Riché Richardson spent the first 10 years of her career teaching in the department of English at the University of California, Davis and in 2008, joined the faculty at Cornell University’s Africana Studies and Research Center. She is primarily a scholar of literary studies and offers courses in areas such as African American literature, gender studies, black feminism, Southern studies, critical theory, popular culture, and Africana studies. Her undergraduate courses are designed to help students build their skills in speaking, listening, critical thinking, writing, research, close reading and textual analysis while expanding their technological literacies, skills sets that often benefit them as professionals. Her graduate seminars accomplish similar goals while cultivating the development of various professional skills and often unfold as multi-year course sequences. Increasingly, in her teaching, she has worked to design courses that experiment with technology, that draw on multi-media, that meaningfully extend teaching and learning opportunities beyond the classroom, and that promote community engagement. She works constantly to advance her knowledge of pedagogy and has participated in workshops such as the Summer Institute for Teaching and Technology at UC Davis (2006), and the Faculty Institute for Diversity (2014), and the Faculty Institute for Engaged Learning and Teaching at Cornell (2017). Twice she has served as the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the ASRC (2009-11; 2013-15). She served in the Undergraduate Curriculum Working Group in the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell and has served on the advisory board of Cornell's Center for Teaching Excellence. She has benefited from the examples of many great mentors through the years. The syllabi for her undergraduate courses often feature sections on reading and study skills for the subject at hand. The graduate syllabi that she has developed in her career also have a distinctive form and style and are valued by students on their own terms as research and learning tools. These resources are her springboard for a dynamic teaching approach in the classroom. Links to a few are available on this page, including the course sequences that she has developed in African American literature and the related handouts, discussion questions and bibliographies.
Pictured with English Creative Writing faculty at A.D. White House awaiting limo to the reception for the Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison at Cornell President David Skorton's house during her October, 2009 visit to her alma mater.
Pictured with Gerard Aching, department director, and very excited to help welcome Toni Morrison to a luncheon in her honor at the Africana Studies and Research Center during her visit to campus in March, 2013
Selected Syllabi for Graduate Seminars:
Critical Masculinity Studies, Toni Morrison's Novels, New Black Southern Women Writers, The African American Novel
bell hooks Books, The Oprah Book Club and African American Literature, the Global South, African American Literature, African American Literary Theory and Criticism
Syllabi for selected Undergraduate Courses:
Toni Morrison's Novels, African American Literature to 1930s, African American Literature 1930s to Present
From the Harlem Renaissance to New Harlem Novels, Black Panther Party Autobiography, the African American Short Story
Introduction to Africana Studies
Toni Morrison pictured with exhibition of Richardson's art quilts put together to help welcome her to the Africana Center in March of 2013, including the art quilt "Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison" made in her honor in 2011 in honor of her 80th birthday.
Reflections from Students:
". . . The Toni Morrison's novels course . . . was one of the very best English classes (and English classes are my favorite classes) I took at Cornell! I keep on telling other students to enroll for it whenever it's offered because it's incredible to read an author's entire body of work, and there are few classes on black literature offered by the English department, 2019
“Dear Professor Richardson, I just want you to know that I really love your class; as a result, Wednesdays have become my favorite day of the week! My love for Morrison just continues to grow as I read and re-read her amazing novels, and I am so glad to now be learning so much more of the background and themes that I had not noticed or learned of before,” 2016
"Since I am in a position of power, as a teacher, I try my best not to put forth my own opinions because I do not want to influence my students to be like me, or think like me. Rather, I want to show students issues and arguments and let them draw their own conclusions, propose their own questions. I learned that from my dearest professor and mentor Riché Richardson," 2016
"My paper on Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is attached. I want to add that this was an extremely worthwhile and enriching assignment, and I recommend that you include this book and assignment in future classes. In my journey through Africana studies to this point, I have not read enough female authors and have not been required to grapple with the intense themes depicted in this assignment or to think about the "peculiar" position of a female slave. Your lectures on the book in class were illuminating, but being required to put forth original analytic thought took my understanding to a new level. It was a difficult assignment for me, not because the prompt or material was confusing in some way, but because I had to take emotional breaks throughout the construction of the paper. Whether or not I've adequately displayed it with my paper, I feel that this assignment contributed to my intellectual and emotional growth more than almost any other singular paper I've written so far at Cornell,"2014
"I want to thank you for the wonderful semester and let you know that you have been one of my favorite Professors at Cornell. I really have never had a Professor be as knowledgable and passionate about the subject material as you are. I was so excited to go to class every Tuesday, and you really inspired me to work hard and try for my best. I learned so much throughout the semester and could not stop talking about this class to my friends and family," 2011
Parties for The Global South (2008) and African American Literature (2003) Graduate Seminars at University of California, Davis
Highlights from Graduation as Dr. Richardson Served as Director of Undergraduate Studies in Africana Center at Cornell
"His enthusiasm was unbounded when he began to talk about you and your class. He told me he can't wait to go to your class, that you are the kindest, most inspiring professor he's ever known. He loves what he is learning , the critical analysis you are teaching him. You are quite a model for him. He feels alive with new thoughts and possibilities in looking at life," 2008
Invited keynote speaker. “Best Practices for Designing a New Course.” University-wide Get Set Teaching Conference. The Center for Teaching Excellence. Cornell University. Ithaca, New York. March 4, 2017.
Dr. Richardson's Office at Cornell