The Political Science Department has a new professor, Joy James. Or, perhaps she is just new to me. Any details on this (new?) hire would be much appreciated. Given that James is tenured at Brown, and was visiting Hamilton last year, I think that she is just a visiting professor, but that is not what the webpage says. Moreover, she is also listed as the chair of African-American Studies. Visitors do not usually chair departments.

Professor James’s interests lie in critical race and gender theory and incarceration studies. Her current research examines: narratives by incarcerated writers, the Central Park Case and contemporary memory, African American women in national politics, 1964-2004

Lest Hu-DeHart accuse EphBlog of being a part of the white power structure, I’ll hold off on any commentary for now on how this research agenda fits into the department of political science in particular and academics at Williams in general.

UPDATE: Professor James was kind enough to reply to my e-mail and confirm that she is indeed coming to Williams. Who needs the College news releases when you have EphBlog? The Record provided an update on the College’s hiring plans last week. No names were mentioned, but perhaps this sentence:

One last candidate, an African American woman, had not responded to an offer from Williams as of yesterday.

was a reference to James. If not, if the College has managed to hire two black female professors, then that would be an impressive achievement in today’s job market.

In any event, allow EphBlog to be among the first to welcome Professor James to the Purple Valley. I am certain that she will love her Eph students and I hope that they will feel the same.

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