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Prominent Afro-American Scholar to Give Tolles Lecture


Henry Louis Gates, Jr., one of America's mostdynamic intellectuals and a passionate advocate of Afro-American Studies, willspeak on Thursday, Feb. 22, at 4:15 p.m., in the Hamilton College Chapel. Thelecture, "Race and Class in America," is free and open to the general public.

Gates, who is the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities, professor ofEnglish, chair of Afro-American Studies and director of the W.E.B. Du BoisInstitute for Afro-American Research at Harvard University, has transformedHarvard's Afro-American Studies department into a thriving and respectedcenter. His critical studies of Afro-American oral and literary traditionshave had a broad impact on literary theorists and Afro-American Studiesscholars.

An influential cultural critic, Gates's publications include "The BlackRenaissance," which was a 1994 cover story on black artists for Timemagazine. He has also devoted considerable energy to the recovery of blackliterature. His books include, Figures in Black: Words, Signs & the`Racial' Self, The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American LiteraryCriticism (a 1989 American Book Award winner) and Colored People: AMemoir, a story about growing up in West Virginia in the 1950s and 1960s,released in the spring of 1994.

Gates received his B.A. from Yale University in 1973 and attended ClareCollege at the University of Cambridge, in England, where he received hismaster's degree and his Ph.D. in 1979. He has received numerous awards and isa member of various professional associations and committees. His honors andgrants include a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" in 1981--at the age of30.

"Race and Class in America," is part of the Winton Tolles Lecture Series,which was established in 1991 by members of the Class of 1951 for their 40thReunion. The series brings distinguished writers to the campus, from thefields of literature, journalism and theatre. The series is in memory ofWinton Tolles, Class of 1928 and Dean of the College from 1947-1972.

Contact Information


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