Harvard's Afro-American Studies Faculty

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Lawrence D. Bobo

Professor of Afro-American Studies and Sociology

EDUCATION: B.A. from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles; Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

INTERESTS: Survey research on race and ethnic relations; work on intergroup attitudes.

James Lorand Matory

Professor of Afro-American Studies and Anthropology

EDUCATION: B.A. from Harvard University; Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago.

INTERESTS: African and Afro-Latin religions -- particularly, Afro-Latin religions in the United States; gender, race, and politics in West Africa and Latin America.

Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham

Professor of Afro-American Studies and Professor of African American Religious History

EDUCATION: B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; M.A. from Howard University; and Ph.D. in American history from the University of Rochester.

PREVIOUS ACADEMIC POSITIONS: She has taught at Dartmouth and the universities of Pennsylvania and Maryland.

INTERESTS: African American women's history, specifically the role of women in the African American Baptist Church; racial and gender identity.

Kwame Anthony Appiah

Professor of Afro-American Studies and Philosophy Director of Undergraduate Studies ("Head Tutor") Associate of Mather House

EDUCATION: B.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy at Cambridge University in England.

PREVIOUS ACADEMIC POSITIONS: His first teaching post was at the University of Ghana. He has since taught at Cambridge, Yale, Cornell, and Duke universities.

INTERESTS: African and African American philosophy and literary theory; the history and theory of nationalism.

Henry Louis Gates Jr.

W.E.B. DuBois Professor of the Humanities, Chair of Afro-American Studies, Director of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research

EDUCATION: B.A. summa cum laude from Yale University in 1973, in English Language and Literature. M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from Clare College at the University of Cambridge.

PREVIOUS ACADEMIC POSITIONS: He has taught at Yale, Cornell, and Duke Universities.

INTERESTS: African and African American literary criticism and history; cultural studies; literary theory.

Suzanne Preston Blier

Professor of Fine Arts and Afro-American Studies

EDUCATION: B.A. from the University of Vermont; Ph.D. in art history and archaeology from Columbia University.

PREVIOUS ACADEMIC POSITIONS: She has taught at Columbia and Northwestern universities and Vassar College.

INTEREST: Art and architecture of Africa; art historical and socio-cultural study. She is the editor-in-chief of an electronic media project at Harvard called Baobab: Visual Sources in African Visual Culture.

Cornel West

Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. University Professor, Professor of Afro-American Studies and Professor of the Philosophy of Religion

EDUCATION: B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard University in Near Eastern studies. M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Princeton University.

PREVIOUS ACADEMIC POSITIONS: He served as Professor of Religion and Director of the Afro-American Studies Department at Princeton University.

INTERESTS: Black critical thought; cultural criticism; social theory; modern and postmodern philosophy and literature, and the future of American youth.

Werner Sollors

Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Professor of English Literature, and Professor of Afro-American Studies Associate of Pforzheimer House

EDUCATION: B.A. from Wilberforce University; Ph.D. in English, German, comparative literature, and American studies at the Freie Universitat Berlin.

PREVIOUS ACADEMIC POSITIONS: He has taught at the Freie Universitat and Columbia University.

INTERESTS: Literary history of the 20th century; interracial themes in literature; authors Charles Chestnut, Jean Toomer, and Charles Johnson. …