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Title:Dialectical dimensions: the emergence and evolution of African American Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 1968-2008
Author(s):Byndom, Samuel Joseph
Director of Research:Pak, Yoon K.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Pak, Yoon K.; Cha-Jua, Sundiata K.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Anderson, James D.; Rodriguez, Richard T.
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):African American Studies
Black Power
Higher Education
Black Studies
Student Activism
Abstract:During its inception, proposed as a discipline was Black Studies that could spur new knowledge by countering Eurocentric modes of hegemony. Land grant institutions and public colleges, such as the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (U of I), have an unique capacity and obligation to residents to provide access and avenues to new forms of knowledge. The institutionalization of Black Studies at predominantly White institutions of higher education produced dialectic processes that shaped the discipline and reshaped the university. This research provides a better understanding of institutional culture and administrative reactions, which functioned both as an incubator and an obstruction to the emergence and evolution of African American Studies at U of I from 1968 to 2008. The major questions guiding this research are: In the context of the university, how did the growth of the Black student population and divergent Black Power ideology at U of I produce a dialectical relationships between Black Studies and institutional culture? How did the quality of leadership impact the development of Black Studies at the U of I and in what ways did administrators and policies have a profound influence on student engagement? What are the ways in which institutions of higher education negotiate ideological differences and manage forms of diversity? The project consist of archival data, newspapers, and a collection of oral histories from previous Chancellors, Deans, Directors, faculty, Heads, Provost, students, staff, and community members from 1968-2008. The theoretical frameworks of "insurgency" and "ideological state apparatuses" are employed help articulate the challenges, negotiations, and institutional adjustments, which characterized the development and growth of the African American Studies unit. Contemporary historians have provided a foundation to assess the role of Black student activism on university campuses and provided insights into the thoughts and actions of student activists (Rojas, 2007; Williamson, 2003; Bradley, 2009). Ultimately, this case study investigates the ways in which the Black Studies as a critical intervention created dialectical relationships between administrators, faculty, and students through negotiations of managing diversity and ideological difference which transformed U of I's culture gradually over forty years.
Issue Date:2016-04-20
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Samuel Joseph Byndom All Right Reserved
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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