ATLANTA—English Professor Elizabeth West has been appointed as the John B. and Elena Diaz-Verson Amos Distinguished Chair in English Letters in the College of Arts & Sciences at Georgia State University.

Portrait of Elizabeth West

Elizabeth West

The endowed chair, which sits in the Department of English, was established to support “leadership in teaching, academic research, and service in the discipline of English.” The recipient of the Amos Distinguished Chair is selected based a record of distinguished work in all three areas and the potential to advance new directions in literary studies.

West’s research focuses on interdisciplinary studies of early African Diaspora Literatures of the Americas with particular emphasis on connections of spirituality and gender from early to contemporary works. She has published numerous articles, books, book chapters, and edited book series. In her most recent work coming out this fall, Finding Francis: One Family’s Journey from Slavery to Freedom, West has turned to studies of Black migration, enslavement, and citizenship in the American South.

West also serves as the academic director of Georgia State’s Center for Studies on Africa and its Diaspora.

She succeeds Professor Emeritus David Bottoms, who recently retired, as the Amos Chair.

“I am excited about the opportunity that The Amos award presents for advancing my own scholarship and collaborative work exploring literature as an intersectional, interdisciplinary, and global aesthetic,” West said.

Audrey Goodman, chair of the Department of English, said West is a natural choice for the Amos Chair.

“I am grateful to Mrs. Elena B. Dias-Verson Amos for this opportunity to support Dr. West as she works to connect communities of students and scholars and to advance research in African Diaspora studies and African American literary studies that are critical to the future of our department,” Goodman said.

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