Harvard’s Hutchins Center Announces 2nd Class of Fellows

The 23 students will research topics including African-American folktales and a memoir of Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver.

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Henry Louis Gates Jr. attends the New York series premiere of The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, at the Paris Theater in New York City.

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University professor and director of the newly launched Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, on Tuesday announced the class of 23 students for the 2014-15 academic year.

“We are delighted to welcome one of our most distinguished and diverse class of fellows of the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute, housed in the Hutchins Center,” Gates, who is also The Root’s editor-in-chief, said in a news release.

The fellows, who are the center’s second class, will research a range of issues including a memoir of Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver, biographies of legendary trumpeter-composer Woody Shaw, the late anti-apartheid icon and former South African President Nelson Mandela and Haitian revolutionary leader Toussaint Louverture; the circulation of the black body in the global art economy; African-American folktales; and the dramatic outcome of the Mau Mau torture trial in the British High Court.

“The Hutchins Center, with this class, has quickly secured its place as the preeminent locus for cutting edge thinking and research in African and African American Studies, “ Lawrence D. Bobo, the W. E. B. Du Bois professor of the social sciences and chair of the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, said in the release.

The Du Bois Research Institute, created in 1975, has annually appointed scholars who conduct individual research for up to one academic year on topics within African and African American studies. The institute is now at the center of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.

The institute accepts established and emerging scholars from the humanities and the social sciences, and occasionally from fields such as engineering and the medical sciences. Fellows conduct their research by using resources from Harvard’s extensive library system as well as from a variety of the institute’s research projects, the release says.