W.E.B. Du Bois Center
Welcome from the Director
"When I first joined the UMass Amherst community, I was well aware of the archaeological work of Dr. Robert Paynter at the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite. It was one of the central reasons I wanted to join the Department of Anthropology,” says Battle-Baptiste. “As a historical archaeologist who specialized in African American Domestic Spaces, the prospect of working at the ancestral home of Dr. Du Bois seemed a logical step in my academic career. I was correct in my assumptions: UMass Amherst has been a place where I have learned and developed my craft. It was with this energy that I stayed connected with the Du Bois Collection at the Library, participated in stewardship of Du Bois’s legacy here in Massachusetts, and also began to understand how relevant the words and thoughts of Dr. Du Bois are to our contemporary needs as a society.
We live in complicated times. I want my work as the new director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Center to provide the connection to a new generation of scholars, students and citizens of the world. The natural connections among scholarship, the academy, and the communities that we serve drove Dr. Du Bois in his work. My work reaches beyond research, beyond the boundaries of the academy. My work highlights relationships with community partners, making the work valuable to all members of our society. This is the legacy of Dr. Du Bois which we will carry on together.Associate Professor of Anthropology Whitney Battle-Baptiste