Tony Bolden

Professor of African and African-American Studies
and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Primary office:
Bailey Hall, 12G
Bailey Hall, Rm 12G
1440 Jayhawk Bld
Lawrence, KS 66045


Dr. Tony Bolden is a Professor of African and African-American Studies. His teaching and research interests include a broad spectrum of topics related to artistic expression in the African Diaspora, especially black music and literature. His book, Afro-Blue: Improvisations in African American Poetry and Culture (2004), is among the studies that prefigured the outpouring of scholarship devoted to black poetry today. Bolden has also figured prominently in funk studies. In 2007, he organized a two-day symposium titled “Eruptions of Funk” at the University of Alabama, one of the earliest academic forums on the subject. Bolden continued his success at The University of Kansas, organizing six mini symposia titled “Make It Funky” between 2010 and 2016. Additionally, in 2013, he guest-edited “The Funk Issue,” a special issue of American Studies that included eleven peer-reviewed essays as well as poetry, photos, and artwork on the theme of funk. Bolden’s new book, Groove Theory: The Blues Foundation of Funk, will be published by University Press of Mississippi in November. Bolden continues to publish articles on black writing and politics. He is also Editor of The Langston Hughes Review, and his current projects include a monograph on black writing as well as a collection of autobiographical essays.

You can learn more about Bolden’s work on funk by visiting his website:

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