The W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies is a vibrant center of intellectual productivity and interdisciplinary teaching and research. But because of the statewide and nationwide budget crisis, we are threatened with severe losses in state funding. Please help us preserve our capacity to continue providing our students with excellent education. Your contributions will help us offer scholarships and social events, and host visits by internationally renowned scholars. If you have made contributions to the Department in the past, thank you again. For those who have not, please contribute now to help the Du Bois Department continue its tradition of excellence during this period of economic crisis.
Information for graduates of the Du Bois Department
If you were a graduate or undergraduate student in the UMass Amherst Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, please email Tricia Loveland to update your alumni profile in our Graduate Alumni Directory. Also we have created a Facebook page for alumni and current students to network (see below). Stay connected to UMass and support the Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies.
Dissertation committees may unanimously award students with a distinction for their doctoral work. All dissertations earning a distinction during the defense are automatically nominated for the annual Esther M. Terry Award for the most outstanding dissertation.
Evan Howard Ashford successfully defended his dissertation entitled, "The Privilege of Blackness: Black Empowerment and the Fight for Liberation in Attala County, Mississippi 1865-1915" on June 29, 2018.
Peter Blackmer successfully defended his dissertation entitled, "'The Whole Nation Will Move:' Grassroots Organizing in Harlem and the Advent of the Long, Hot Summers" on June 4, 2018.
Nneka Dennie successfully defended her dissertation entitled, "(Re)defining Radicalism: The Rise of Black Feminism and the Politics of Respectability, 1831-1895" on May 21, 2018.
Carlyn Ferrari, Assistant Professor, English, Adelphi University. She successfully defended her dissertation entitled, "Do Not Separate Her from Her Garden: Anne Spencer's Ecopoetics" on April 10, 2018.
Angelique Warner successfully defended her dissertation entitled, "Negotiating the Law: Black Women Writing Out The Abject" on April 10, 2018.
Post-Doctoral Associate, Kilachand Honors College, Boston University.
, Inaugural Winston and Carolyn Lowe Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Fine Arts at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
, Mellon ACLS Public Fellow and Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success at the Association of American Colleges & Universities
, Assistant Professor, History, University of Texas San Antonio
Assistant Professor/Program Director, Literature and Africana Studies, University of Hartford
H. Zahra Caldwell
, Assistant Professor, Ethnic and Gender Studies, Westfield State University
, Assistant Professor, Early African American Literature, Auburn University
, Assistant Professor, English and Afro-American Literature, University of North Alabama
, Assistant Professor, American Studies, Women Studies Program and History, University of New Hampshire
, Assistant Professor, African & African-American Studies, Washington University
, Assistant Professor, English, CUNY LaGuardia Community College
Associate Professor, Mulitcultural Studies, SUNY Rockland Community College
, Assistant Professor, African American History, Grand Valley State University
, Assistant Professor, Pan-African Studies, California State University
, Instructor, Ethnic Studies, Bowling Green State University
, Assistant Professor, Africana Studies & History, Stony Brook University
, Associate Professor, History and Director of the Africana Studies, Clark University
, Chair and Associate Professor, History, Wagner College
, Teaching Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Letters, Stevens Institute of Technology
, Assistant Professor, Pan-African Studies, University of Louisville
, Associate Professor, Africana Studies, Wayne State University
, Assistant Professor, Diversity and Community Studies, Western Kentucky University
, Assistant Professor, History and Politics, Worcester State University
Shawn L. Alexander
, Associate Professor, African & African American Studies; Directory of Graduate Studies; and, Director of the Langston Hughes Center, University of Kansas
, Chair, History Department and Associate Professor, African American and Africana Women's Studies, Clark Atlanta University
, Professor, African American Studies and Ethnic Studies, St. Cloud State University
Terminal M.A. Alumni
received their M.A. in May, 2018 from our terminal Master's Program.
Xavier G. Orr
received his M.A. in May, 2017 from our terminal Master's Program.
received her M.A. in May, 2014 from our terminal Master's Program.
Radwa Ashour (1946-2014), the Egyptian writer and scholar born in Cairo, Egypt in 1946, is the department's first Ph.D. graduate. She earned her degree in African American Literature at the University of Massachusetts in 1975 (working jointly in the English & the Du Bois Department).
In 1973, a joyfully-cultivated friendship with Shirley Graham Du Bois, world traveler, litterateur, and widow of W.E.B., led Ashour to UMass. Madame Du Bois, as the école-educated Ashour called her liaison to Amherst, was living in Cairo at the time, and pointed the young Egyptian toward the then-infant Afro-American Studies department here. "She said, 'the best department in the United States is at UMass,'" recalled Ashour, remembering how Du Bois returned from a visit to Massachusetts with an application and a scholarship for her protegé. Ashour has published seven novels, an autobiographical work, two collections of short stories and five books of criticism. Part I of her Granada Trilogy won the Cairo International Book Fair “1994 Book of the Year Award”; the Trilogy won the First Prize of the First Arab Woman Book Fair (Cairo, Nov. 1995). She has co-edited a major four-volume work on Arab women writers (2004) and its English translation: Arab Women Writings: A Critical Reference Guide: 1873-1999 (AUC Press 2008). In 2007 Ashour was awarded the Constantine Cavafy Prize for Literature. She was a professor of English and Comparative Literature, Ain Shams University, Cairo.