The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Du Bois Lecture

25th Annual Du Bois Lecture and Gala Dinner 

Keynote Speaker Francoise Hamlin: What Would Du Bois Say? Activism and Scholarship


Wednesday, February 13, 6:00 p.m.
Old Chapel, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Free and Open to the Public, space is limited, RSVP by February 4.

Join us as we conclude our commemoration of Du Bois’s 150th anniversary and celebrate 10 years of the Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst. This is a truly special event featuring a reception, a keynote speech by Francoise Hamlin of Brown University, and a banquet. We will be sharing success stories from the past year and some of our plans for the future.

One of the central principles of the Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst is to identify and examine how the themes and ideas of Du Bois relate to the present day. In her own work, Dr. Hamlin pursues a very similar theme, examining the relationship between scholarship and activism. In her talk, Dr. Hamlin will be exploring possible answers to three key questions: What are the connections between the past struggles for social change and the present? What are the ethics and the responsibilities of activist scholars? What is a public scholar? The lecture will examine the relationship between scholarship and activism, a relationship central to understanding the life and work of W. E. B. Du Bois.

Dr. Françoise N. Hamlin is an Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies at Brown University. She earned her doctorate in African American Studies and American Studies at Yale University, her Masters from the University of London, and her B.A. from the University of Essex (both in United States Studies). Hamlin also taught as an assistant professor at UMass from 2005 to 2007 in the History Department.

Hamlin is the author of Crossroads at Clarksdale: The Black Freedom Struggle in the Mississippi Delta after World War II (University of North Carolina Press, 2012), winner of the 2012 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize and the 2013 Lillian Smith Book Award. These Truly Are The Brave: An Anthology of African American Writings on Citizenship and War is a co-edited anthology published by the University of Florida Press in 2015. It was a finalist for the QBR 2016 Wheatley Book Award in Nonfiction, and was republished in paperback in 2018. Hamlin’s new research focuses on young people, trauma, and activism.

Her most notable fellowships and awards include the C. Vann Woodward Dissertation Prize; the Du Bois-Mandela-Rodney Fellowship at the University of Michigan; the Charles Warren Center Fellowship at Harvard University; a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship; and the Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. In addition, she has won major mentoring and teaching awards at Brown University.