Henry Louis Gates Jr. Named New Pulitzer Chair

By: E&P Staff Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of the Department of African and African-American Studies at Harvard University, has been elected chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, the board announced Tuesday.

He replaces outgoing board chairman Andrew Barnes, chairman of the the Poynter Institute, who will be leaving the board.

A member of the Pulitzer board since 1997, Gates, who also serves as director of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard, is "one of the leading cultural critics in the United States, and a world-renowned scholar of African and African-American studies," the Pulitzer Board said in a statement.

He is also the author of 12 books on the African and African-American experience, race, and identity, including "Colored People: A Memoir," which traces his childhood in West Virginia during the 1950s and 1960s, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man," and "Figures in Black: Words, Signs and the 'Racial' Self."

In 1989, Gates won the American Book Award for "The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism." With Princeton?s Cornel West, he also co-authored "The Future of the Race and The African-American Century." He has not, however, won a Pulitzer Prize.

Gates announced this week that he will step down as chair of the Department of African and African American Studies in July 2006, but he will continue as a professor and the director of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute.


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