Remarkable Receptions

The 50th Episode of Remarkable Receptions - ep. by Howard Rambsy II

December 16, 2022 Howard Rambsy II Season 8 Episode 1
Remarkable Receptions
The 50th Episode of Remarkable Receptions - ep. by Howard Rambsy II
Show Notes Transcript

A short take about our podcast -- a project that offers commentary about popular and critical responses to African American novels, novelists, and more. 

Written by Howard Rambsy II

Read by Kassandra Timm.

You’re listening to Remarkable Receptions – a podcast about popular and critical responses to African American novels. 

This episode marks our 50th episode. So rather than describe the responses to a novel or author, we decided to mark this occasion, this small milestone in the brief history of our podcast project by offering a summary on some of the subjects we’ve covered so far. 

Our focus on reception refers to extensive and unusual responses to works by black authors. That includes highlighting novels such as Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and Richard Wright’s Native Son, which have been reviewed and analyzed hundreds of times over the decades. 

We also use receptions to signal the different wavelengths or frequencies that African American writers and literary works travel along or reach.

We’ve produced episodes on novels by Zora Neale Hurston and Colson Whitehead. We have episodes on Pauline Hopkins and Paul Beatty. We have episodes about Octavia Butler, Jesmyn Ward, Ralph Ellison, and Frances E. W. Harper. 

One of our most popular episodes is about a photograph from 1977 featuring a group of black women artists. The episode describes how the photograph, which includes Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, June Jordan, and others, captures a special moment in literary history. That popularity highlights the reach of literary reception well beyond the bound book.  

We have episodes about film adapted from novels by Alice Walker and Terry McMillan, and we have episodes about prominent African American comic book characters John Stewart (the Green Lantern) and Static Shock. 

24 different scholars have produced scripts for our podcast. This series gave scholars-turned-scriptwriters the chances to reach audiences of listeners like you. 

The production of audio compositions on black authors and their works represents new possibilities for the field of African American literary studies. Historically, scholarship on black literature has been tied to print, to the pages of journals and books. But Remarkable Receptions has sought to bring African American literary studies to the realm of podcasting, making information on compositions by black writers available on Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Buzzsprout, and other platforms. 

This is a podcast about African American novels and novelists. You’re listening to Remarkable Receptions. 


This episode was written by Howard Rambsy. The episode was edited by Elizabeth Cali.


This podcast, Remarkable Receptions, is part of the Black Literature Network, a joint project from African American literary studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and the History of Black Writing at the University of Kansas. The project was made possible by the generous support of the Mellon Foundation.  For more information, visit