Karla Holloway

Karla Holloway

James B. Duke Distinguished Professor Emerita of English

External Address: 
304F Allen Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90015, Durham, NC 27708-0015
(919) 684-8993


Karla FC Holloway is James B.Duke Professor of English at Duke University. She also holds appointments in the Law School, Women's Studies and African & African American Studies. Her research and teaching interests focus on African American cultural studies, biocultural studies, gender, ethics and law. Professor Holloway serves on the boards of the Greenwall Foundation's Advisory Board in Bioethics, the Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies, and the Princeton University Council on the Study of Women and Gender. She is an affiliated faculty with the Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life and the Trent Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities. She has served as Dean of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Chair (and member) of Duke's Appointments, Promotion and Tenure Committee, and as an elected member of the Academic Council and its Executive Council. She is founding co-director of the John Hope Franklin Center and the Franklin Humanities Institute. Professor Holloway is the author of eight books, including Passed On: African-American Mourning Stories (2002) and BookMarks--Reading in Black and White, A Memoir (2006) completed during a residency in Bellagio, Italy as a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow. BookMarks was nominated for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for non-fiction. Professor Holloway spent Spring 2008 as Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow at Harvard University's DuBois Institute. The book she completed during that fellowship, Private Bodies/Public Texts: Race, Gender, & a Cultural Bioethics was published in 2011 by Duke U Press. Legal Fictions: Constituting Race, Composing Literatures will be published by Duke Press in 2014. Professor Holloway was recently elected to the Hastings Center Fellows Association--a selective group of leading researchers who have made a distinguished contribution to the field of bioethics. She has served as a member of Duke University's Board of Trustee's Committee on Honorary Degrees.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Michigan State University 1978

  • M.A., Michigan State University 1972

  • B.A., Talladega College 1971

Selected Grants

Public Perspectives and Experience Regarding Genetic Ancestry Testing awarded by National Institutes of Health (Collaborator). 2012 to 2016

Holloway, K. Legal Fictions: Constituting Race, Composing Literature. Duke University Press, 2014.

Holloway, K. Private Bodies/Public Texts: Race, Gender, and a Cultural Bioethics. Duke University Press, 2011.

Holloway, K. BookMarks: Reading in Black and White–A Memoir. Rutgers University Press, 2006.

Holloway, K. Passed On: African American Mourning Stories. Duke UP, 2002.

Holloway, K. Codes of Conduct: Race, Ethics, and the Color of Our Character. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1995.

Holloway, K. Moorings & Metaphors: Figures of Culture and Gender in Blk Women’s Lit. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1992.

Holloway, K. The Character of the Word: The Texts of Zora Neale Hurston. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1987.

Holloway, K. F. C., and S. Demetrakopoulos. “Remembering our foremothers: Older black women, politics of age, politics of survival as embodied in the novels of Toni Morrison.” The Other within Us: Feminist Explorations of Women and Aging, 2018, pp. 177–95. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9780429496059. Full Text

Holloway, K. “W.E.B.DuBois and The Right to Privacy.” African American Culture and Legal Discourse, edited by L. King and R. Schur, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

Holloway, K. “Bury the Thought.” Shaping Memories, edited by J. Gabbin, Univ of Mississippi Press, 2009.

Holloway, K. “Foreword: On Monuments and Documents.” Uncrowned Queens: African American Community Leaders of Western New York, vol. 3, 2006.

Holloway, K. “Zora Neale Hurston.” The Oxford Companion to Women’s Literature in the United States, edited by Cathy Davidson and Linda Wagner-Martin, Oxford UP, 2003, pp. 408–10.

Holloway, K. “The Race for Theory.” Literature on the Move: Comparing Diasporic Ethnicities in Europe and the Americas, edited by Dominique Marcais and et al, vol. 97, Heidelberg: Universitaetsverlag Carl, 2002, pp. 347–54.

Holloway, K. “Gender.” The Oxford Companion to African-American Literature, edited by William Andrews et al, New York: Oxford UP, 1997, pp. 312–15.

Holloway, K. “Narrative Time/Spiritual Text.” Faulkner/Morrison, Morrison/Faulkner, edited by C. Kolmerten et al., UP of Missisippi, 1997.

Holloway, K. “My Tongue is In My Friend’s Mouth.” Talking Gender: Public Images, Personal Journeys, and Political Critiques, U of North Carolina P, 1996, pp. 124–37.

Holloway, K. “The Body Politic.” Subjects and Citizens: From Ooronoko to Anita Hill, edited by C. Davidson and M. Moon, Durham: Duke UP, 1995, pp. 481–97.


Holloway, Karla F. C. “Their Bodies, Our Conduct: How Society and Medicine Produce Persons Standing in Need of End-of-Life Care.Journal of Palliative Medicine, vol. 19, no. 2, Feb. 2016, pp. 127–28. Epmc, doi:10.1089/jpm.2015.0256. Full Text

Holloway, K. “Beloved: An American Grammar Book.” Daedalus, vol. 143, no. 1, 2014, pp. 107–14.

Holloway, K. F. C. ““Vulnerable” populations—Medicine, race, and presumptions of identity.” Virtual Mentor, vol. 13, no. 2, Jan. 2011, pp. 124–27. Scopus, doi:10.1001/virtualmentor.2011.13.2.msoc1-1102. Full Text

Holloway, K. “Composing Private Bodies.” Hastings Center Matters, vol. Fall 2011, 2011.

Holloway, K. “Genomics, Arts & Popular Culture.” Annals of Scholarship: Arts Practices; Human Science in a Global Culture, vol. Fall, 2009.

Holloway, K. “Nothing’s Secret.” Duke Magazine, vol. 95, 2009.

Holloway, K. “The Passing of a Repast.” The Forum–American Assn of Education and Counseling, Oct. 2008.

Holloway, K. F. C. “Editor's afterword: Private bodies/public texts: Literature, science, and states of surveillance.” Literature and Medicine, vol. 26, no. 1, Jan. 2007, pp. 269–76. Scopus, doi:10.1353/lm.2008.0004. Full Text

Holloway, K. “What Would DuBois Do?Black Issues Book Review, 2007.


Holloway, K. “Shield the Children (On Public Death and Spectacle).” Raleigh News & Observer, 2014.

Holloway, K. “Speakers for the Dead (On Brain Death, Race and Cultures of Dying).” Newblackman (In Exile), 2014.

Holloway, K. “Media Coverage of Global Health: A Matter of Privacy.” Hastings Center Bioethics Forum, 2010.

Holloway, K. “The False Dividing Line of Race.” Raleigh News and Observer, Feb. 2008.

Holloway, K. “Hillary and Obama.” The State of Things Wunc–Npr, Jan. 2008.

Holloway, K. “The Return of One Drop?Raleigh News and Observer, Nov. 2007.

Holloway, K. “The Problem with Cosby.” Orlando Sentinel, Durham Herald Sun, Oct. 2007.

Holloway, K. “Polyheme–An Update?Durham Herald Sun, Sept. 2007.

Holloway, K. “Those Faces We Do Not Mourn.” Raleigh News and Observer, Aug. 2007.