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About Robert W. Williams

I teach a range of political science courses at Bennett College in Greensboro, NC. My initial graduate school specialization focused on political theory, especially modern, contemporary, and critical theories. After receiving my Ph.D. in Political Science from Rutgers University (1993), I taught at Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC (1993-2004).

As regards my research foci, I typically have engaged in meta-theoretical (a.k.a. metatheoretical) analyses, addressing the assumptions and implications that underpin the social and political theories themselves. Over the last few years I have concentrated my scholarship on environmental justice, the spatiality of politics, and the Internet and cyber-politics. Inspiring my recent research efforts are the philosophical dimensions of W.E.B. Du Bois' thought, especially as they relate to social inquiry. I am especially intrigued by what can be construed as his idea of a critical social science. The intellectual context of Du Bois' era, including its many and varied thinkers and their works, also interests me.

My ONLINE VITA includes more details of my research, as well as my teaching experience and other college-related matters. Also listed on my C.V. are various conference presentations on Du Bois and other topics.

My scholarly pu!blications on W.E.B. Du Bois include:
"Confronting the Pseudo-Science of Race: W.E.B. Du Bois's Letter to Waights Gibbs Henry, 1916." Academia Letters (August 2021).
2019 "M.L. King's Abiding Tribute to W.E.B. Du Bois: Research, Activism, and the Unknowable." Phylon, 56:1 (Summer): 134-155.
"The Digital Legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois in the Internet Age." Pp.267-294 in Citizen of the World: The Late Career and Legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois, ed. by Phillip Luke Sinitiere. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2019.
"A Democracy of Differences: Knowledge and the Unknowable in Du Bois's Theory of Democratic Governance." Pp.181-203 in A Political Companion to W.E.B. Du Bois, ed. by Nick Bromell. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2018.
"Of Knowledge and Social Critique: W.E.B. Du Bois's Metaphor of the Tower." Pp.111-131 in W.E.B. Du Bois and the Africana Rhetoric of Dealienation, ed. by Monique Leslie Akassi. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018.
"Embracing Philosophy: On Du Bois's 'The Individual and Social Conscience'." Phylon, 51:1 (Fall 2014): 42-56.
"W.E.B. Du Bois and Positive Propaganda: A Philosophical Prelude to His Editorship of The Crisis." Pp.16-27 in Amy Helene Kirschke & Phillip Luke Sinitiere (Eds.), Protest and Propaganda: W.E.B. Du Bois, the Crisis, and American History. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2014.
R.W.W. & W.E.B. Du Bois [Primary source]. "'The Sacred Unity in All the Diversity': The Text and a Thematic Analysis of W.E.B. Du Bois's 'The Individual and Social Conscience' (1905)." Journal of African American Studies, 16:3 (September 2012): 456-497. It was initially published via "Online First" (SpringerLink), March 2011. Note that only the abstract is freely accessible online, but the peer-reviewed and revised "draft" version is available for viewing as per the copyright agreement with the Journal of African American Studies: PDF file [~379K]. The abstract is available on its own webpage at <>.
"Politics, Rights, and Spatiality in W.E.B. Du Bois's 'Address to the Country' (1906)". Journal of African American Studies, 14:3 (September 2010): 337-358. Initially published via Online First (SpringerLink) on 11 August 2009. (Note: Only the abstract and first page are freely accessible via SpringerLink's Online First).
"Paradoxes of the South in W.E.B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk." Mississippi Quarterly, 62:1-2 (Winter-Spring 2009): 71-94. [Download: PDF ~147 K]
"The Early Social Science of W.E.B. Du Bois." Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, 3:2 (September 2006): 365-394. [Download: PDF ~190 K]   [Abstract;  Issue TOC]
"W.E.B. Du Bois and His Social-Scientific Research: A Review of Online Texts." Sociation Today, 3:2 (Fall 2005). (The journal, Sociation Today, is managed and edited by the North Carolina Sociological Association).
"W.E.B. Du Bois and the Socio-Political Structures of Education." The Negro Educational Review, 55:1 (January 2004): 9-26. [A draft version is available online.]

I have published an entry entitled the "Atlanta University School of Sociological Research" -- and its connections with Du Bois -- in Helen Taylor Greene & Shaun L. Gabbidon (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Race and Crime (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2009): pp.37-40. [Web page].

My lectures on Du Bois are available online, including:
"W.E.B. Du Bois on Democracy and Its Companion Ideas: Concordancing Their Intricacies" was presented at the 2021 NCPSA/​NCPAA Annual Conference (Virtual) on 26 February 2021.
Du Bois's Pragmatism: William James and Beyond" was presented at the "Scholarship Above the Veil: A Sesquicentennial Symposium Honoring W.E.B. Du Bois, 1868-2018", Harvard University, on 27 October 2018.
"W.E.B. Du Bois on Scientific Knowledge and Its Limits". Presented at the "Symposium Celebrating the 120th Anniversary of the Atlanta Sociological Laboratory and the Work of W.E.B. Du Bois", Clark Atlanta University, 25 February 2016.
"Embracing Philosophy: On Du Bois's 'The Individual and Social Conscience'". Presented at the "W.E.B. Du Bois 50th Anniversary Commemorative Conference", Clark Atlanta University, 20 February 2013.

Also, I have written several entries for The Literary Encyclopedia. Please note: to read more than the first few hundred words of any entry will require you to procure a yearly membership to The Literary Encyclopedia (which, if I do say so myself, is a good reference source for literature, philosophy, and other academic topics). The Encyclopedia entries are:
Biographical sketch: W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) (June 2005).
Profile of Du Bois' The Philadelphia Negro,1899 (March 2006).
Profile of Du Bois' The Souls of Black Folk, 1903 (June 2005).
Profile of Du Bois' The Quest of the Silver Fleece: A Novel, 1911 (December 2009).
Profile of Du Bois' The Negro, 1915 (October 2006).
Profile of Du Bois' Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil, 1920 (September 2005).

I also maintain a social-media presence with a page at the ACADEMIA.EDU website. Those with Du Bois listed as a research interest on <> can be located via the following search terms: "W.E.B. Du Bois" or "W. E. B. Du Bois" or "Du Bois".

On academic matters, I can be contacted via .