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Harvard’s Gates to be Visiting Scholar at Princeton Think Tank

Harvard’s Gates to be Visiting Scholar at Princeton Think Tank


The chairman of Harvard University’s Department of Afro-American Studies is joining a think tank in Princeton for one year as a visiting scholar.

Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. ended a widely watched academic tug-of-war in December, announcing he would remain as head of Harvard’s Afro-American Studies program rather than follow two prominent colleagues, Dr. Cornel West and Dr. K. Anthony Appiah, to Princeton University.

West and Appiah were lured away by Princeton last year — in West’s case after a dispute with Dr. Lawrence Summers, Harvard’s new president (see Black Issues, Feb. 14, 2002).

Gates, one of America’s most prominent Black intellectuals, said it had been tempting to join his former colleagues. But he said Harvard’s Afro-American department was in transition and it would have been irresponsible to leave.

Nonetheless, Gates will join the faculty of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton beginning in September. He was in Ghana last month and could not reached for comment. A secretary confirmed his stint with the institute would last a year and said the professor is not leaving Harvard.

The think tank, most notably associated with Albert Einstein, has 25 permanent faculty in four schools and about 190 visiting faculty from throughout the world. Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study are separate entities.

Institute spokeswoman Georgia Whidden said Gates will be affiliated with the School of Historical Studies and School of Social Science. She could not say what Gates’ plans are for the year.

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