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Book Launch

Book Talk | The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology

04/25 Monday | 6pm

NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge and the Race and Public Space working group invites you to join for a conversation with Aldon Morris and Thomas Sugrue about Morris’s latest book The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology.

In this groundbreaking book, Morris’s ambition is truly monumental: to help rewrite the history of sociology and to acknowledge the primacy of W. E. B. Du Bois’s work in the founding of the discipline. Calling into question the prevailing narrative of how sociology developed, Morris, a major scholar of social movements, probes the way in which the history of the discipline has traditionally given credit to Robert E. Park at the University of Chicago, who worked with the conservative black leader Booker T. Washington to render Du Bois invisible. Morris uncovers the seminal theoretical work of Du Bois in developing a “scientific” sociology through a variety of methodologies and examines how the leading scholars of the day disparaged and ignored Du Bois’s work.

The Scholar Denied is based on more than a decade of extensive, rigorous primary source research and writing. In exposing the economic and political factors that marginalized the contributions of Du Bois and enabled Park and his colleagues to be recognized as the “fathers” of the discipline, Morris delivers a wholly new narrative of American intellectual and social history that places one of America’s key intellectuals, W. E. B. Du Bois, at its center.


Aldon D. Morris is Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University and an expert on thesociology of W. E. B. Du Bois, the civil rights movement, race, religion, social inequality and political sociology. He is the author of several notable works, including Origins of the Civil Rights Movement: Black Communities Organizing for Change, which received several prizes including the American Sociological Association Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award.

Thomas Sugrue is Professor of History and Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. A specialist in twentieth-century American politics, urban history, civil rights, and race, Sugrue is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the Society of American Historians, and past president of the Urban History Association and the Social Science History Association. Sugrue’s newest book, co-authored with Glenda Gilmore, is These United States: A Nation in the Making, 1890 to the Present (W.W. Norton, 2015).

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