History | Henry Binford (Ph.D. Harvard, 1973) is an urban historian specializing in the nineteenth century evolution of sub-communities within cities, including suburbs and slums. He is also interested in efforts to redevelop cities in the twentieth century. His publications include The First Suburbs: Residential Communities on the Boston Periphery, 1815-1860. He has received research support from the National Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Newberry Library. He was the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence for three years.
African American Studies | Martha Biondi (Ph.D. Columbia University, 1997) is the Chair of the Department of African American Studies with a courtesy joint appointment in the History Department. She specializes in twentieth century African American History and is the author of To Stand and Fight: the Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York City published by Harvard University Press, which awarded it the Thomas J. Wilson Prize as best first book of the year. In 2012, the University of California Press published her book, The Black Revolution on Campus, an account of the nationwide Black student movement of the late 1960s and early Black Studies movement of the 1970s. She is currently researching a book on neoliberalism, violence and Black life, focusing on Chicago since the 1980s.
Sherwin K. Bryant
African American Studies and History | Sherwin K. Bryant is an Associate Professor of African American Studies and History, and Director of the Center for African American History. As a historian of colonial Afro-Latin America and the Atlantic/Pacific Worlds, Bryant works at the intersections of cultural, legal, social history and political economy, with an emphasis upon Black life in the Kingdoms of New Granada and Quito (what is now modern Colombia and Ecuador). With regard to comparative slavery studies, his work addresses the need to conceptualize early modern histories of slavery, freedom, and race as colonial practices of governance. In addition, Bryant’s research expands the diasporic paradigm from the Atlantic to the Pacific by specializing in the history of the Afro-Andes and the development of “Black Pacific” subjectivities. Dr. Bryant has held postdoctoral fellowships at the John Carter Brown Library, the Newberry Library, and the Alice Berlin Kaplan Center for the Humanities at Northwestern University and has been both a Fulbright and Ford Fellow.
Dr. Bryant’s book, Rivers of Gold, Lives of Bondage: Governing through Slavery in Colonial Quito (University of North Carolina Press, 2014), offers the first serious treatment in English of slavery and slave life in colonial Quito. Dr. Bryant is currently working on two new book-length projects. The first charts the history of Black subjectivities along Colombia and Ecuador’s Pacific littoral while the second develops a history of slave life within the contraband slave routes that ran through Panama and New Granada before the era of free trade.
Anthropology | Mark Hauser (Ph.D. Syracuse University, 2001) is an Assistant Professor of Historical Archaeology and Anthropology. Professor Hauser studies how people adapt to landscapes of inequality and contribute to those landscapes in material ways. In particular, Hauser employs ethnohistorical, archaeological, and archaeometric approaches to examine the material record of slavery and the social and intellectual contributions of Africans in the New World. Dr. Hauser joined the Department of Anthropology at Northwestern University in 2009 having completed 8 years as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame (2006-2008), DePaul University (2003-2006), and Le Moyne College (2001-2003). Professor Hauser’s first book, An Archaeology of Black Markets: Local Ceramics and Economies in Eighteenth-Century Jamaica was published by University Press of Florida in 2008.
African American Studies | Barnor Hesse (Ph.D. University of Essex, 1998) is an Associate Professor of African American Studies, Political Science, and Sociology at Northwestern University. His research interests include post-structuralism and political theory, black political thought, modernity and coloniality, blackness and affect, race and governmentality, conceptual methodologies, postcolonial studies.
Dwight A. McBride
Dean of The Graduate School & Associate Provost
Daniel Hale Williams Professor of African American Studies, English, & Performance Studies | Dwight A. McBride (Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, 1996) is Daniel Hale Williams Professor of African American Studies, English & Performance Studies. Dr. McBride assumed the role of Associate Provost for Graduate Education & Dean of The Graduate School on November 1, 2010. In this capacity, Dr. McBride focuses on enhancing the educational experience of Northwestern’s graduate students. Working with deans, decanal staffs, faculty, and students, he serves as an advocate for graduate education and helps to facilitate cross-school initiatives and coordination via the Office of the Provost.
Dr. McBride received his undergraduate degree in English and African American Studies at Princeton University. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. McBride was on the Northwestern faculty previously as the Chair of the African American Studies Department from 2002 to 2007. Just prior to returning to Northwestern University as Dean of The Graduate School and Associate Provost for Graduate Education, he served as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2007-2010). He also served previously on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh.
A leading scholar of race and literary studies, he has been a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, a Ford Fellow, and a Mellon Fellow. An award-winning author of numerous publications that examine connections between race theory, black studies, and identity politics, his most recent publication is the co-edited volume A Melvin Dixon: Critical Reader, a collection of critical essays on literature and life from the African American activist and scholar. Why I Hate Abercrombie and Fitch: Essays on Race and Sexuality, a collection of his essays offering contemporary cultural criticism, was a nominee for the Lambda Literary Award and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. McBride garnered the Best Special Issue Award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals for the special issue of Public Culture he co-edited titled “100 Years of the ‘Souls of Black Folk’: A Celebration of W.E.B. DuBois.” He is the editor of James Baldwin Now and co-editor of a special issue of Callaloo: A Journal of African-American and African Arts and Letters titled “Plum Nelly: New Essays in Black Queer Studies.” Both works received special citations from the Crompton-Noll Award Committee of the Modern Language Association for their significant contribution to lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender studies. McBride’s other works include Black Like Us: A Century of Lesbian, Gay and Bi-Sexual African American Fiction, a co-edited volume that earned the Lambda Literary Award for best fiction anthology, and Impossible Witnesses: Truth, Abolitionism, and Slave Testimony.
African American Studies and Religious Studies | Sylvester Johnson (Ph.D. Union Theological Seminary, 2002) is Associate Professor of African American Studies and Religion. He has written African American Religions 1500-2000: Colonialism, Democracy, and Freedom (Cambridge University Press 2015) and The Myth of Ham in Nineteenth-Century American Christianity: Race, Heathens, and the People of God (2004). He is a founding Co-Editor of the Journal of Africana Religions and is co-editing (with Steve Weitzman) a book on religion and the FBI. Johnson also researches the relationship between humans and intelligent machines.
History | Kate Masur (Ph.D. University of Michigan, 2001) works in nineteenth-century U.S. history, with particular emphasis on how Americans confronted the political and social problems posed by the end of slavery. A faculty affiliate of the Department of African American Studies, she is the author of An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington, D.C. (University of North Carolina Press, 2010). Professor Masur has published several scholarly journal articles, including most recently, “Patronage and Protest in Kate Brown’s Washington,” Journal of American History (March 2013). Her writing has also appeared in the op-ed pages of the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Atlantic Online. Professor Masur is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including fellowships from the Library of Congress’s John W. Kluge Center and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The recipient of a 2010 ACLS/Ryskamp fellowship, she is currently working on two research projects. One concerns African Americans, federal employment, and the Republican party in the post-Civil War period. Here she is interested in government work as a source of economic stability and upward mobility for African Americans, the nineteenth-century Republican party’s struggles with race, and the meanings of federal enclaves in the post-Confederate South. In a separate project she is investigating the demise of slavery in the Upper Chesapeake region during the first year of the Civil War, paying special attention to how local police and military officials enforced fugitive slave laws. Before joining the Northwestern faculty, she spent two years as an editor at the Freedmen and Southern Society Project at the University of Maryland. She is a co-editor of the project’s forthcoming volume, Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867, ser. 3, vol. 2: Land and Labor, 1866-1867.