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Duchess Harris – Standing for Women

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Harris is an Associate Professor of American Studies at Macalester College. She joined the faculty in 1998 and has an expertise in 20th century political history, feminist theory, and race and the law.


She is the author of Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Clinton (Palgrave Macmillan) .The second edition of the book, Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Obama, will be released in May 2011. In a new final chapter she discusses President Obama’s report card as it relates to Black women. You can view a snap shot of this at The Scholar and Feminist Online. She also edited a volume with Bruce Baum, Racially Writing the Republic: Racists, Race Rebels, and Transformations of American Identity (Duke University Press).


Harris was awarded a Bush Leadership Fellowship in the spring of 2009, allowing her to take an 18-month leave of absence from Macalester to complete her law degree. The Bush Leadership Program encourages their recipients to create positive change in their communities. She enhanced the William Mitchell community as the Editor in Chief of Law Raza Journal, the first interactive online race and the law journal in the country. Her editorial team launched this journal on April 23, 2010, the same day that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the Arizona Immigration Senate Bill 1070 into law.


As Ruthie Wilson Gilmore said in her 2010 presidential address to the American Studies Association, “Infiltrate what exists, innovate what doesn’t.” Harris hopes her small innovation with this journal will contribute to a re-examination of where our legal system doesn’t provide equal protection under the laws.


Harris is proud of her family of five. She and her husband Jon V. Thomas, MD, MBA were featured in Essence Magazine as a two career couple raising three children; one of whom thrives with autism. When she is not working as an academic or a parent, she enjoys working on her blog.

Professor Harris invites you to follow, which cross-posts with the Star Tribune, Race-Talk, Minnesota Public Radio, Feminist Wire, Racism Review, and the Huffington Post.

Season 2, Episode 2 – Sandy Darity, Duchess Harris