Scholar of the African diaspora to speak

Robert Hill, the noted African diaspora scholar whose multidisciplinary work intersects with political science, history, sociology and psychology, will discuss “Afrogenesis, or The Genealogy of ‘Africa for Africans‘” at 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31, in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and “Afrognosis, or Caliban’s Books of Healing in the African World” at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8, in Chase Hall Lounge.

As a senior research fellow, Hill was associated in the early 1970s with the Institute of the Black World in Atlanta, at a time when that institution played a pioneering role in shaping the intellectual direction of black/African American studies nationally and internationally. A professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he has been a faculty member since 1977, Hill also has taught at Dartmouth, Northwestern, Emory and Haverford. He is best known for his work as project director and editor of the multi-volume Marcus Garvey and University Negro Improvement Association Papers, of which 10 volumes have appeared to date.

Hill has also been in charge of collecting, archiving and shepherding to publication several other landmark manuscript collections of pivotal historical significance to the study of black diaspora political and social thought, including the magazine The Crusader, The FBI’s RACON: Racial Conditions in the United States During World War II and collections of the writings of George Schuyler.

Among his many awards and professional appointments, Hill is the literary executor of the pan-Africanist intellectual C.L.R. James and has served on the advisory committee for the W.E.B. DuBois Papers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and on the Schomburg Commission for the Preservation of Black Culture at the Schomburg Center, New York Public Library. He received his B.A. degree from University College at the University of Toronto, and his M.S. degree from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica.

Hill’s talks are sponsored by the African American studies program at Bates, where he will spend a week as a visiting scholar-in-residence from Jan. 31 through Feb. 9, attending and lecturing in various classes and meeting with groups of faculty and students.

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