Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is keynote for MLK program

Division of Diversity sponsors one of America’s greatest scholars

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Henry Louis Gates, Jr. – American literary critic, professor, scholar, editor, writer and producer – will be the keynote speaker for the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) 2011 Third Annual MLK Keynote lecture. The lecture is sponsored by the Division of Diversity, Access and Equity (DDAE).

The event will take place at 6 p.m., Friday, Jan. 14 at the UMKC Swinney Recreation Center, 5030 Holmes, and doors open at 5:30 p.m. A book signing will follow. The lecture is free; however, online registration is required.

“Since this is the Martin Luther King Keynote lecture, it is only appropriate to have a scholar of Henry Louis Gates’ stature,” said Karen Dace, Ph.D., Deputy Chancellor of the DDAE. “Dr. Gates is one of the most widely-known scholars on African American and Africana studies in the United States today.”

Dr. Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Also, he is editor-in-chief of the Oxford African American Studies Center, the first comprehensive scholarly online resource in the field of African American Studies and Africana Studies.

He is the author of several works of literary criticism including, “Wonders of the African World”; “Colored People: A Memoir”; and “The Signifying Monkey”. Most recently, he edited “The Bondwoman’s Narrative” by Hannah Crafts – the first novel written by a female fugitive slave. He is general editor of the Norton Anthology of African Literature and the co-editor of Microsoft Encarta Africana. He is a staff writer for The New Yorker and is co-editor of Transitions magazine.

Gates earned his bachelor of arts in history from Yale University and his master’s and doctorate in English language and literature from Clare College at the University of Cambridge. He taught English literature and Afro-American studies at Yale and Cornell Universities before joining the faculty of Harvard in 1991.

Gates is a member of numerous organizations including the Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Council of Foreign Relations, the African Literature Association and Phi Beta Kappa. He also is a board member of the Lincoln Center Theatre and the Whitney Museum.

For more details about the MLK Keynote Lecture, contact the Division of Diversity at 816-235-6704. For information on the Division of Diversity, Access and Equity, visit the DDAE Website.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit www.umkc.edu. You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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