Henry Louis Gates Jr

11 December 2014

Henry Louis Gates Jr was awarded an honorary doctorate in literature.

Henry Louis Gates obtained his BA at Yale and his MA and PhD degrees at the University of Cambridge.

Gates, Alphonse Fletcher University professor and director of Harvard's Hutchins Center for African and African American Research (originally the WEB du Bois Institute for African and African American Research), is one of America's foremost public intellectuals. He is a literary critic, educator, scholar, documentary-maker, writer and editor of several volumes.

The major focus of Gates' work has been the figure of the African American in American and global literature and politics. His work is driven by an abiding concern with the perception of the historic diminution of blackness in the everyday world and he seeks to show the contribution to society and culture made by people of colour, and to show how important it is for scholars to develop a better understanding of how racism has blighted modern society.

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