Shirley Hanshaw,

Liaison, MSU-Tougaloo Exchange Program, STEM.

2508 Lee Hall
Department of English
P.O. Box E
Mississippi State, MS   39762

curriculum vitae

Dr. Shirley Hanshaw

Professional Bio

After more than thirty years in academia and the Federal government, Dr. Shirley A. James Hanshaw joined the Mississippi State University English Department (MSU) in 2005. Her areas of specialization include African American and Multi-ethnic literatures as well as technical writing, which she has taught in colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Mississippi. During a six-year hiatus from academia, she served as the first African American technical writer/editor at the Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, MS, where she garnered commendations and awards for her work with the Coastal Engineering Research Board. Prior to and since her stint with the Federal government, she has been a recipient of several academic awards, including a six-year Associateship for Outstanding Teaching in the Sciences and Humanities by the Danforth Foundation, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Fellowship.  In 2015 Provost Jerry Gilbert appointed Dr. Hanshaw to head the MSU-Tougaloo Exchange Program in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; in 2016 the Institutions of Higher Learning Board named her Diversity Educator of the Year; and in 2017 she became the first African American promoted to Full Professor (with tenure) in MSU’s English Department.  Her diverse literary research interests have led to scholarly presentations on several continents: from across the African Diaspora in Senegal and Ghana in West Africa to Johannesburg, South Africa, and the University of the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean—to Europe, at L’Universite’ Paris 8 in France, Lund University in Sweden, and Ramon Lhull University in Spain—to Asia, at Nihon University in Tokyo, Japan.  Her scholarly articles are published in numerous literary and technical journals, and her first book was published in 2010.  Currently, she is completing her second book, Re-membering and Surviving:  Representation of the Vietnam War in African American Fiction, under contract with Michigan State University Press.  Dr. Hanshaw earned the B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English with a minor in French.  Her daughter, Dr. Nneka T. Hanshaw Breaux, is a Regulatory and Compliance Manager (Ph.D., Chemistry, Purdue) at DowDuPont, Inc., Indianapolis, IN; and her son, Dr. Okera S. Hanshaw (M.D., U. of Michigan) is an Anesthesiologist at Piedmont Healthcare Hospitals, Atlanta, Georgia.


Ph. D.       English, University of Mississippi, University, MS, 2003
M. A.       English, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 1973                     
B.A.         English, Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS, 1969
   Tougaloo - Brown University Exchange Program, Providence, RI, 1968 

  Teaching Interests:

African American Literature
Multi-Ethnic Literature
Technical Writing

Recent Courses:



Conversations with Yusef Komunyakaa

Conversations with Yusef Komunyakaa.  Jackson, MS: 
University Press of Mississippi, 2010.







In Progress

Re-membering and Surviving:  Representation of the Vietnam War in African American Fiction (Michigan State University Press)



Articles and Book Chapters

Book Chapters 

“‘He Said’; ‘She Said’; ‘We Said’:  Cultural Memory and African American Literary Pedagogy” in Memory and the Narrative Imagination in the African and Diaspora Experience. ed. Tom Spencer-Walters. Troy, MI:  Bedford Publishers (in press).

“Refusal to be Can (n) on Fodder:  African American Representation of the Vietnam War and Canon Formation,” in Thirty Years After:  New Essays on Vietnam War Literature, Film, and Other Arts. ed. Mark Heberle Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom:  Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009.

 “Dear Michelle,” in Go, Tell Michelle:  African American Women Write to the First Lady. Eds  Barbara  Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram.  Albany, NY:  SUNY Press, 2009. 


“Representation of the ‘Two-Headed Doctor’ in African American Fiction:  Tricksterism, Duality and  Comparative Worldviews in Chesnutt’s The Conjure >Woman,” Journal of the AfricanLiterature Association 2.1 (Winter/Spring 2008):  48-59.

"Using Information Technology for Strategic Growth from Single-Mission Transportation Company to  Multi-faceted Global Logistics Corporation,” Co-authored with Dr. Lemuria Carter, Journal of Cases in Information Technology10.3 (July-September 2008):  11-23.

“Spinning the Anansean Web:  Black Vietnam War Literature, Vernacular Theory, and Captain Blackman,” The Literary GriotInternational Journal of Black Expressive Culture Studies,  8.2  (Spring/Fall 1996):  1-35.

Rev. of The Evolution of Gospel.  Perf. Sounds of Blackness.  A & M Records.  “Record Reviews.” Rejoice:  The Gospel Magazine  (Aug/Sep 1991):  27.


“Akwabaa.”  The Griot:  The Journal of African American Studies 29.2 (Fall 2010) 43.

The Time Has Come:  Lines Composed in Anticipation of the Inauguration of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama,” The Griot:  The Journal of African American Studies 29.1 (Spring 2010) 24.


Executive Editor, The Conveyor, A Quarterly Publication of James Group International, Detroit, MI 2008 to present

Honors and Awards

  • State Pride Award, “for distinguished contributions to the missions of research, teaching and service,” English Department, Mississippi State University, 2010 and 2011
  • Guest Speaker, Women’s History Month, “The Evolving Role of America’s First Ladies,” University of North Carolina, Wilmington, NC, March 2009
  • Special Guest,  as Contributing writer to Go, Tell Michelle, Mississippi Arts  Commission “Arts Hour,” Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB – 91.3 FM and 91.3-2HD),  Jackson, MS , June 2009           
  • Researcher of the Month, College of Arts and Sciences, Mississippi State University,  2008
  • Academic Excellence Fund Award, College of Arts and Sciences, Mississippi State University, 2007
  • Inducted into “SHS Hall of the Famous,” “in recognition of being a champion for  women and  minorities in government and academia,  as an educator, writer, editor, and nationally recognized scholar,” Starkville, MS,  2007
  • Danforth Associateship for Outstanding Teachers in the Sciences and Humanities,  Danforth Foundation,  1980-1986
  • Awarded nine Letters of Commendation and two Special Act Awards for editing and consulting by the following organizations:  US Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS; Coastal Engineering Research Center’s Field Research Facility, Duck, NC;  and Civil Works Directorate, Office of the Chief of Engineers, Washington, DC, 1984-1987
  • Selected for National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute,  “Southern Black Culture:  The African Heritage and the American Experience,” Atlanta University Center/Spelman, Atlanta, GA, 1982
  • Woodrow Wilson Fellow, 1969-1972
  • National Achievement Scholar, 1965-1969

Professional Service

Referee:  African American Review, Southern Quarterly, The Literary Griot        
Advisory Board Member-Elect:  Southern Conference on African American Studies,
Inc., Houston, TX 
Funded Grant: NCBS Community Engagement Grant, “OCTS/HHS Educational Enhancement Initiative,” 2009