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May 8, 2006

Eric Porter receives Stanford Humanities Center fellowship

By Scott Rappaport

Associate professor of American studies Eric Porter has received a Stanford Humanities Center residential fellowship for the 2006-07 academic year. He is one of 24 scholars chosen from a pool of more than 350 applicants who will pursue individual research and give presentations and lectures to the Stanford community.

Photo of Eric Porter

Eric Porter will use his fellowship to work on a book about the writings of W.E.B. Du Bois.

One of the oldest campus-based humanities research institutes in the United States, the Stanford Humanities Center was founded in 1980 to promote humanistic research and education, both at Stanford University and at other institutions in the United States and around the world. Since its inception in 1980, the Humanities Center has offered external fellowships to more than 550 faculty from nearly 100 universities in the United States and other countries.

Porter was awarded the fellowship to pursue his book project, currently titled The Knot of Race: The Challenge of W.E.B. Du Bois' Mid-Century Writings.

“It surveys and analyzes iconic African American scholar and activist W.E.B. Du Bois's thought during the 1940s and 1950s, with an eye toward using it to help us understand race as an overdetermined social category and racism as a multilayered, protean, global phenomenon articulated both through affirmations and disavowals of race,” said Porter. "Through this project I hope to show that Du Bois's mid-century thinking provides important insights for developing a social analysis and an antiracist politics relevant to the present."

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