Melissa Harris-Perry is going to have a busy summer. On top of being a new mother, she is joining her alma mater, Wake Forest University, to become the institution’s Presidential Chair, the second of only two such chairs awarded at the university; hers will be in politics and international studies. The move to Wake Forest officially ends Harris-Perry’s three-year stint in Tulane University’s political-science department.
Ms. Harris-Perry will take with her to Wake Forest the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South, which examines many of the subjects of her books. The center, which has been until now her private corporation, is named for a key figure in early-20th-century black intellectual life and was formed to support programs, courses, and research.
This summer Ms. Harris-Perry will begin expanding its course offerings, its programs, and the number of affiliated faculty members it draws from many disciplines as it becomes a Wake Forest center of undergraduate study and teaching. She hopes it may eventually host postdoctoral and public programs.
Ms. Harris-Perry expects that, once in Winston-Salem, N.C., where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in English at Wake Forest before earning her doctorate in political science at Duke University, she will renew “a ton of intellectual and personal connections.” She has those from her earlier teaching stints at the University of Chicago and Princeton University, too. The producers of her Melissa Harris-Perry television show do not risk coming up short of academic guests.
Congratulations, to Melissa Harris-Perry!