Laurence Prescott

Laurence Prescott
Professor Emeritus of Spanish and African American Studies
Laurence  Prescott Profile Image


After more than twenty years on the faculty of Penn State University and more than thirty years in higher education, Professor Prescott retired from Penn State at the end of 2011. He remembers fondly the kind and thoughtful “despedida” given him by his departmental colleagues and cherishes the unswerving friendships developed over the decades. In addition to enjoying being with his family and taking more time “to smell the roses,” he continues to research and publish in areas for which he earned distinction as a pioneering scholar. These include Afro-Latin American literature and culture, Afro-Colombian writers, and African American life and culture in Latin American travel writings.

Regarding recent activities, Professor Prescott was invited to be a contributor to the projected Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography, to be published by Oxford UP. He has written the Introduction for a special issue of Revista Negritud devoted to Afro-Colombian Literature and Culture, in which his “Contribution to a Bibliography of Afro-Colombian Writers” is also slated to appear. 

Selected Publications:

  • “Liberating Blackness: The Theme of Whitening in Two Colombian Short Stories.” Callaloo 35.2 (2012): 475-493.
  • “Yo también soy América”: Latin American Receptions of Langston Hughes’s American Dream.” Critical Insights: Langston Hughes. Ed. R. Baxter Miller. Ipswich, MA: Salem Press, 2012. 255-274.
  • “Poesía negra en Colombia: el legado duradero de Helcías Martán Góngora.” Rev. of Poesía afrocolombiana (Cali: Adelaida Hurtado de Martán [Talleres graficos de Feriva S.A.], 2008. 329 p.), by Helcías Martán Góngora; comp. Alfonso Martán Bonilla. Boletín cultural y bibliográfico XLVII – Núm. 84 (2013): 186-188.
  • Rev. of El despertar de las comunidades afrocolombianas; relatos de cinco líderes: Dorina Hernández, Libia Grueso, Carlos Rosero, Marino Córdoba, Zulia Mena. Edited by María Inés Martínez. Houston: Editorial LACASA; San Juan, Puerto Rico: Centro de Investigaciones Sociales, 2012. 307 p. Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos 37.2 (Invierno 2013): 387-390.