John Keene, chair of the Department  of African-American and African Studies and professor of English and African–American Studies at Rutgers University–Newark

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Photography: 
courtesy John D. & Catherine T. Macarthur Foundation

Celebrated writer, historian, and artist John Keene, chair of the Department of African-American and African Studies and professor of English and African-American Studies at Rutgers University–Newark, was awarded a 2018 MacArthur Fellowship. The prestigious honor, which comes with a $625,000 award, recognizes those who have shown exceptional originality in their creativity. A recipient of the American Book Award, Keene most recently wrote Counternarratives (New Directions, 2015), winner of the 2018 Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction. His work explores the ways in which historical narratives shape contemporary lives while reenvisioning these narratives from the perspectives of those whose voices have been suppressed.