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Avalon Professor in the Humanities: Michael Eric Dyson

The School of Arts and Sciences has announced that Dr. Michael Eric Dyson has been named the Avalon Professor in the Humanities. Dr. Dyson comes to the religious studies department from DePaul University, where he was the Ida B. Wells-Barnett University Professor. In addition, he has taught at Chicago Theological Seminary, the University of North Carolina, and Columbia and Brown universities. In his research, which focuses on race, religion, popular culture and contemporary crises facing the African-American community, he sometimes employs a new genre of scholarship, which he terms ‘bio-criticism,' the fusion of social and cultural criticism and biographical analysis. He earned a Ph.D. in religion at Princeton University and is also an ordained Baptist minister.

A widely published author and frequent media commentator, he has written six highly acclaimed books including the recent bestseller Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur, as well as examinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. He writes a monthly column for Savoy magazine, and is a contributing editor at Christian Century and is a contributor for Vibe magazine. He has received awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and the NAACP.

The Avalon Professorship was created in 1966 by the Avalon Foundation, now the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. "It is an honor to acknowledge the foundation's generosity with this exceptional appointment," said SAS Dean Sam Preston.


  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 6, October 1, 2002