May 8, 2006
Eric Porter receives Stanford Humanities
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
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."