Elizabeth A. Woodson Professor of Afro-American Studies and Senior Editor of Meridians
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Paula Giddings is the author of two books on the social and political history of African American women: When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America and In Search of Sisterhood: Delta Sigma Theta and the Challenge of the Black Sorority Movement. She is also the editor of Burning All Illusions, an anthology of articles on race published by The Nation magazine from 1867 to 2000. Her forthcoming biography of the anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells will be published by Harper/Collins.
Her book When and Where I Enter was an alternate selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and was called "a landmark study destined to become a prime sourcebook" by Publisher's Weekly; the "best interpretation of Black women and race and sex that we have" by the Women's Review of Books; and a "jarringly fresh interpretation" by The New York Times Book Review. The book has been translated into Japanese and Dutch and is used widely in college courses throughout the country. The Washington Post called In Search of Sisterhood a "fitting sequel to [Giddings'] acclaimed first book." The Los Angeles Times noted that it "succeeds as a detailed study of an organization that has touched the lives of some of the most prominent Black women in America."
Giddings is a member of P.E.N., a writers' group; the Authors Guild Foundation; Women's World, an organization fighting gender-based censorship around the world; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the Coalition of 100 Black Women. She is a former book editor and journalist who has written extensively on international and national issues and has been published by The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jeune Afrique (Paris), The Nation, and the journals Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism and Sage: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women, among other publications. Before attaining the position of professor of Afro-American studies at Smith College, Giddings had taught at Spelman College, where she was a United Negro Fund Distinguished Scholar; Douglass College/Rutgers University as the Laurie Chair in Women's Studies; and Princeton and Duke Universities.
Giddings has been awarded fellowships by the Guggenheim Foundation; the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. She has also been awarded Honorary Doctorates from Bennett College and Wesleyan University, and was named a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar. Giddings is also the proud recipient of the Candace Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and the Anna Julia Cooper Award from Sage: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women.