Greetings from Department Head

Welcome to the Department of African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign! As we begin a new academic year, I continue to be optimistic about the future of African American Studies, both on this campus and throughout the country. The field continues to grow and evolve with the number of institutions offering Black Studies programs and degrees (graduate and undergraduate) increasing steadily.

Here at Illinois we are continuing what I have termed our "rebooting" initiative. We have made great strides in the past two years and will continue to do so as we grow the number of faculty in the department, introduce new programs, and fine-tune our curricular offerings. We're excited about the possibilities!

In addition to our annual Malcolm X, W.E.B. DuBois, and Ida B. Wells lectures, we are introducing a new series of presentations that will showcase the excellent scholarship and creative productions of African American Studies faculty--in our department, across campus, and from the community. Look for announcements in the near future!

We will also strengthen our focus on the arts and Black culture. Our programming will include "GunPlay(s)", a powerful use of "social justice" theater to explore gun violence and its impact on communities; a dance program featuring the work of Katherine Dunham; an exploration of the papers of Gwendolyn Brooks; and concerts featuring the UI's Black Chorus, among other events.

So please browse through our website and get to know us. Check out our page often and join us for an exciting year!

Ronald W. Bailey, Ph.D.

Professor and Head
217/333-7781 rwbailey@illinois.edu

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