Melvin Donalson received his Ph.D. from Brown University and is a Professor in the English Department at California State University-Los Angeles. He researches and teaches the intersection of gender, sexuality, and sexual violence within American literature and popular culture. In the academic arena, he has served as an editor on two texts: Cornerstones: An Anthology of African American Literature (1996), and the Encyclopedia of 20TH Century African American Literature (2007). His critical books include Black Directors in Hollywood (2003), Masculinity in the Interracial Buddy Film (2006), and Hip Hop in American Cinema (2007). Donalson is a published poet, short story writer, and essayist, and he has written three novels: The River Woman (1988), Communion (2012), and The Third Woman (2015). Additionally, he is a screenwriter and filmmaker who has written, produced, and directed the short films, A Room Without Doors (1998) and Performance (2009).