The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has announced that Robert F. Jefferson, Ph.D., will be the new director of the UAB African-American Studies Program effective July 1.

June 25, 2010

Robert Jefferson. Download image.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has announced that Robert F. Jefferson, Ph.D., will be the new director of the UAB African-American Studies Program effective July 1.

Jefferson comes to UAB from Xavier University in Cincinnati, where he was an associate professor in the university's Department of History. Prior to that, he was an assistant professor in the University of Iowa's African-American World Studies Program and in the history department.

"Dr. Jefferson is an accomplished scholar with innovative ideas for developing the interdisciplinary African-American Studies Program," said Jean Ann Linney, Ph.D., interim dean of the UAB College of Arts and Sciences. "He already has developed contacts across the campus and the Birmingham community. We are excited about the energetic and strategic leadership he will bring to the future of this important program at UAB."

The UAB African-American Studies is a shared program with The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The interdisciplinary, liberal arts degree program integrates the humanities, social and behavioral sciences and health-related fields. The program offers both a bachelor's degree and a minor.

Jefferson earned his doctorate in African-American history from the University of Michigan in 1995. He earned his master's degree in history at Old Dominion University in 1990 and his bachelor's degree in political science at Elon University in 1986.

Besides African-American history, his research and teaching interests include military, disability and cultural studies, oral history, 20th century history and international relations. He is the author of the book Fighting for Hope: African-American Troops of the 93rd Infantry Division in World War II and Postwar America, which was nominated for the 2009 William Colby Book Award. He also is the author of numerous journal articles and essays.

While at Xavier, Jefferson served as chairman of the Africana Studies Committee from 2005 to 2006 and co-founded the W.E.B. Du Bois Philosophical Society in 2007.

He has been a member of the Working Class Studies Association, Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, Organization of American Historians, Social Science History Association, Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association and Society of Military History.

UAB Associate Professor Jacqueline Wood, Ph.D. has served as the interim director of African-American Studies since August 2009. She will continue teaching in the UAB Department of English.

About the UAB College of Arts and Sciences

The UAB African-American Studies Program is housed in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences, home to academic disciplines that include the arts, humanities, sciences and the School of Education. The college's unique structure advances research and learning in both K-12 and higher education, and its courses are taught by a world-class faculty. Committed to the UAB spirit of independence and innovation, the college enables students to design their own majors, participate in undergraduate research or complete graduate degrees on a five-year fast track. Through productive partnerships, flexible curricula and a bold, interdisciplinary approach to learning and teaching, the college is preparing students for success in the ever-changing global marketplace of commerce and ideas.