Skip to main content
Skip to main content

La Marr Jurelle Bruce

LJ Bruce white shirt 2021

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, American Studies
Affiliate Faculty, School of Music
Affiliate Faculty, The Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Affiliate Faculty, School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Affiliate faculty, Department of African American Studies

(301) 405-1356

2324 Tawes Hall
Get Directions

Research Expertise

African American/African Diaspora
Black Studies
Everyday Life
Literary Theory
Popular Culture
Queer Theory

La Marr Jurelle Bruce (B.A. Columbia, Ph.D. Yale) is a cultural and literary critic, Black/black studies devotee, first-generation college graduate, and Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. His scholarship explores and activates black expressive cultures—spanning literature, film, music, theatre, religion, and the art and aesthetics of quotidian black life. Throughout his work, he is especially attentive to blackness and feeling: the phenomenological, affective, erotic, and sensuous matters of life across the diaspora. More broadly, his interests include popular culture studies, performance theory, disability studies, queer theory, psychoanalysis, and theories and praxes of love.

Winner of the Joe Weixlmann Prize from African American Review, Dr. Bruce has work featured or forthcoming in American Quarterly, The Black Scholar, GLQ, Oxford Bibliographies in African American Studies, Social Text, and TDR, as well as the anthologies No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies (Duke University Press) and The Mad Studies Reader (Routledge Press). Along the way, Dr. Bruce has earned grants and fellowships from Beinecke Library at Yale University, the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia, the Ford Foundation, the Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies at Yale, the Mellon Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Summer Institute on Tenure and Professional Advancement at Duke University. In 2018, he delivered the endowed Stirling Lecture in the Department of English at Vanderbilt University.

His debut book, How to Go Mad without Losing Your Mind: Madness and Black Radical Creativity (Duke University Press), received the Nicolás Cristóbal Guillén Batista Outstanding Book Award from the Caribbean Philosophical Association. He's currently in the thick of a project on—and experiment in—the convergence of love and madness. He sometimes calls it The Afromantic.