Richard von Weizsäcker Lecture
Running after Du Bois
W.E.B. Du Bois was the most influential black intellectual of his time. In this talk, Columbia University professor Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak will consider Du Bois in the great diversity of his positions—from the American “Negro” all the way to global communism and Pan-Africanism, with reference to his literary and autobiographical works as well. Her focus will be his analysis of the emergence of US “abolition-democracy” as reflected in Du Bois’s massive Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880, a pioneering study of the societal role black Americans played in the crucial period after the Civil War.