Neil Roberts, professor of Africana studies andaffiliate of political science and religion, will serve as associate dean of the faculty starting July 1, 2023. He succeeds history professor Sara Dubow, who has served in the role since July 2020. Roberts will begin the two-year post following his positions as a guest lecturer and full professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto from 2021-23.
Roberts came to Williams in 2008, after receiving a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago. His research and teaching interests explore the contours of Africana studies, Black political thought, Caribbean philosophy, critical race studies, democratic theory, philosophy of religion, politics in literature, postcolonial and decolonial thought, social and political theory and theories of freedom.
He is the recipient of fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Institute for Citizens and Scholars. He was President of the Caribbean Philosophical Association from 2016-19, and he served for several years on the Executive Editorial Board of the journal Political Theory.
His publications include the books A Political Companion to Frederick Douglass (2018), the collaborative volume Journeys in Caribbean Thought (2016), and the award-winning text Freedom as Marronage (2015) as well as articles on creolizing the canon, Black radicalism, totalitarianism and modern politics, and the bounds of political theory. He has published in journals such as Black Perspectives, Caribbean Studies, Contemporary Political Theory, Perspectives on Politics, Small Axe, and Theory & Event. Creolizing Arendt (forthcoming, early 2024) and How to Live Free in an Age of Pessimism (to be published thereafter) are his next books.
At Williams, Roberts served as chair of the departments of Africana studies and religion as well as the Faculty Lecture Series and the Lecture Committee, which have since merged into a single entity. He also served in the appointed position of the W. Ford Schumann Faculty Fellow in Democratic Studies.
Published June 13, 2023