News

Loewen to Appear on "This is America & the World" with Dennis Wholey

Posted Thu, 17 Jul 2014

This weekend Dennis Wholey hosts a powerful roundtable of sociologists from four leading area universities – American, George Washington, Catholic and Georgetown – to talk about America. The conversation focuses on questions of who we are, how America is changing and what our future may be. Guests include Professor of Sociology at Catholic University of America, James W. Loewen, Ph.D.; Professor of Sociology at American University, Celine-Marie Pascale, Ph.D.; Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, Leslie R. Hinkson, Ph.D.; and Professor of Sociology at George Washington University, Daniel E. Martinez, Ph.D. Check your local PBS listings for show times (July 18-20).

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Cha-Jua Featured on UIUC's "A Minute With....."

Posted Tue, 01 Jul 2014

Associate Professor Sundiata Cha-Jua is featured in this week's "A Minute With..." on the UIUC campus homepage. Sundiata discusses the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed into law on July 2, 1964.

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Kevin Franklin Publishes Chapter in "The New Development Paradigm"

Posted Tue, 01 Jul 2014

Kevin Franklin, Executive Director of the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts and Social Science, has published a chapter in the new book "The New Development Paradigm: Education, Knowledge Economy and Digital Futures", edited by Michael A. Peters, Tina Besley, and Daniel Araya. The book is published by Peter Lang International Academic Publishers.

McDuffie and Mendenhall Named Romano Professorial Scholars

Posted Thu, 12 Jun 2014

Erik McDuffie and Ruby Mendenhall have both been named Richard and Margaret Romano Professorial Scholars! The three-year appointments are based upon recognition of outstanding achievements in research and leadership on campus. Richard and Margaret Romano have generously served and supported the University of Illinois for more than 30 years. In addition to providing annual financial support to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, in 2003 the Romanos created the Romano Professorial Scholar Program. This program provides significant support for the research of some of the College's most outstanding faculty members across many disciplines. McDuffie is an Associate Professor in the Departments of African American Studies and History; Mendenhall is an Associate Professor in the Departments of African American Studies and Sociology.

McDuffie Awarded a Short-Term Research Fellowship at the Newberry Library

Posted Fri, 06 Jun 2014

Associate Professor Erik McDuffie has been awarded a short-term research fellowship from the Newberry Library in Chicago. These fellowships are restricted to researchers who live and work outside of the Chicago area and who have a specific need for the Newberry collection. McDuffie will use his fellowship resources to conduct research for his next book project, "Garveyism and the Midwest."

Nettles Publishes Book

Posted Thu, 08 May 2014

Saundra Murray Nettles, Clinical Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education, recently published Necessary Spaces: Exploring the Richness of African American Childhood in the South (Information Age Publishers, 2013). In the book, Nettles "takes the reader on a journey into neighborhood networks of learning at different times and places. Using autobiographical accounts, Nettles discusses the informal instructional practices of community “coaches” from the perspective of African American adults who look back on their childhood learning experiences in homes, libraries, city blocks, schools, churches, places of business, and nature. These eyewitness accounts reveal "necessary spaces,” the metaphor Nettles uses to describe seven recurring experiences that converge with contemporary notions of optimal black child development: connection, exploration, design, empowerment, resistance, renewal, and practice."

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Mendenhall Featured on UIUC's "A Minute With...."

Posted Wed, 09 Apr 2014

Associate Professor Ruby Mendenhall is featured in this week's "A Minute With...." on the UIUC campus homepage. Ruby discusses the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and its effect for low- and moderate-income workers.

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DAAS Faculty on List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent

Posted Fri, 04 Apr 2014

Three faculty members and three teaching assistants in the Department of African American Studies are on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent By Their Students for Fall 2013. Professors Robin Jarrett and Helen Neville and Associate Professor Sundiata Cha-Jua were among those making the list, as were teaching assistants Desiree McMillion, Maria Valgoi, and Tseleq Yusef. Congratulations to all of you!

Ernest Wamba dia Wamba to Speak at DAAS Annual W.E.B. DuBois Lecture

Posted Fri, 07 Feb 2014

The Department of African American Studies and the Center for African Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will host Professor Ernest Wamba dia Wamba as the guest speaker for the 2014 W.E.B. DuBois Lecture on Thursday, February 20, at 7:00 p.m. in the Ballroom of the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. Wamba is Professor of History at the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and former Senator of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Wamba was born in the former Belgian Congo, was schooled under Belgian colonialism, and received his bachelor's and master's degrees in the U.S., at Western Michigan University and Claremont Graduate School (California), respectively. From 1968-1971, he worked as an advisor in Congo's Ministry of Social Affairs. He taught African studies courses at Brandeis University (Boston), Harvard University, and Boston College from 1972-1980. In 1980, Wamba became a professor of history at the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). In 1981, while visiting his parents in Congo, he was arrested by the Mobutu regime and imprisoned for five weeks and then held under "city arrest" for a year. Upon release, he continued his activism among Congolese progressive forces. Wamba rose to leadership among his activist intellectual peers in Africa and around the world, and was elected president of the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA), the leading social science organization for African intellectuals. He also served as a close advisor to the late President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania in his 1994 efforts to address the genocide in Central Africa. In 1998, Wamba was elected as head of the liberation organization called Rassemblement Congolais pour la Democratic (RCD), or Rally for Congolese Democracy. He later became a member of the national Senate and a prominent member of the new government. Wamba is especially noted for his theoretical work which focuses on topics vital to the liberation of Africa, including the nature of the state, the politics of emancipation, and world history and revolution. Wamba's talk for the W.E.B. DuBois Lecture is titled "Reflections on the African Renaissance after President Mandela." The talk is free and open to the public.

Inside Illinois "From the Archives": Student Activism

Posted Fri, 07 Feb 2014

On March 11, 1981, a group of U. of I. students held a rally on the Quad in response to the child abductions and murders in Atlanta from 1979 to 1981 when an estimated 28 African-American children and adults were killed. Atlanta native Wayne Williams, 23 years old at the time of the last murder, was arrested and convicted of two of the murders. There is a long tradition of U. of I. students not only being aware of social and political issues, but also of choosing to act and let their voices be heard. The University Archives documents student activism. These records contain timelines of events, eyewitness accounts and photographs that illustrate an outspoken student body through the years.

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Taylor Article on Poverty and Racial Inequality Published in "In These Times"

Posted Thu, 23 Jan 2014

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor's article "Where Obama's Class Speech Failed: The president claims 'the opportunity gap in America is now as much about class as it is about race.' Is it?" is currently featured in the independent, non-profit magazine, In These Times. The magazine is dedicated to "advancing democracy and economic justice, informing movements for a more humane world, and providing an accessible forum for debate about the policies that shape our future." The complete article can be found at:

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