Letter from the Chair
Associate Professor of African American Studies
Associate Professor of History
Associate Professor of Center for African Studies
Areas of Specialization
African American Studies
Erik S. McDuffie is an Associate Professor in the Department of African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research and teaching interests include African diaspora history, black feminism, black queer theory, black radicalism, black urban 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; 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 American Heartland: The Practice of Diaspora in the Midwest" and "Decision in Africa: The Council on African Affairs, Diasporic Radicalism, and the Global Cold War at Midcentury." 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 to 2011.
He has taught at the University of Illinois and University of Delaware. 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 PhD in history in 2003 from New York University with a concentration in the African diaspora and U.S. history since 1865. He lives in Urbana, Illinois, with his family.
- National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow
- McDuffie, Erik S. Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Left Feminism . . Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011.
- "Esther V. Cooper’s ‘The Negro Woman Domestic Worker in Relation to Trade Unionism’: Black Left Feminism and the Popular Front." Red Activists and Black Freedom: James and Esther Jackson and the Long Civil Rights Movement. . New York: Routledge, 2010. 33-40.
- "The Diasporic Journeys of Louise Little: Grassroots Garveyism, the Midwest, and Community Feminism." Women, Gender, and Families of Color 4.2 (2016): 146-170.
- "“A New Day Has Dawned for the UNIA”: Garveyism, the Diasporic Midwest, and West Africa, 1920–80." Journal of West African History 2.1 (2016): 73-114.
- "Chicago, Garveyism, and the History of the Diasporic Midwest." African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal 8.2 (2015): 129-145.
- McDuffie, Erik S., and Komozi Woodard. "“If you’re in a country that’s progressive, the woman is progressive”: Black Women Radicals and The Making of the Politics and Legacy of Malcolm X." Biography 36.3 (2013): 507-539.
- "Obama, the World, and Africa: Thoughts on African American Politics and the 2012 Presidential Election,." Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Culture, Politics and Society 14.1-2 (2012): 28-37.
- "For full freedom of…colored women in Africa, Asia, and these United States’: Black Women Radicals and the Practice of a Black Women’s International." Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International 1.1 (2012): 1-30.
- "Black and Red: Black Liberation, the Cold War, and the Horne Thesis." Journal of African American History 96.2 (2011): 236-247 .
- "Garveyism in Cleveland, Ohio and the History of the Diasporic Midwest, 1920-1975." African Identities 9.2 (2011): 163–181 .
- "I wanted a Communist movement, but I wanted to have the chance to organize our people’: The Diasporic Radicalism of Queen Mother Audley Moore and the Origins of Black Power." African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal 3.2 (2010): 181-195.