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Research

I have research interests in several aspects of W.E.B. DuBoisí thought, especially his social science.

Here are the full texts of several of DuBois' works, especially as they pertain to his research methods and the results of his scholarly efforts. The texts are located on this web site. Some will contain a set of never-quite-finished commentaries by me: something new is always to be discovered, analyzed, and re/interpreted—not necessarily in that order.

I will also include full texts by other authors who are relevant to an understanding of DuBois and his socio-intellectual context; see the section for "Others' Works" below.

I have published several academic articles on W.E.B. DuBois. On my Bio page I have included a few links to my own research pieces on DuBois.
Robert W. Williams, Ph.D. [Bio]



Du Bois's Works

Review of Frederick Hoffman's Race Traits and Characteristics (1897)
    [Page added on 1 January 2011.]

"The Conservation of Races" (1897)
    [Page updated on 15 October 2013 with links to scholarly sources.]

"The Study of the Negro Problems" (1898)
    [Page updated on 20 Dec. 2009 with new external links.]

"The Twelfth Census and the Negro Problems" (1900)
    [Page added to the website on 1 May 2013.]

"The American Negro at Paris" (1900)
    [Page updated on 10 April 2009 with new external links.]

"The Laboratory in Sociology at Atlanta University" (1903)
    [Page updated on 20 August 2010.]

"The Talented Tenth" (1903)
    [Page updated with new external links on 20 August 2011]

Review of Joseph A. Tillinghast's The Negro in Africa and America (1903)
    [Page added on 1 September 2011.]

"The Atlanta Conferences" (1904)
    [Page updated with new materials on 20 April 2010.]

"The Development of a People" (1904)
    [Page added to the web site on 1 January 2010.]

"The Souls of Black Folk" (Essay: The Independent, 1904)
    [Page added to the website on 1 May 2012.]

"The Individual and Social Conscience" (1905) [Originally Untitled]
    [Page added on 1 January 2014.]

"Evolution of the Race Problem" (1909)

"Evolution of the Negro" (American Missionary, 1910)
    [Page added to the website on 1 September 2012.]

"Races" (The Crisis, August 1911)
    [Page added on 1 May 2011.]

"The First Universal Race Congress in London, England" (Partial Speech, 1911)
[Page added on 1 Sep. 2009.]

"The Economics of Negro Emancipation in the United States" (1911)
    [Page added on 1 May 2010.]

"Socialism and the Negro Problem" (1913)

"The African Roots of War" (1915)

"Race Intelligence" (1920)
    [Page updated on 10 October 2008.]

"The Superior Race (An Essay)" (1923)
    [Page added on 1 January 2013.]

"Criteria of Negro Art" (1926)
    [Page updated on 1 March 2008 with more external links.]

"The Negro Citizen" (1930)
    [Page added on 10 May 2008.]

"Douglass, Frederick" (1930)
    [Page added on 1 May 2009.]

"The Church and Religion" (1933)
    [Page added on 1 September 2010.]

"Jacob and Esau" (1944)
    [Page updated on 22 November 2007 with new material.]

"My Evolving Program for Negro Freedom" (1944)

"Apologia" (1954: Written by DuBois for the reprinting of his Suppression of the African Slave-Trade)
    [Page added on 1 January 2012]

"Postscript" to The Ordeal of Mansart" (1957)
    [Page added to the website on 1 September 2013.]




Others' Works
Henry Lyman Morehouse: "The Talented Tenth" (1896)
    [Page added on 1 January 2009.]

Anonymous Review of DuBois's Suppression of the African
    Slave-Trade
  (The Nation, 1896)
    [Page added on 10 July 2010.]

Thomas J. Calloway: "The Negro Exhibit" (1901)
    [Page added on 10 May 2009.]

Franz Boas' Atlanta University Commencement Address (1906)
    [Page added on 1 August 2009.]







While I prepare more materials for WEBDuBois.org, let me provide a quotation .. .. ..

Du Bois in Dusk of Dawn (originally published in 1940) wrote:
The main result of my schooling had been to emphasize science and the scientific attitude. I got some insight into the laws of the physical world at Fisk and in the chemical laboratory and class in geology at Harvard. I was interested in evolution, geology, and the new psychology. I began to conceive of the world as a continuing growth rather than a finished product. In Germany I turned still further from religious dogma and began to grasp the idea of a world of human beings whose actions, like those of the physical world, were subject to law. The triumphs of the scientific world thrilled me: the X-ray and radium came during my teaching term, the airplane and the wireless. The machine increased in technical efficiency and the North and South Poles were invaded.

On the other had the difficulties of applying scientific laws and discovering cause and effect in the social world were still great. Social thinkers were engaged in vague statements and were seeking to lay down the methods by which, in some not too distant future, social law analogous to physical law would be discovered. Herbert Spencer finished his ten volumes of Synthetic Philosophy in 1896. The biological analogy, the vast generalizations, were striking, but actual scientific accomplishments lagged. For me an opportunity seemed to present itself. I could not lull my mind to hypnosis by regarding a phrase like "consciousness of kind" as a scientific law. But turning my gaze from fruitless word-twisting and facing the facts of my own social situation and racial world, I determined to put science into sociology through a study of the condition and problems of my own group.

I was going to study the facts, any and all facts, concerning the American Negro and his plight, and by measurement and comparison and research, work up to any valid generalization which I could. I entered this primarily with the utilitarian object of reform and uplift; but nevertheless, I wanted to do the work with scientific accuracy. Thus, in my own sociology, because of firm belief in a changing racial group, I easily grasped the idea of a changing developing society rather than a fixed social structure.

The decade and a half in which I taught, was riotous with happenings in the world of social development; with economic expansion, with political control, with racial difficulties. Above all, it was the era of empire and while I had some equipment to deal with a scientific approach to social studies, I did not have any clear conception or grasp of the meaning of that industrial imperialism which was beginning to grip the world. My only approach to meanings and helpful study there again was through my interest in race contact.


[Source: Ch.4: "Science and Empire," pp.590-1 in W.E.B. Du Bois, Writings. Nathan Huggins, ed. NY: Library of America, 1980.
The excerpt is also found in Du Bois' 1968 Autobiography, Ch. XIII: pp. 205-206.]



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Robert Williams