Kincaid, Davis Accept Visiting Positions In Afro-Am Studies

Novelist Jamaica Kincaid and jazz musician and composer Anthony Davis will return to Harvard for extended visiting professorships, Afro-American Studies Department Chair Henry Louis Gates Jr. said yesterday.

Gates said Kincaid has accepted a five-year appointment in the English and Afro-American Studies departments, and Davis will teach for the next three years in music and Afro-Am. Both taught at Harvard last semester.

The West Indian author this year taught Afro-American Studies 132z, "Domestic Life in Literature," and a fiction section of English Car, a creative writing class.

Davis offered classes this year on the history of jazz and African-American composers, both in the Afro-American Studies Department.

Peter Glenshaw, Afro-Am's department administrator, said both scholars will likely be teaching the same courses they offered last year, but that Davis will probably not repeat his class on the history of jazz.

Kincaid, 43, is the author of such acclaimed works as the 1983 novel Annie John and a well-known story collection, At the Bottom of the River. She is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and has written for Rolling Stone, among other publications.

Associate Professor of Music Graeme Boone said Davis, who was nominated for a Grammy Award for his 1986 opera "'X'--The Life and Times of Malcolm X," is distinguished both for his jazz piano playing and his classical and jazz composition.

"His jazz playing is inseparable from his composition," said Boone. "I think he's a composer who likes challenging boundaries."

Davis has a long list of commissions and published works, including compositions for orchestra, choir and brass.