July 19, 2011 5:45 AM
Many may recognize her from her regular appearances on MSNBC’s programs such as “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.” Others may be familiar with her column in The Nation. This fall semester, the Tulane community welcomes Melissa Harris-Perry as a professor of political science and the founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South.
The project will be housed at the Newcomb College Institute as part of its efforts to be the preeminent program for leadership education for undergraduate women.
Tulane undergraduates will have the opportunity to work with Harris-Perry this fall as she teaches a course on Women in Politics, Media and the Contemporary United States.
Sally Kenney, executive director of the Newcomb College Institute, knows what an asset Harris-Perry is to Tulane.
“Melissa Harris-Perry’s skill at bringing her social scientific expertise to bear on her work as a public intellectual distinguishes her from other successful pundits. Her ability to cross disciplines and subfields, combined with her deep and sophisticated engagement with real-world politics, when added to the existing faculty strengths, positions Tulane to be a leader in women and politics.”
In her most recent academic position, Harris-Perry taught politics and African American studies at Princeton University. But Tulane offered something that her former post did not.
“My academic and political work has been focused on New Orleans for much of the past six years, and I am thrilled to be here full time,” says Harris-Perry. “This is an exciting time in the university’s history that offers unmatched intellectual and professional opportunities.”
Harris-Perry’s role as a teacher and public intellectual has not hampered her research or publications. Her most recent book, Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes and Black Women in America, will be available from Yale Press in August.
Aidan Smith is external affairs officer for the Newcomb College Institute.
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