Berkeley English Faculty

Bryan Wagner

Bryan Wagner

Associate Professor

416 Wheeler
Tuesday 12-2
bwagner@berkeley.edu


Professional Statement

Bryan Wagner is Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on African American expression in the context of slavery and its aftermath, and he has interests in legal history and vernacular culture. His books include Disturbing the Peace: Black Culture and the Police Power after Slavery (Harvard University Press, 2009) and The Tar Baby: A Global History (Princeton University Press, 2017).  A book on The Wild Tchoupitoulas—a landmark album of processional call-and-response music arranged as electric funk—is forthcoming in the 33 1/3 Series from Bloomsbury. A critical edition, The Life and Legend of Bras-Coupé: The Fugitive Slave Who Fought the Law, Ruled the Swamp, Danced at Congo Square, Invented Jazz, and Died for Love, is forthcoming from LSU Press. A co-edited collection of essays, Looking for Law in All the Wrong Places, is forthcoming from Fordham University Press. Current research includes a collaborative work, Slavery and Conspiracy in the Atlantic World.


Books
The Tar Baby: A Global History
The Tar Baby: A Global History

The Tar Baby offers a fresh analysis of a deceptively simple story about a wolf, a rabbit, and a doll made of tar and turpentine. Examining the story's variation and reception, Bryan Wagner argues that the tar baby is best understood not merely as a ....(read more)

Looking for Law in All the Wrong Places
Looking for Law in All the Wrong Places

For many inside and outside the legal academy, the right place to look for law is in constitutions, statutes, and judicial opinions. This book looks for law in the “wrong places”—sites and spaces in which no formal law appears. These may be geographi....(read more)

The Wild Tchoupitoulas
The Wild Tchoupitoulas

The Wild Tchoupitoulas is a definitive expression of the modern New Orleans sound, drawing upon carnival traditions stretching back a century. Music chanted in the streets with tambourines and makeshift percussion is transformed throughout the album ....(read more)


Recent English Courses Taught
fall, 2019

24/1

Freshman Seminar: Walt Whitman

C136/1

Special Topics: Harlem Renaissance

166/9

Special Topics: New Orleans

spring, 2019

24/1

Freshman Seminar: Emily Dickinson

C136/1

Topics in American Studies: Harlem Renaissance

summer, 2019

166AC/1

Special Topics in American Cultures: Race and Ethnicity in Classical Hollywood Cinema

fall, 2018

24/1

Freshman Seminar: Emily Dickinson

133A/1

African American Literature and Culture Before 1917

spring, 2018

190/5

Research Seminar: Harlem Renaissance

fall, 2017

24/3

Freshman Seminar: African American Poetry

133A/1

African American Literature and Culture Before 1917

C136/1

Topics in American Studies: New Orleans

spring, 2017

166/3

Special Topics: Slavery and Conspiracy

190/2

Research Seminar: Harlem Renaissance

summer, 2017

N166/1

Special Topics: Film Noir