Whitney Battle-Baptiste named new Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst! Battle-Baptiste is a historical archaeologist who focuses on the intersection of race, class and gender in the shaping of cultural landscapes across the African diaspora. Her theoretical interests include black feminist theory, African-American material and expressive culture and critical heritage studies. Her work includes historic sites as varied as the home of Andrew Jackson in Nashville, Tenn., Rich Neck Plantation in Williamsburg, Va., the Abiel Smith School in Boston, the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite in Great Barrington, Mass. and the Millars Plantation on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera.
“I am extremely pleased that Dr. Battle-Baptiste has agreed to assume leadership of the Libraries’ W.E.B. Du Bois Center,” says Jay Schafer, director of the UMass Amherst Libraries. “Her scholarship and commitment to social change are an excellent match for the center’s mission and her enthusiasm for the role promises to increase the visibility and impact the center has in promoting the legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois.”
– “African Diaspora: Archaeology as a tool for social justice,” Research Next: Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity for a Brighter Future, February, 2013. http://www.umass.edu/researchnext/african-diaspora#.
– Faculty Profiles: ISSR Research Scholar, Archaeologist Focuses on Anthropology through Race, Gender and Class, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Website, February, 2013. http://www.umass.edu/sbs/faculty/profiles/battle-baptiste_issr.htm.
– Oral History Project Feature, Society of Black Archaeologists, in collaboration with the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, March 14, 2012.
– Truthout.org, “Archaeologist, Black Feminist Unearths Contributions of African Diaspora, Everyday People,” by Max Eternity, February 29, 2012.
– Faculty Profiles: “Archaeologist Focuses on African Diaspora Through Race, Gender and Class,” College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Website, September, 2011. http://www.umass.edu/sbs/faculty/profiles/battle-baptiste.htm.
– Black Feminist Archaeology, Topic: Digging Deep: Decoding Womanhood through our African Ancestors, Omo Oduduwa Radio: Voices of Vision with Ayoka Wiles, November, 2011.
– The Women’s Times Magazine, “ Sifting the Evidence: black feminist archaeology,” November, 2010.