The Black Literary Network consists of our four portals – the Novel Generator Machine, the Literary Data Gallery, the Multithreaded Literary Briefs, and the Remarkable Receptions podcast – designed to make information and ideas about African American novels widely available. The portals for the Network address several basic yet enduring questions: What’s a good African American novel to read? What’s the story behind the publication of some famous novels by black writers? What’s the relationship of one novel to dozens of other novels? What key terms assist us in understanding the works of black writers?
Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and coordinated by the Project on the History of Black Writing, a research unit in the Department of English, the Network includes contributions by scholars of African American literature, computer scientists, Digital Humanities scholars, illustrators, graphic designers, voice actors, and sound engineers. The Network is a coordinated effort that puts to use decades of active work identifying knowledge gaps and developing humanities resources for research and public engagement.