Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1981
M.A., Northwestern University, 1972
B.A., Illinois Wesleyan University, 1968
Courses Frequently Taught
English 170: The Short Story
English 220: The Resisting Writer: Classic American Fiction
English 259: Black Women Writers
English 280: Practical Criticism
English 290: Grammar/Composition for Middle/High School Teachers
English 352: American Literature after 1865: The Black Jazz Age
English 352: American Literature after 1865: Harlem Renaissance
English 354: American Literature since 1945: New Identities, New Communities
English 370: Wright, Ellison, Baldwin & Morrison
Illinois Wesleyan University Award for Teaching Excellence (Sears Foundation Award, 1989)
Lilly Endowment Summer Grant for Student-Faculty Collaborative Research (1990)
Selected Professional Activities
—Co-Director and founding member, Bloomington-Normal Black History and Culture Consortium (Illinois Wesleyan University representative, 1988-98).
—Guest co-curator, Presence, Pride & Passion, A History of African-Americans in McLean County
, exhibit at the McLean County Museum of History, Feb. 4, 2006–May 25, 2008. Awarded a Superior Achievement rating by the Illinois Association of Museums. http://www.iwu.edu/newsrelease06/fac_muirhead_1006.shtml
—Session presenter, with Jack Muirhead. “Looking for Black Ancestors in McLean County.” Discover Your Roots, A Genealogy Conference for the Beginning and Experienced Researcher. October 28, 2006, Normal, Ill. Co-sponsored by the McLean Country Genealogical Society & The Burch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
—“An Interview With Jamaica Kincaid.” Clockwatch Review (
a journal of the arts) , Volume 9. Nos. 1–2, 1995. 39–48.
—Associate Editor, Clockwatch Review
(a journal of the arts), 1988-1996.
—Organized Panel of B-N Black History and Culture Consortium: Black Main Street
for Black Heartland Conference
--The Growth and Development of African-American Culture in the Middle West
, March 21, 1992 at Washington. Paper Accepted: “Langston Hughes, Marie Whiteside, and Migrating Friendships.”
—“The Black Family: Learning Survival from Lessons of the Past,” Mildred Pratt and Pamela B. Muirhead, 349-360. In Conference Proceedings of The National Black Family Summit
(October)1991: Economic, Education, Health and Social Issues. College of Social Work, University of South Carolina (Columbia).
—Participant, Black History Panel--”Telling Our Story.” ISU College of Arts and Sciences Week: Community and Diversity, October 3, 1991.
—Telling Our Stories: Langston Hughes and the Home-Folks,” panel presentation for the closing session of “Blacks in Illinois: The Bloomington-Normal Experience,” Feb. 25, 1989.
—“James Baldwin and the Afro-American Experience,” invited lecture at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, January 1988.
—“The Problem of Self-Definition in the Novels of Buchi Emecheta” [African Literature/Black Women Writers], paper for the National Women’s Studies Association, Spring 1986.
—Visiting Lecturer in Afro-American Literature, Department of English, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, Summer 1981: invited lecture on Richard Wright.
Tenured, at IWU since 1972; next leave, 2011-12.
Current Community Service
—Board of Directors, McLean County Historical Society (in second term).
—Board of Directors and founding member, Pratt Music Foundation.
Selected Previous Teaching and Community Service
—Board of Directors, Illinois Voices Theatre.
—Board Member, Bloomington-Normal Human Relations Commission.
—Board Member, Bloomington High School Advisory Board.
—Board Member, Planned Parenthood of Mid-Central Illinois.
—Secretary and Board Member, Illinois Humanities Council.
—Board of Directors, The Baby Fold.
—Teacher, 7th grade, Oversea Children’s School, Colombo, Sri Lanka (1970).
—Peace Corps Volunteer, English language instructor and activities coordinator at the Ambanpitiya Crippled Children’s Home, Ambanpitiya, Sri Lanka (1970)