AD White professors are appointed; fall visits announced
A renowned Caribbean historian and a multidisciplinary professor of the built environment have been named the newest AD White professors.
Sir Hillary BecklesVice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and recognized advocate for reparations, and Mabel O. WilsonNancy and George Rupp Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, will join 18 other distinguished artists and scientists for a six-year term.
Additionally, three full visits from current AD White faculty are planned for the fall 2022 semester: artist Xu Bing (Oct 17-21; tour may be affected by travel restrictions); architect Brinda Somaya (Oct. 24-28); and film industry executive Keri Putnam (November 14-18), who will travel to both Cornell Tech and the Ithaca campus, the first dual-campus visit in the program’s history.
Beckles, whose host professors are Judith Byfield, Professor of History, and Ernesto Bassi, Associate Professor of History, both in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been on the UWI faculty since 1991. He is recognized for his contributions in the field. economic history as a way to explore restorative justice for slavery and the history of slavery and colonialism in the Caribbean.
Beckles, who received his doctorate in 1980 from the University of Hull in the UK, has written 13 books, eight plays and more than 100 peer-reviewed essays on issues including the history of slavery ; gender relations in the Caribbean; sports; and popular culture. He has given numerous conferences throughout Europe and Asia.
In September, Beckles will give the Einaudi Distinguished Speaker Series, “The Coming Enlightenment: The University Sector and Reparatory Justice for Slavery and Colonialism,” as part of the 60th anniversary celebration of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies program. This conference is scheduled for September 16 at 4:30 p.m. at Rhodes-Rawlings Hall.
Wilson, whose faculty hosts are Dean Meejin Yoon, B.Arch. ’95, from the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, and Sean Anderson, associate professor of architecture (AAP), joined Columbia’s faculty in 2007 and have held positions in architecture and the Department of Architecture Studies. the African American and African Diaspora. In 2020, Wilson was named director of the African American Studies Research Institute at Columbia.
Since 2009, she has been co-director of the Global Africa Lab, an innovative research initiative that explores the spatial topologies of the African continent and its diaspora. She is also a founding member of Who Builds Your Architecture?, a coalition of architects, activists, educators, and scholars that examines the connections between work, architecture, and the global networks that form across the development of the built environment.
In 2021, Wilson co-curated a major exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art featuring the work of African American and African diaspora architects, the first such exhibition in the history of the museum. That same year, Wilson received the Vince Scully Award from the National Building Museum, which recognizes exemplary achievement in the built environment.
Wilson received his doctorate in American Studies in 2007 from York University in Toronto.
Cornell’s General Faculty Program sponsors outstanding scholars and public intellectuals in the fields of life sciences, physical sciences, humanities, social sciences, and the arts. Former general teachers include writer and actor John Cleese, primatologist Jane Goodall, jazz great Wynton Marsalis and novelist Toni Morrison, MA ’55.
Twice during their tenure, the general professors visit campus for about a week while classes are in session to interact with students and faculty and enliven the intellectual and cultural life of the university. The program sponsors up to six visits per academic year, as well as activities such as public lectures and seminars.