Williams: 746-749 

- The Birth of a Nation: 668-671

- Booker T. Washington: 148-150)

- Jim Crow: 427-429

- Marcus Garvey: 403-406

edited by Jeffrey A. Johnson

Reforming America (2017).JPG

edited by Daniel Bernardi

and Michael Green

Entries in Race in American Film: Voices and Visions that Shaped a Nation

Greenwood Press, 2017

Publisher Description

"Hollywood has always reflected current American cultural norms and ideas. As such, film provides a window into attitudes about race and ethnicity over the last century. This comprehensive set provides information on hundreds of films chosen based on scholarly consensus of their importance regarding the subject, examining aspects of race and ethnicity in American film through the historical context, themes, and people involved.

This three-volume set highlights the most important films and artists of the era, identifying films, actors, or characterizations that were considered racist, were tremendously popular or hugely influential, attempted to be progressive, or some combination thereof. Readers will not only learn basic information about each subject but also be able to contextualize it culturally, historically, and in terms of its reception to understand what average moviegoers thought about the subject at the time of its popularity—and grasp how the subject is perceived now through the lens of history."


- A Nigger in the Woodpile: 637-639

- A Prize Fight in Coontown: 710-712

- Birthright: 100-102

- Emperor Jones: 275-276

- Lee Daniel’s The Butler: 542-544

- The Birth of a Race: 99-100

- The Help: 407-409

- The Homesteader: 422-424

- The House Behind the Cedars: 428-430

- The Jazz Singer: 481-483

Entries in The Encyclopedia of Racism in American Films

Rowman & Littlefield, 2018

Publisher's Description

"From D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation in 1915 to the recent Get Out, audiences and critics alike have responded to racism in motion pictures for more than a century. Whether subtle or blatant, racially biased images and narratives erase minorities, perpetuate stereotypes, and keep alive practices of discrimination and marginalization. Even in the 21st century, the American film industry is not “color blind,” evidenced by films such as Babel (2006), A Better Life (2011), and 12 Years a Slave (2013). 

The Encyclopedia of Racism in American Film tries to document one facet of racism in the film industry, wherein historically underrepresented peoples are misrepresented—through a lack of roles for actors of color, stereotyping, negative associations, and an absence of rich, nuanced characters. Offering insights and analysis from over seventy scholars, critics, and activists, the volume highlights issues such as 
Hollywood’s diversity crisis, White Savior films, Magic Negro tropes, and the disconnect between screen images and lived realities of African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asians.

A companion to the ever-growing field of race studies, this volume opens up a critical dialogue on an always timely issue. The Encyclopedia of Racism in American Film will appeal to scholars of cinema, race and ethnicity studies, and cultural history."


A Time to Kill: 600-603

- Black Like Me: 60-63

Lee Daniels’ The Butler: 325-328

- Losing Isaiah: 342-344

- Remember the Titans: 488-491

- The Great Debaters: 233-235

- The Color Purple: 112-115

- The Green Mile: 235-238

- The Hurricane: 271-273

edited by Salvador Jimenez Murguia

2018--Racism in American Films.jpg
2018--World of Antebellum America.jpg

edited by Alexandra Kindell

Entries in The World of Antebellum America: A Daily Life Encyclopedia

Greenwood Press, 2018

Publisher Description

"Throughout the Antebellum Era resonated the theme of change: migration, urban growth, the economy, and the growing divide between North and South all led to great changes to which Americans had to respond. By gathering the important aspects of antebellum Americans' lives into an encyclopedia, World of Antebellum America provides readers with the opportunity to understand how people across America lived and worked, what politics meant to them, and how they shaped or were shaped by economics. 

Entries on simple topics such as bread and biscuits explore workers' need for calories, the role of agriculture, and gendered divisions of labor, while entries on more complex topics, such as aging and death, disclose Americans' feelings about life itself. Collectively, the entries pull the reader into the lives of ordinary Americans, while section introductions tie together the entries and provide an overarching narrative that primes readers to understand key concepts about antebellum America before delving into Americans' lives in detail."


- Frederick Douglass: 530-532

- Minstrel Shows: 37-40

- Slave Narratives: 62-65

- Uncle Tom’s Cabin: 78-80

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—Gloria Anzaldúa

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