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Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University

"African American Lives: Genealogy, Genetics, and Black History"
Humanities Lecture Series

Thu., Apr. 14, 2011, 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Location: Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union

*Co-sponsored by Kansas Public Radio. Supported by the Sosland Foundation of Kansas City.

One of Time magazine's "25 Most Influential Americans", Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. In 2006, he wrote and produced the PBS documentary called "African American Lives," the first documentary series to employ genealogy and science to provide an understanding of African American history. In 2007, a follow-up one-hour documentary, "Oprah's Roots: An African American Lives Special," aired on PBS, further examining the genealogical and genetic heritage of Oprah Winfrey, who had been featured in the original documentary. He is most recently the author of Finding Oprah's Roots, Finding Your Own (2007), a meditation on genetics, genealogy, and race.

Dr. Gates is the author of several works of literary criticism, including Figures in Black: Words, Signs and the "Racial" Self (1987), and The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism (1988), winner of the American Book Award in 1989. In 2002, Dr. Gates authenticated and published The Bondwoman's Narrative by Hannah Crafts, dating from the early 1850s and now considered one of the first novels written by an African American woman. He is currently completing a book on race and writing in the eighteenth century, entitled "Black Letters and the Enlightenment." An influential cultural critic, Dr. Gates' publications include a 1994 cover story for Time magazine, numerous articles for The New Yorker, and in September 2004, a biweekly guest column in The New York Times. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford African American Studies Center, the first comprehensive scholarly online resource in the field of African American Studies and Africana Studies. His other recent books are America Behind the Color Line: Dialogues with African Americans, African American Lives (2004), co-edited with Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, and The Annotated Uncle Tom's Cabin (2006), edited with Hollis Robbins.

Dr. Gates earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in English literature from Clare College at the University of Cambridge, and his B.A. summa cum laude in History from Yale University. Before joining the faculty of Harvard in 1991, he taught at Yale, Cornell, and Duke. His honors and grants include a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" (1981), a National Humanities Medal (1998), election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1999), and the Jay B. Hubbell Award for Lifetime Achievement in American Literary Studies from the Modern Language Association (2006). He has received 44 honorary degrees, from institutions including the University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth College, and Harvard University, among others. He serves on the boards of the New York Public Library, the Whitney Museum, Lincoln Center Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Aspen Institute, the Brookings Institution, the Studio Museum of Harlem, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford.

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