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Langston Hughes Visiting Professors

The Langston Hughes Visiting Professorship was established at the University of Kansas in 1977 in honor of the African American poet, playwright and fiction writer who lived in Lawrence from 1903 to 1916. Over the years, the visiting professorship has attracted prominent or emerging ethnic minority scholars to the university campus, involving a broad range of disciplines and academic departments/schools. This one-semester appointment provides the recipient with a stipend appropriate to the candidate’s rank, a small travel allowance, and a modestly furnished apartment near the KU campus.

The professorship is now administered by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, who you should contact with any questions.

The KU Impact

The Langston Hughes Professorship has not only been a valuable program for bringing prominent ethnic minority scholars to the University for this prestigious appointment, but has also created an opportunity to engage in the campus-wide symposium a variety of topics and issues that otherwise would not be possible. In addition, several past recipients are now tenured faculty members at KU – a direct result of their appointment as a recipient of the Langston Hughes Visiting Professorship.



Former Langston Hughes Visiting Professors

Gregory Crichlow, Fall 2018 - School of Architecture and Design

Gregory Crichlow is a proud father of two and a grateful husband. Native of Colorado Gregory attended the University of Colorado-Boulder where he earned a degree of Environmental Design. Gregory went on to earn a Masters of Architecture from the University of Illinois -Chicago in which he graduated with distinction earning The American Institute of Architecture’s Henry Adams Certificate Award. As a registered architect Gregory participated as design architect on local projects such as The Gathering Place and the Bo Mathew’s “Fourth Quarter”. Currently Gregory is the founder and owner of Chocolate Spokes Bicycle Studio located in the Five Points Neighborhood, where he strives to create an invested participant with the local community.  Gregory is also a lecturer in the architecture department of the University of Colorado-Denver.

Professor Crichlow's lecture was titled "Citizen Architect". A summary of the lecture follows. As architects we understand prescriptive design solutions which are tested in ideal settings and misrepresented in their applications to underrepresented contexts.  As a profession we must learn from and generate design solutions from the inside through constituent relationships. I shall chronicle my work as an individual negotiating these everyday interactions to help shape healthier communities through the lens of a citizen architect. 




2017 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Baron Kelly

Barton Kelly

Baron Kelly joins the Department of Theatre in Spring 2017 as a Langston Hughes Visiting Associate Professor. Dr. Kelly is a four-time Fulbright Scholar and a member of the National Theatre Conference. He earned his PhD in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a diploma from London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and an MFA in Acting from California State University Long Beach. He has traveled extensively as a Cultural Specialist for the United States Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs teaching and lecturing on theatre in Russia; Scandinavia; Africa; Europe; and Asia. He has been a fellow at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African American Research. Currently, he serves on the boards of both the Comparative Drama Conference (Editorial Board) and Stanislavsky Institute Advisory Board.


In this lecture, Professor Kelly will explore the career of African American actor Earle Hyman and his work on the stages of Norway for thirty years. Hyman is best known for his television portrayal of Grandfather Cosby on "The Cosby Show" (later 1980s-early 1990s). Hyman's first Norwegian performance was Othello for Den Nationale Scene (The National Stage) in Bergen (1963). With Othello, Hyman made Norwegian stage history by being the first African American to perform in Norwegian on the stage. Hyman's appearance on the stages of Norway preceded the first immigrant arrivals and the subsequent phenomenon of actors of color in Norway. In the more than 50 years since Hyman appeared on stage in Norway, questions of multiculturalism and non-traditional casting in Norway loom large.

2016 Fall Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Sarah Deer

Omar Gudiño

Sarah Deer has worked to end violence against women for over 20 years. She began as a volunteer rape victim advocate as an undergraduate and later received her J.D. with a Tribal Lawyer Certificate from the University of Kansas School of Law. She is currently a professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of federal Indian law and victims’ rights. A citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, Deer is a co-author of three textbooks on tribal law. She has received national recognition for her work on violence against Native women and was a primary consultant for Amnesty International’s Maze of Injustice campaign. Her latest book is “The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America.” She is the recipient of a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship and KU Law's first Langston Hughes appointment.


In this lecture, Professor Deer re-evaluates the foundational legal precedents of Federal Indian Law through the lens of intersectional feminist theory. The dominant, gender-neutral paradigm of current Federal Indian law scholarship often ignores the gendered history of colonialism, leading to ineffective legal arguments in the contemporary context. Using two 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decisions as a point of departure, Professor Deer will demonstrate how a gendered approach to Federal Indian law may yield more positive results for tribal nations.

Fall 2015 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Omar Gudiño
Omar Gudiño

Langston Hughes Visiting Professor, University of Denver

Omar Gudiño, PhD, ABPP is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Denver. Dr. Gudiño directs the Services for At-Risk Youth & Families (SAYF) Lab at DU, which conducts research on patterns of risk and resilience in ethnic minority and immigrant youth exposed to trauma; ethnic/racial disparities in youth mental health services; and evidence-based assessment and treatment of maltreated youth. In addition to conducting research, Dr. Gudiño teaches undergraduate courses in abnormal psychology and child psychopathology. Furthermore, he teaches graduate seminars on the psychological assessment of children; multicultural issues in mental health; and provides clinical training to doctoral students in the Child Clinical PhD Program. Dr. Gudiño is a Board Certified Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychologist and a licensed psychologist in Colorado and New York.

Dr. Gudiño received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2009. After completing a predoctoral fellowship in child and adolescent psychology at the New York University Child Study Center/Bellevue Hospital, he served as a Senior Psychologist at Bellevue Hospital Center; a Clinical Assistant Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU; and a postdoctoral research fellow at the NYU school of Medicine. Dr. Gudiño is serving as the Langston Hughes Visiting Professor at the University of Kansas in Fall 2015.

Alcides Velasquez
Alcides Velasquez

Langston Hughes Visiting Professor, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia

Alcides Velasquez is Assistant Professor of Communication at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia where he teaches social media, quantitative research design and content analysis courses. He is also the chief editor of the journal Signo y Pensamiento, one of the most prestigious in Latin America in the communication studies field. His work has been published in journals like New Media and Society; Information, Communication and Society; Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Mediaand International Journal of Communication.

Dr. Velasquez has studied how social media affordances and social and cognitive factors influence social media activism, online political engagement and digital inequalities. His research is set out to understand how social media can help alleviate political engagement divides through the improvement of what he calls social media individual and collective efficacy perceptions; and how some affordances of social media shape how online political discussions take place. During his stay at KU Dr. Velasquez will continue with his research program by looking at the degree to which political uses of social media may help alleviate the inherent barriers for political participation and engagement for the Latino population, as well as the use of social media applications for the discussion of relevant topics for Latinos during the primary elections, such as immigration issues.

Professor Velasquez received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Media and Information Studies and an M.S. in Digital Media from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to advance his Ph.D. studies.

Spring 2015 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Folashade Agusto
Folashade Agusto

Associate Professor of Mathematics, Austin Peay State University

Fola Agusto is Associate Professor of Mathematics at Austin Peay State University. In 2011, she co-organized an international work-shop on "Malaria Modeling and Control: What areas should we focus on?" and will be co-organizing in June 2015 another interna-tional workshop on "Malaria-Leishmania Co-infection." She has an appreciable number of publications to her credit, most recently in the Journal of Theoretical Biology and Journal of Biological Systems.

Millions of lives have been lost worldwide due to infectious diseases both in human and animals. In Professor Agusto’s re-search work which is interdisciplinary in nature, and at the interface of mathematics and biology; she focuses on the formulation and analysis of mathematical models involving transmission of human and animal infectious diseases. She applies mathematical techniques in answering vital questions in the field of epidemiology, answering pertinent questions that are of concern to the public health sector. She has worked in particularly on diseases such as avian influenza, tuberculosis (bovine and human), Johnes disease, toxoplasmagondii and vector borne disease such as chikungunya and malaria.

Professor Agusto received her PhD from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria and did her postdoctoral research work at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) in University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

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Fall 2014 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Ayesha Hardison
Ayesha Hardison

Associate Professor of English, Ohio University,

Ayesha Hardison is Associate Professor of English at Ohio University, where she teaches courses in African American literature. Her first book, Writing through Jane Crow: Race and Gender Politics in African American Literature (University of Virginia Press, May 2014), examines representations of black women and the politics of literary production during the 1940s and 1950s. The monograph discusses the work of well-known writers like Richard Wright and Gwendolyn Brooks as well as neglected figures such as Jackie Ormes and Era Bell Thompson. Her next project, Specters of Segregation: The Post-Civil Rights Literary Imagination, will explore depictions of the modern Civil Rights Movement in contemporary black cultural production.

Earning her PhD from the University of Michigan, Professor Hardison has received fellowships and awards from The National Academies Ford Foundation, Black Metropolis Research Consortium in Chicago, and National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute in African American literature at Pennsylvania State University. She was a junior fellow in the Charles J. Ping Institute for the Teaching of the Humanities at Ohio University, and she has published articles in African American Review and Meridians.

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Fall 2013 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Matthew Pettway
Matthew Pettway

Assistant Professor of Spanish, Bates College

Dr. Pettway is the Fall 2013 Langston Hughes Professor and visiting in the Spanish and Portuguese Department where he is teaching two classes. Since 1977 the professorship has brought scholars in a range of disciplines to campus in honor of Langston Hughes, the African American writer who lived in Lawrence ages 1 to 12 (1903-1916). Professor Pettway is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at Bates College where he teaches classes and conducts research in Cuban Cultural Studies, Hispanophone Caribbean Literature and Nineteenth Century Latin American letters. He earned his Ph.D. in Hispanic Cultural Studies at Michigan State University. Professor Pettway’s research can be best described as a literary excavation of Afro-Cuban colonial literature that seeks to gather dispersed fragments of the past in order to define and reconstitute racial and religious subjectivities embedded in the text. His book-length project, Afro-Cuban Literature in a Society of Dead Poets: Race, Religion and Ritual in the Age of Revolution is an analysis of the politics of race and religion in the poetry, narrative, correspondence and trail records of Juan Francisco Manzano and Gabriel de la Concepción Valdés, the most prolific black literary writers in colonial Cuba. Dr. Pettway argues that black writers used Catholicism as subterfuge to inscribe an Afro-Caribbean religiosity that transculturated Cuban literature and posited a broad project of emancipation.

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Spring 2013 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

David G. Holmes
David G. Holmes, Professor

English and Director of African American Studies at Pepperdine University

David G. Holmes is Professor of English and Director of African American Studies at Pepperdine University. The author of Revisiting Racialized Voice: African American Ethos in Language and Literature, some of his articles have appeared in College English, Rhetoric Review and the award-winning anthology Calling Cards. His current interests include African American expressive culture, political rhetoric, political theology, religious rhetoric and rhetorics of racism. His major project focuses on remapping the rhetorical narratives of the Birmingham mass meetings of 1963. A frequent presenter at the CCC and RSA, he has held offices in the Conference on College Composition and Communication and has served on the editorial board for the CCC journal. He recently received the Howard A. White Award for teaching excellence at Pepperdine.

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Spring 2012 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Tammy L. Kernodle
Tammy L. Kernodle, Associate Professor

Musicology at Miami University in Ohio

Her scholarship and teaching has stretched across many different aspects of African American music but with an emphasis on the effects that gender, race, sexuality and regional identity have had on the creation, performance and reception of those musics. Her education includes a B.M. in Music Education (Vocal and piano) from Virginia State University, and M.A. and Ph.D. in Music History/Musicology from The Ohio State University. She served as the Scholar in Residence for the Women in Jazz Initiative at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City and has worked closely with a number of educational programs including the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival, Jazz@Lincoln Center and NPR. Her work has appeared in Musical Quarterly, Black Music Research Journal, The Journal of the Society of American Music, American Music Research Journal. The U.S Catholic Historian, The African American Lectionary Project and numerous anthologies. She is the author of biography Soul on Soul: The Life and Music of Mary Lou Williams (Northeastern University Press). She served as Associate Editor of the recently released three volume Encyclopedia of African American Music (ABC-CLIO, 2010). Currently she is serving as one of the editors for the revision of New Grove’s Dictionary of American Music (Oxford University Press). A trained pianist and organist, she serves as Minister of Music and an Associate Minister at the First Baptist Church in Oxford, OH.

Spring 2011 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Clarence Lang
Clarence Lang, Assistant Professor

Department of African American Studies & Department of History, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign

Professor Clarence Lang has been named the 2011 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor and his appointment will be in the Department of African, African American Studies (AAAS). Professor Lang is currently an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Professor Lang brings an area of scholarship, urban studies, to the AAAS department that has been specified in the Strategic Plan of the department. Lang’s scholarship has focused on urban social movements and on black working-class culture and politics, particularly related to the urban Midwest. His has authored the book, “Grassroots at the Gateway: Class Politics and Black Freedom Struggle in St. Louis, 1936-75 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2009). He also was co-editor of the book “Anticommunism and the African American Freedom Movement: Another Side of the Story” (New York: Palgrave, Macmillian, 2009); as well as published four book chapters and seven scholarly articles and contributed to fifteen book reviews.

Professor Lang received his B.A, in Journalism with a minor in Black Studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia; an M.A. in History from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Professor Lang will spend the 2011 spring semester as the Langston Hughes Visiting Professor at KU.

Spring 2010 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Adam Banks
Adam Banks, Department of English

Adam Banks, Associate Professor from Syracuse University, received his BA in English from Cleveland State University, and his MA and PhD both in English from Penn State University. He currently is an associate professor of Writing and Rhetoric at Syracuse’s Writing program where he teaches courses in African American Rhetoric, digital thetorics, community literacy, and rhetoric and composition theory. He is the author of the award-winning Race, Rhetoric, and Technology: Searching for Higher Ground.

Spring 2009 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Henry Miller
Henry Miller, Theatre & Film

Abydos Revisited: World’s Oldest Drama, Religious Sexuality & the Promise of a New Black Drama Aesthetic!

Henry Miller (Ph.D., Theatre, City University of New York) is a theatre scholar, an experienced stage director, and a dramatist. He is a veteran of the Black Theatre Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, an era that fed his passion for African American theatre. He has staged more than 30 African American theatrical productions and studied playwriting with notable dramatists including Arthur Kopit.

Spring 2008 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Randal Jelks
Randal Jelks, American Studies / African & African American Studies

Rediscovering the Life of a Black Religious Intellectual: Benjamin Elijah Mays in the Making of the American Civil Rights Movement

Dr. Randal Jelks is an Associate Professor of American Studies with a joint appointment in African and African American Studies at KU.

Spring 2005 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Albert Brousard
Albert Brousard, American Studies / African & African American Studies

The Stewarts: The Triumph of an American Family

Professor Broussard is a historian specializing in the history of African-Americans in the West. Broussard’s research of the Stewart family was published in African-American Odyssey: The Stewarts, 1853-1963, one of two of Broussard’s books published by the University Press of Kansas.

Spring 2004 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Madison Davis Lacy
Madison Davis Lacy, Theatre & Film

The Blues Impulse in Film and Video

Madison Davis Lacy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Film & Media Studies at KU.

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Spring 2001 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Maxine Claire
Maxine Claire, English

Flatted Fifth: poetry and fiction readings

A KU graduate, Maxine Clair is an associate professor emeritus from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she taught creative writing.

Spring 2000 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Emmanuel Obiechina, English

Common Themes in African Diasporan Literatures.

Spring 1999 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Kenneth Hamilton
Kenneth Hamilton, History / American Studies

A Great Man Has Fallen: Booker T. Washington's Memory as Reflected in Letters of Solace

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Spring 1998 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Maryemma Graham
Maryemma Graham, English

Margaret Walker: A Life, a Poem

Dr. Maryemma Graham is a faculty member in the Department of English at KU.

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Spring 1995 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Carol Ann Carter
Carol Ann Carter, Design

Living Arrangements: There Are No Walls...There Are Only Bottoms

Carol Ann Carter is a faculty member within the Department of Visual Art at KU.

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Spring 1994 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

John Edgar Tidwell
John Edgar Tidwell, English

Social Function in the Poetry of Frank Marshall Davis

John Edgar Tidwell is a faculty member faculty member in the Department of English at KU.

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1992 Langston Hughes Visiting Professors

Fall - Daniel Williams, Design

Spring - Kwabena Nketia, Music History

African-American Models in the Music of Contemporary Africa

Spring 1991 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Joel Adedeji
Joel Adedeji, Theatre

Langston Hughes and the River Between (the Making of a Poet)

A Nigerian by birth, Dr. Joel Adedeji is a cultural ambassador and world consultant on African affairs and culture. He holds a diploma in speech and drama from Rose Bruford College in Sidcup, England, bachelor's and master's degrees from New York University, and a doctorate from the University of Ibadan.

Spring 1990 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Mervyn Alleyne
Mervyn Alleyne, Linguistics

The Humanities Now! A Third World (Carribean) Perspective

Mervyn C. Alleyne is Emeritus Professor of Linguistics, University of the West Indies, and Visiting Professor, College of Humanities, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.

Spring 1989 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Robert T. Coles, Architecture

The Practice of Architecture in a Post-Industrial City

1986 Langston Hughes Visiting Professors

Surendra Bhana
Fall - Surendra Bhana, History

The United States and South Africa: Comparative Perspectives

Dr. Surendra Bhana is a professor emeritus of History at KU. He taught at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa from 1972 to 1987, the last eight years as professor and head. From January 1988 to May 1991, he was visiting professor at the University of Kansas, and, beginning August 1991, a regular faculty member. His teaching and research interests are South African history with special reference to Indians.

Spring - Richard Barksdale, English

Spring 1985 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Rennard Strickland, Law

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Fall 1983 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

William Julius Wilson, Sociology

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Spring 1982 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Claudio Gutierrez, Philosophy

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Fall 1980 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

William Warfield
William Warfield, Fine Arts

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Spring 1978 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor

Arthur Drayton
Arthur Drayton, English

Langston Hughes: Art and the Literature of Necessity

Dr. Arthur D. Drayton, a graduate of the University of London, is a professor emeritus of African and African-American Studies at KU.

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