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Additional Information for Upcoming Conference

Keynote Speaker

Crystal R. Sanders, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of African American Studies (Emory University)

Crystal R. Sanders photo

Crystal R. Sanders is an award-winning historian of the United States in the twentieth century. Her research and teaching interests include African American History, Black Women’s History, and the History of Black Education. She received her B.A. (cum laude) in History and Public Policy from Duke University and a Ph.D. in History from Northwestern University. Before coming to Emory, she was an associate professor of History at Pennsylvania State University.

Sanders is the author of A Chance for Change: Head Start and Mississippi’s Black Freedom Struggle, published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2016 as part of the John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture. The book won the 2017 Critics Choice Award from the American Educational Research Association and the 2017 New Scholar’s Book Award from Division F of the American Educational Research Association. The book was also a finalist for the 2016 Hooks National Book Award. Sanders’ work can also be found in many of the leading history journals, including the Journal of Southern History, the North Carolina Historical Review, and the Journal of African American History. She is currently writing a book on black southerners’ efforts to secure graduate education during the age of Jim Crow.

Sanders is the recipient of a host of fellowships and prizes. These honors include the C. Vann Woodward Prize from the Southern Historical Association, the Huggins-Quarles Award from the Organization of American Historians, an Andrew Mellon Graduate Fellowship in Humanistic Studies, a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Visiting Scholars Fellowship at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Anthony Kaye Fellowship at the National Humanities Center. In 2021, the American Historical Association awarded her its Equity Award.

Opening Plenary Speaker

Craig Steven Wilder, Ph.D.

Barton L. Weller Professor of History (MIT)

Wilder photograph

Craig Steven Wilder is a historian of American institutions and ideas.

He is the author of Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities (Bloomsbury, 2013), which Kirkus Reviews named one of the best nonfiction books of the year and which won multiple book awards. Since its publication, scores of colleges and universities have publicly acknowledged their historical ties to slavery and the slave trade, and institutions across the Atlantic have committed to researching and publishing their connections to the slave economy.

The HBO comedy “VEEP” closed its sixth season with Selina Myer’s (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) plans for her presidential library at Yale University derailing upon reports that the site had once been the campus slave quarters. The 2017 premiere of the ABC comedy “black-ish” included a theatrical salute to the enslaved people who built the nation, including its universities. Wilder’s book inspired the Grammy-winning artist Esperanza Spalding’s song, “Ebony and Ivy,” “Emily’s D+Evolution” (2016). A fictional book titled Ebony & Ivy was featured in the film “Dear White People” (2014).

Wilder is also the author of In the Company of Black Men: The African Influence on African American Culture in New York City (NYU Press, 2001/2004); and A Covenant with Color: Race and Social Power in Brooklyn (Columbia University Press, 2000/2001).