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College of Arts and Sciences


Nancy Tolson

Title: Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department: African-American Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-1858
Office: Gambrell Hall, 258E
Nancy Tolson


Ph.D University of Iowa
M.A. University of Iowa
B.A. Madonna University

Areas of Specialization

Black Children’s Literature
Black Folklore
20th Century Black Literature and Culture


A proud product of the Detroit Public Schools, Dr. Nancy D. Tolson received her Masters and PhD from the University of Iowa, researching the history and development of Black children’s literature. She has been a Ford Fellow, a NEH facilitator, as well as a Fulbright scholar/lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (Ghana) while conducting research on West African folklore. For three years, Tolson was an Illinois Humanities’ “Road Scholar” storytelling throughout the state. She is the author of Black Children’s Literature Got de Blues: The Creativity of Black Writers and Illustrators (2008) and Tales of Africa (1998). She is a commissioner for the Columbia Museum of Art, as well as an active docent there.  More of Nancy’s critical and creative work can be found in various academic journals and books.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.