Bernard, Emily

Emily Bernard is the Julian Lindsay Green & Gold Professor of English. She holds a B. A. and a Ph. D. in American Studies from Yale University.

Bernard has received fellowships from the Alphonse A. Fletcher Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Arts Council, and the W. E. B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University. She was the inaugural James Weldon Johnson Senior Research Fellow in African American Studies at Yale University. Her published works include: Remember Me to Harlem: The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten, which was a New York TimesNotable Book of the Year; Some of My Best Friends: Writers on Interracial Friendship, which was chosen by the New York Public Library as a Book for the Teen Age; and Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs, which received a 2010 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work.

Her book, Carl Van Vechten and the Harlem Renaissance: A Portrait in Black and White, was published by Yale University Press in 2012.Her most recent work,Black is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine, was released in January 2019. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Lovecalls Black is the Body: “one of the most beautiful, elegant memoirs I’ve ever read.”

Bernard’s essays have been reprinted in several “Best Of” anthologies, and her books have been praised in O Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, the New York Times, Essence Magazine, the New York Review of Books, and on National Public Radio. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Emily Bernard lives in Burlington, Vermont with her husband, author and professor, John Gennari, and their twin thirteen-year old daughters.