Texas Tech University

Michael Borshuk

Michael Borshuk is Associate Professor of African American Literature and Director of the Humanities Center at Texas Tech. He is the author of the book Swinging the Vernacular: Jazz and African American Modernist Literature (Routledge, 2006), which won the 2008 President's Book Award for outstanding faculty publication at Texas Tech. He has also published widely on African American literature, American modernism, and music. Recent projects include a 2022 special edited issue on Steely Dan for Rock Music Studies and the edited collection Jazz and American Culture for Cambridge University Press. For ten years, from 1999 to 2009, he was a regular contributor on jazz for Coda magazine. His website is http://michaelborshuk.com.

Ph.D. Alberta


Swinging the Vernacular: Jazz and African American Modernist Literature (Routledge, 2006)

Jazz and American Culture (edited collection, Cambridge University Press, 2024) 

Edited Journal Issue

“Steely Dan at 50.” Rock Music Studies. 9.3 (2022).

With Robert Brazeau. “Scripting Urban Culture II.” Studies in the Literary Imagination (2008).

With Robert Brazeau. “Scripting Urban Culture I.” Studies in the Literary Imagination (2007). 

Articles and Book Chapters

“All that Jazz: Black Music as Muse.” The Cambridge History of African American Poetry. Ed. Keith Leonard. Cambridge University Press, forthcoming. 20pp.

“Introduction: A Brief History of Jazz in American Culture: Five Moments from Jim Crow to George Floyd.” Jazz and American Culture. Ed. Michael Borshuk. Cambridge University Press, forthcoming. 23pp.

“How to Watch Jazz: The Importance of Performance.” Jazz and American Culture. Ed. Michael Borshuk. Cambridge University Press, forthcoming. 20pp.

“Jelly Rolls, Jungle Music, and the Eternal Tom-Tom Beating of the Negro Heart: Teaching Jazz and Blues in the Harlem Renaissance.”  Teaching the Harlem Renaissance.  Ed. Venetria K. Patton.  New York: Modern Languages Association, forthcoming.  14pp.

“Red Carpet Radicals: Public Feminist Scholarship and the Sexism|Cinema Film Series.” (authored with Donald E. Lavigne, Elizabeth A. Sharp, Jessica E. Smith, Dana A. Weiser, and Allison Whitney). Public Feminisms: From Academy to Community. Ed. Carrie N. Baker and Aviva Dove-Viebahn. Ann Arbor, MI: Lever Press, 2023. 19-36.

“Jazz, Performance, and Modernist Embodiment in Hughes's Early Writing.” Langston Hughes in Context. Ed. Vera M. Kutzinski and Anthony Reed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2023. 21-32.

“Steely Dan at 50,” Rock Music Studies 9.3 [Special Issue: “Steely Dan at 50”] (2022): 249-64. Available at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19401159.2022.2008165.

“The Harlem Renaissance.” Ralph Ellison in Context. Ed. Paul Devlin. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2021. 219-229.

“‘Schoolboy Takes the Stage': Albert Murray's The Seven League Boots as Dramatization of an Aesthetic and Philosophy of Music.” MELUS 45.3 (2020): 129-151.

The Sound of Jazz as Essential Image: Television, Performance, and the Modern Jazz Canon.”  Jazz Research Journal 12.1 (2018): 12-35.

“‘Pushing Into Open Air': Poetry, Art, and Public Space in Educating Audiences about Mass Incarceration.”  (authored with Alfredo Aguilar, Shayla Corprew, Jill Murphy Elberson, Apryl Lewis, and Amelia Reyes).  Spark: A 4C4Equality Journal. 

“‘The Blues Always Been Here': African American Music and Black Modernism in August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.”  Essays on Music and Language in Modernist Literature: Musical Modernism.  Ed. Katherine O'Callaghan.  New York: Routledge, 2018.  237-52.

“The ‘Professional' Singer-Songwriter in the 1970s.”  The Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter. Eds. Katherine Williams and Justin A. Williams.  Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2016.  89-99.

“True Tales and 8 Mile Memoirs: Exploring the Imaginary City of Detroit.” Studies in the Literary Imagination 41.1 (2008): 107-34. 

“‘So Black, So Blue': Ralph Ellison, Louis Armstrong and the Bebop Aesthetic.”Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture. Special Issue: “Blue Notes: Toward a New Jazz Discourse.” 37.2 (2004): 261-84.

“A Synthesis of Racial Caress: Hybrid Modernism in the Jazz Poetry of William Carlos Williams and Mina Loy.” Rigor of Beauty: Essays in Commemoration of William Carlos Williams. Ed. Ian D. Copestake. Bern: Peter Lang, 2004. 255-71.

“Queen of the Colonial Exposition: Josephine Baker's Strategic Performance.” Critical Voicings of Black Liberation: Resistance and Representation in the Americas. Eds. Kimberley L. Phillips, Hermine Pinson, Lorenzo Thomas and Hanna Wallinger. Forum for European Contributions to African American Studies. Volume 11. Munster, Germany: LIT, 2003. 47-65.

“Noisy Modernism: The Cultural Politics of Langston Hughes's Early Jazz Poetry.” Langston Hughes Review. 17.1-2 (2002): 4-22.

“An Intelligence of the Body: Disruptive Parody through Dance in the Early Performances of Josephine Baker.” EmBODYing Liberation: The Black Body in American Dance. Eds. Alison Goeller and Dorothea Fischer-Hornung. Forum for European Contributions to African American Studies. Volume 4. Munster, Germany: LIT, 2001. 41-58.  

Reprinted in The Josephine Baker Critical Reader: Selected Writings on the Entertainer and Activist.  Ed. Mae G. Henderson and Charlene B. Regester.  Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2017.  128-140.   


2018: Texas Tech Integrated Scholar Award

2011: President's Excellence in Teaching Award

2008: President's Book Award for Outstanding Faculty Publication


Associate Professor
African American Literature, American Modernism

Email: michael.borshuk@ttu.edu
Office: 425