Fellowship Program

The Fellowship Program is at the heart of the activities of the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute. Started in 1975 as the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, the Institute has annually appointed scholars who conduct individual research for a period of one to two semesters in a wide variety of fields related to African and African American Studies. With a record of supporting more than 300 Fellows since its founding, the Institute has arguably done more in its short existence to ensure the scholarly development of African and African American Studies than any other pre-doctoral or post-doctoral program in the United States.

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Fellows work in a range of fields and interests, including art and art history, Afro-Latin American research, design and the history of design, education, hiphop, African studies, the African diaspora, African American studies, literature, and creative writing.

Many former Fellows became major figures in the field, including George Frederickson (Stanford University), Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham (Harvard University), Nellie McKay (University of Wisconsin), Nell Irvin Painter (Princeton University), Arnold Rampersad (Stanford University), and Cornel West (Princeton University). Additionally, numerous scholars who came to the Institute as junior faculty members are now senior scholars in academic departments throughout the United States, and in Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Latin America, and several African countries.

A residential appointment at the Du Bois Institute offers considerable benefits to any scholar. We provide office space and a computer, use of a research assistant, and Fellows have full access to the extensive research and library resources of Harvard University. The Institute also houses the Image of the Black in Western Art archive and library, and a small reference library which is open to unlimited use during a Fellows’ term of appointment.

At the Du Bois Research Institute, scholars may pursue their research while interacting with other visiting scholars working at Harvard University. Fellows are expected to participate in a number of activities, including Fellows’ Workshops and, importantly, the weekly colloquium. Chaired by the Institute's Director, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the colloquia  offer Fellows the opportunity to share their work with Institute colleagues, Harvard faculty, graduate students, and others. Colloquia also allow Harvard faculty and visitors to present work in progress, and we have hosted presentations by Wole Soyinka, A. Leon Higginbotham, Ira Berlin, Orlando Patterson, Jamaica Kincaid, Hazel V. Carby, Zadie Smith, and many others.

The colloquia occur every Wednesday between 12:00 noon and 1:30 p.m. during the academic year and take place in the Thompson Room on the first floor of the Barker Center. Each presentation lasts approximately an hour, followed by open discussion. Media facilities and staffing are available and Fellows are encouraged to take advantage of the media resources for their presentations. The Harvard community and the surrounding Cambridge and Boston communities are invited and are welcome to bring a lunch. Attendance is required of all Institute Fellows.

Du Bois Fellows also have the opportunity to meet scholars from other Harvard Fellows Programs, such as the Kennedy School of Government, the Center for International Affairs, the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life, the Center for the Study of World Religions, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Humanities Center, the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, the Loeb Fellows of the Graduate School of Design, and the Nieman Foundation.

Announcing the 2019-2020 Fellows

The Hutchins Center for African & African American Research Announces its Seventh Class of W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute Fellows

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, has announced the 2019-2020 class of fellows.

“We are happy to welcome one of our most distinguished and exciting cohorts of W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute Fellows,” says Gates. “We look forward to an extraordinary range of artistic and scholarly work next academic year. Afro-Asian solidarity, the erotics of race, Indo-Caribbean identity in New York City, witchcraft and law in the British Empire, a contemporary chamber opera inspired by secret gatherings of enslaved African Americans, bioethics and African philosophy, and climate change and security threat in the West African Sahel are among the exciting projects which the 2019-2020 Class of Fellows will be pursuing at the W. E. B Du Bois Research Institute, housed in the Hutchins Center.”

2019-2020 Fellows

Hutchins Center

Ameeta Jaga

Senior Lecturer, University of Cape Town
Spring 2020: Mandela Mellon Fellow
Hutchins Center

Stacey Robinson

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, School of Art and Design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2019-2020: Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow

Stacey Robinson, an Assistant Professor of graphic design at the University of Illinois is...

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Anjie

Anjanette M. Chan Tack

Doctoral Candidate in Sociology, University of Chicago
2019-2020: Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow

Anjanette Chan Tack is a Doctoral Candidate in Sociology at the University of Chicago. Her research investigates how immigration changes racial dynamics...

Read more about Anjanette M. Chan Tack

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Benston

Kimberly W. Benston

Professor of English, Haverford College
Fall 2019: Hutchins Fellow

An accomplished academic leader and the Francis B. Gummere Professor of English, Dr. Benston served as Haverford's Interim Provost and then Provost from...

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Blain

Keisha N. Blain

Associate Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh
Spring 2020: Hutchins Fellow
Keisha N. Blain is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh and Editor-in-Chief of The North Star.... Read more about Keisha N. Blain
Danielle Boaz

Danielle Boaz

Assistant Professor of Africana Studies, University of North Carolina
2019-2020: Stuart Hall Fellow
Danielle Boaz is Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at the University of North Carolina. In residence as a Stuart Hall fellow for the 2019-2020 academic... Read more about Danielle Boaz
Anjie

Anjanette M. Chan Tack

Doctoral Candidate in Sociology, University of Chicago
2019-2020: Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow

Anjanette Chan Tack is a Doctoral Candidate in Sociology at the University of Chicago. Her research investigates how immigration changes racial dynamics...

Read more about Anjanette M. Chan Tack
Hutchins Center

Ameeta Jaga

Senior Lecturer, University of Cape Town
Spring 2020: Mandela Mellon Fellow
Martine Jean

Martine Jean

Independent Scholar
2019-2020: Mark Claster Mamolen Fellow
Martine Jean is an independent scholar and a historian of nineteenth-century Brazil. Her research explores the... Read more about Martine Jean
Johnson

Aaron J. Johnson

Assistant Professor of Music, University of Pittsburgh
2019-2020: Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow

Aaron J. Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Pittsburgh where he studies and teaches jazz, African American popular music,...

Read more about Aaron J. Johnson
Rumbi Katedza

Rumbi Katedza

Independent Filmmaker
Fall 2019: J. M. D. Manyika Fellow

Rumbi Katedza is a filmmaker and writer, who has lived in the USA, Japan, Italy, Canada, the UK and Zimbabwe. She produces corporate and independent...

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Meiu

George Paul Meiu

Associate Professor of Anthropology and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University
Spring 2020: Hutchins Fellow

George Paul Meiu is John and Ruth Hazel Associate Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of...

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Miller-Young

Mireille Miller-Young

Associate Professor of Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
2019-2020: Advancing Equity Through Research Fellow

Mireille Miller-Young is Associate Professor of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In residence as an Advancing Equity...

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Parker

Traci Parker

Assistant Professor of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
2019-2020: Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow

Traci Parker is an assistant professor of Afro-American Studies at the University...

Read more about Traci Parker
Hutchins Center

Stacey Robinson

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, School of Art and Design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2019-2020: Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellow

Stacey Robinson, an Assistant Professor of graphic design at the University of Illinois is...

Read more about Stacey Robinson
Beatriz Marcheco-Teruel

Beatriz Marcheco Teruel

Professor and Senior Researcher at the National Center of Medical Genetics in Havana, Cuba
Fall 2019: Hutchins Fellow
Beatriz Marcheco Teruel is Professor and Senior Researcher at the National Center of Medical Genetics in Havana, Cuba. As a Hutchins Fellow for Fall 2019, she... Read more about Beatriz Marcheco Teruel