We are honored to work with Professor Evelynn Hammonds and Professor Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, both scholars who have dedicated their lives to engaged scholarship, diversity and equity.
Evelynn Hammonds, Faculty Chair
In 2016, Eveynn Hammonds served as our faculty chair. Professor Hammonds is the Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of History of Science, Professor or African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Professor Hammonds has also served at the Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity at Harvard University, and as Dean of Harvard College. Professor Hammonds's work focuses on the intersection of scientific, medical, and socio-political concepts of race in the United States. She is completing a history of biological, medical, and anthropological uses of racial concepts entitled, The Logic of Difference: A History of Race in Science and Medicine in the United States, 1850–1990. She is also completing the MIT Reader on Race and Gender in Science co-edited with Rebecca Herzig and Abigail Bass. Professor Hammonds was named a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer (2003–2005) by Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. She has been a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and a Fellow in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Professor Hammonds earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University in the Department of History of Science, an S.M. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a B.E.E. in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in physics from Spelman College. She taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before coming to Harvard. While at MIT she was the founding director of the MIT Center for the Study of Diversity in Science, Technology, and Medicine. Professor Hammonds has also been a Visiting Professor at UCLA and Hampshire College.
Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, 2016 Keynote Speaker
In 2016, Professor Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, the Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University served as our keynote speaker. She has been a tenured faculty member at Harvard since 1993, and has chaired the Department of African and African Americans Studies from 2006-2013. She is the founder and coordinator of the department’s Social Engagement Initiative, an innovative pedagogy that combines rigorous academic work with on-the-ground experience. Higginbotham became the National President of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History in January 2016. Professor Higginbotham began her teaching career as a public school teacher in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and in Washington, DC, before moving to the university setting. She has also taught on the faculties of Dartmouth College, the University of Maryland, and the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Higginbotham earned her Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in American History, her M.A. from Howard University, and her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has thoroughly revised and re-written the classic African American history survey From Slavery to Freedom, which was first published by John Hope Franklin in 1947. She is the co-author with the late John Hope Franklin of this book’s ninth edition, which came out in 2010. A pioneering scholar in African American women’s history, she is the author of the prizewinning book Righteous Discontent: The Women’s Movement in the Black Baptist Church 1880-1920. She is also co-editor with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., of the African American National Biography, now in its second edition (2013). This twelve-volume resource presents African American history through the lives of more than 5,000 biographical entries.