Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.

Chair
Department of African American Studies
William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies
Ph.D, Religion
Princeton University
email:
esglaude@princeton.edu
twitter:
@esglaude
Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.

Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is a scholar who speaks to the black and blue in America. His most well-known books, Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, and In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America, take a wide look at black communities and reveal complexities, vulnerabilities, and opportunities for hope. Hope that is, in one of his favorite quotes from W.E.B Du Bois, “not hopeless, but a bit unhopeful.” Other muses include James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and Bobby “Blue” Bland. In addition to his readings of early American philosophers and contemporary political scientists, Glaude turns to African American literature in his writing and teaching for insight into African American political life, religious thought, gender and class.

Glaude is the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University. He is chair of the Department of African American Studies, a program he first became involved with shaping as a doctoral candidate in Religion at Princeton. He is the current president of the American Academy of Religion. His books on religion and philosophy include African American Religion: A Very Short Introduction and Exodus! Religion, Race and Nation in Early 19th Century Black America, which was awarded the Modern Language Association’s William Sanders Scarborough Book Prize. Glaude is also the author of two edited volumes, and many influential articles about religion for academic journals. He has also written for the likes of The New York Times and The Huffington Post.

Known to be a convener of conversations and debates, Glaude takes care to engage fellow citizens of all ages and backgrounds – from young activists, to fellow academics, journalists and commentators, and followers on Twitter in dialogue about the course of the nation. His scholarship and his sense of himself as a public intellectual are driven by a commitment to think carefully with others in public. Accordingly, his writing and ideas are cited and shared widely.

Currently Glaude is at work on a book about James Baldwin, tentatively titled James Baldwin’s America, 1963-1972. Of Baldwin, Glaude writes, “Baldwin’s writing does not bear witness to the glory of America. It reveals the country’s sins, and the illusion of innocence that blinds us to the reality of others. Baldwin’s vision then requires a confrontation with history (with slavery, Jim Crow segregation, with whiteness) to overcome its hold on us. Not to posit the greatness of America, but to establish the ground upon which to imagine the country anew.” Democracy in Black has been described in similar terms. Bill Moyers says the book “breathes with prophetic fire,” recently writing, “Democracy in Black is rich in history and bold in opinion, and inconvenient truths leap from every page.”

Some like to describe Glaude as the quintessential Morehouse man, having left his home in Moss Point, Mississippi at age 16 to begin studies at the HBCU. He holds a master’s degree in African American Studies from Temple University, and a Ph.D in Religion from Princeton University. He began his teaching career at Bowdoin College. He has been a visiting scholar at Amherst College and Harvard. In 2011 he delivered Harvard’s Du Bois lectures. In 2015 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Colgate University, delivering commencement remarks titled, “Turning Our Backs.” He is a columnist for Time Magazine and regularly provides commentary on radio and television news programs like Democracy Now!, Morning Joe, and the 11th Hour. He hosts the podcast AAS 21, recorded at Princeton University in Stanhope Hall, the African American Studies department’s home.

Courses

AAS 230 / ENG 231
The Fire This Time: Reading James Baldwin

This course examines the selected non-fiction writings of one of America’s most influential essayists and public intellectuals: James Baldwin. Attention will be given to his views on ethics, art, and politics – with particular consideration given to his critical reflections on race and democracy.

AAS 321 / REL 321
Black Power and its Theology of Liberation

This course examines the various pieties of the Black Power Era. We chart the explicit and implicit utopian visions of the politics of the period that, at once, criticized established black religious institutions and articulated alternative ways of imagining salvation. We also explore the attempt by black theologians to translate the prophetic black church tradition into the idiom of black power. Our aim is to keep in view the significance of the Black Power era for understanding the changing role and place of black religion in black public life.

AAS 500
Introduction to African American Intellectual Tradition

This interdisciplinary seminar introduces graduate students from many departments to the African-American intellectual tradition. Particular attention will be paid to black radicalism, in both the U.S. and the African Diaspora, with a focus on issues of class and gender alongside race. A broad set of topics are discussed, including: racial formation; slavery; empire; and social movements. The course presupposes a familiarity with issues in African American studies.

This course is required for graduate certificate requirements.