Erik McDuffie Photo

Erik McDuffie
Associate Professor of History, African American Studies, African Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Erik S. McDuffie is an Associate Professor in the Department of African American Studies and the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). His research and teaching interests include African diaspora history, black feminism, black queer theory, black radicalism, black Midwestern history, and black masculinity. He is the author of the book, Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Left Feminism (Durham: Duke University Press, 2011). The book received the 2012 Wesley-Logan Prize from the American Historical Association-Association for the Study of African American Life and History, as well as the 2011 Letitia Woods Brown Book Prize from the Association of Black Women Historians. He is also the author of several scholarly articles and essays published in Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society; Journal of African American History; Biography; African Identities; African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal; Radical History Review; American Communist History; Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International; among other journals and edited volumes.

Currently, he is working on a new book-length manuscript, tentatively titled Garveyism in the Diasporic Midwest: The American Heartland and Global Black Freedom, 1920-1980. He is a member of several professional associations. These include the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD), American Historical Association (AHA), Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), Association of Black Women Historians (ABWH), and American Studies Association (ASA). He served as secretary of ASWAD from 2007-2011. Currently, he sits on ASWAD executive board.

He has taught at the University of Illinois and University of Delaware. In June 2014, he won a Richard and Margaret Romano Professorial award from UIUC. This three-year award is based upon the recognition of scholars’ outstanding achievements in research and leadership at Illinois. In 2012, he received a fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study (Illinois) to research his new book on Garveyism in the Midwest. In 2010, he won the Helen Corley Petit Award (Illinois). This honor is given for extraordinary accomplishment during the tenure probation period by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He also received the Outstanding Teaching Award in African American Studies from the Department of African American Studies (Illinois) for AY 2010-11. He earned his Ph.D. in history in 2003 from New York University with a concentration in the African diaspora and U.S. history since 1865.


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