Du Bois Community Read Scholar Bios

Dr. Frances Jones-Sneed is Professor Emeritus of History, Political Science and Public Policy at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and associate editor of African American Heritage in the Upper Housatonic Valley. She is a director of the Clinton Church Restoration project, co-director of the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail and a trustee at the Samuel Harrison House in Pittsfield.

Guest Scholars

Dr. Horace D. Ballard is Curator of American Art at the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA). He is a lecturer on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century visual cultures of race and religion in the joint graduate program for the History of Art at The Clark Art Institute and Williams College.

Dr. Whitney Battle-Baptiste is an American historical archaeologist of African and Cherokee descent. She is Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Center at the University.

Dr. Rashida K. Braggs is Associate Professor in Africana Studies and Faculty Fellow of the Davis Center and Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Williams College. Her book Jazz Diasporas: Race, Music and Migration in Post-World War II Paris investigates migratory experiences of African American jazz musicians in 1946-1963 Paris. As a scholar-performer, Braggs acts, sings, dances, and performs spoken word.

Dr. Kendra Field is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University. Field is the author of Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation after the Civil War (Yale University Press, January 2018). Field also served as assistant editor to David Levering Lewis’ W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography (Henry Holt, 2009).

Dr. Reginald F. Hildebrand was a Professor of African American Studies and History at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  After retiring from UNC, he served for three years as an adjunct instructor of history at Durham Technical Community College.  He is author of The Times Were Strange and Stirring: Methodist Preachers and the Crisis of Emancipation (Duke University Press, 1995) and is currently working on a research project called “Engaging Blackness: Body, Mind and Spirit, the Perspectives of Malcolm X, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Howard Thurman.”

Dr. Dolan Hubbard is a retired Professor and Chairperson of the Department of English and Language Arts at Morgan State University in Baltimore. He is author or editor of the following works:  The Sermon and the African American Literary Imagination (selected by Choice as Outstanding Academic Book in 1995), The Souls of Black Folk: One Hundred Years Later, Recovered Writers/Recovered Texts: Race, Class, and Gender in Black Women’s Literature, and Praisesong for Survival: The Collected Essays of Richard K. Barksdale. He is a member of the editorial board of The Collected Works of Langston Hughes and has served as editor the Langston Hughes Review.

Dr. Martha S. Jones is an American historian and legal scholar. She is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Barbara Krauthamer is Professor of History, Dean of the Graduate School and Senior Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Programs and Innovation at UMass Amherst, and Dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

Kiese Laymon is an American writer, editor and Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi. He is the author of three full-length books: a novel, Long Division (2013), and two memoirs, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America (2013) and Heavy (2018).

Dr. David Levering Lewis is an American historian, a Julius Silver University Professor, and Professor of History Emeritus at New York University. He is twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize for part one and part two of his biography of W. E. B. Du Bois.

Dr. Gretchen Long is Professor of History at Williams College. Her research interests are African American history, American women’s history, American medical history, African American literature, and Emancipation. She is the author of Doctoring Freedom: The Politics of African American Medical Care in Slavery and Emancipation (University of North Carolina Press, 2012).

Dr. Barbara McCaskill is Professor of English and Associate Academic Director of the Willson Center for Humanities & Arts at the University of Georgia. She teaches and writes about African American literature and the modern Civil Rights Movement.  Her fifth book is The Magnificent Reverend Peter Thomas Stanford, Transatlantic Activist and Race Man (UGA Press, June 2020), edited with doctoral candidate Sidonia Serafini and Rev. Paul Walker (Highgate Baptist Church, Birmingham, England).

Dr. MaryNell Morgan-Brown is Professor Emerita of Political Science and an inspirational singer of traditional spirituals and other genres of music. The main focus of her multidisciplinary research, teaching, and singing is the life, work, and legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois. Dr. Morgan-Brown retired from SUNY-Empire State College and has taught at Clark-Atlanta University, Xavier University (LA), SUNY at Albany, Skidmore and Williams Colleges.

Dr. Ruby Inez Vega is Associate Professor of Psychology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts where she teaches courses in educational psychology and psychological research methods. Her research interests lie at the intersection of student cognition and emotion and focus on the development of students’ abilities to regulate their own learning and emotions. Dr. Vega is currently serving as MCLA’s faculty development fellow and coordinator for the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Dr. Nadine V. Wedderburn is Associate Professor and a mentor at SUNY Empire State College in Schenectady, New York.

Click here for a full schedule and details on Clinton Church Restoration’s 14-week online community read of The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois.