Distributed March 31, 2003
News Service Contact: Mark Nickel
English Department dedication
Henry Louis Gates Jr. to speak on “Encyclopedia Africana” April 7
Noted scholar and teacher of African and African-American history and culture Henry Louis Gates Jr. will speak on “W.E.B. Du Bois and the Encyclopedia Africana” Monday, April 7, 2003, at 5 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, located on The College Green. This lecture is the keynote address in a series of events planned to celebrate the dedication of the English Department’s new academic home.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Noted historian and author Henry Louis Gates Jr. will speak on “W.E.B. Du Bois and the Encyclopedia Africana” Monday, April 7, 2003, at 5 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Gates is the chairman of Harvard’s Department of Afro-American Studies and director of its W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research. This keynote lecture is one of several events planned for April 7 and 8 to celebrate the dedication of the new English Department facility.
Gates is a world-renowned scholar and teacher of African and African-American history and culture. He has authored several books and written numerous essays and reviews on a broad range of African and African-American issues, including slavery, race, feminism, dialect and identity. In 1989 he won the American Book Award for The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism. He recently completed his second major documentary, America Beyond the Color Line.
In 2000, Gates and Cornel West, then a Harvard professor, authored the widely acclaimed The African American Century: How Black Americans Have Shaped Our Century. That came on the heels of the authoritative and groundbreaking Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience, a collaboration with K. Anthony Appiah. More recently, Gates authenticated the first novel by a female fugitive slave, The Bondwoman's Narrative, by Hanna Crafts.
A leading scholar of African-American studies for nearly three decades, Gates is a graduate of Yale and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from Clare College at the University of Cambridge. He has taught at Harvard since 1991 and was previously a faculty member at Duke, Cornell and Yale. Gates has received dozens of awards and honors, including the National Humanities Award presented by President Bill Clinton in 1998, the MacArthur Prize and the Jefferson Lectureship. He has been named one of the “25 Most Influential Americans” by Time magazine and has received some 40 honorary degrees.
The new English Department facility is at the intersection of Angell and Brown streets in the building formerly known as Carr House. The 19th-century building was renovated and expanded between 2000 and early 2002 to provide office space for the faculty from the English Department and the Creative Writing Program, formerly housed in four buildings. The new facility also holds classrooms and is home to the McCormack Family Theater. The facility encompasses 37,100 square feet. The architect for the project was the Providence firm Lerner-Ladds Bartels.
For more information, call 863-3683.