Danielle Allen was appointed the James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, effective January 1. This is the highest honor bestowed on a faculty member at Harvard. Currently there are 24 University Professors at Harvard, including Henry Louis Gates Jr. and William Julius Wilson.
In announcing the appointment, Harvard President Drew Faust stated that “Danielle Allen is one of the most distinguished and creative scholars of her generation. Her interests bridge an extraordinary range of fields, her ideas illuminate new avenues of scholarship and education, and her influence extends across the academy and well beyond.”
Dr. Allen joined the faculty at Harvard in 2015. She is a professor of government, professor of education, and the director of the Edmond L. Safra Center for Ethics at the university. Before joining the faculty at Harvard, Dr. Allen was the UPS Foundation Professor in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Earlier, she served on the faculty at the University of Chicago for more than a decade.
Professor Allen is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University where she majored in the classics. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in the classics from Cambridge University. In addition, she has a master’s degree and Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University.
The University of Cambridge is staging a mayor exhibition exploring the 6,000-year history of the afro comb and the politics of black hair. The fascinating display charts the inception of the comb in Ancient Egypt through to its ascendancy as a political emblem post-1960s.
“What we know from the early hair combs is they were connected to status, group affiliation, cultural and religious beliefs,” says curator Sally-Ann Ashton. “In more recent times, the ‘black fist’ comb that references the black power salute has wider political connotations.”
The material is being showcased at 2 university sites: The Fitzwilliam Museum, and alongside life-size installations created by artist Dr. Michael McMillan at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology(MAA). Items on display at Fitzwilliam include hundreds of combs from pre-dynastic Egypt to contemporary picks. Some interesting artifacts include a 5,500-year-old comb from Southern Egypt and the original black fist comb, which was patented in 1976 in America.
The idea behind the exhibition was to take a fresh look at Egyptology within the parameters Africa in all its diversity, rich heritage, and culture, says Ashton. Interestingly, she says the earliest combs in the collection are from Egypt and this alongside her scholarly research has left her with no doubt that ancient Egyptians were racially and culturally black African.
“People do not want to admit or believe that these early civilizations were non-European but they were,” says Ashton. Associated material includes paintings, sculpture and images showing the variety and complexity of hair styles found in Africa and on the Diaspora.
(L to R) Ronald Allen, Keith Hawkins, and Jacob Tzegaegbe
In 1953 the Marshall Scholarships program was established by an act of the British Parliament. Funded by the British government, the program is a national gesture of thanks to the American people for aid received under the Marshall Plan, the U.S.-financed program that led to the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. The scholarships provide funds for up to two years of study at a British university, and include money for travel, living expenses, and books. Applicants must earn a degree at an American college or university with a minimum of a 3.7 grade point average. The Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission is authorized to award up to 40 scholarships each year. This year 34 scholarships were awarded. It appears from JBHE research, that three of the 34 winners are African Americans.
Ronald Allen is a senior at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. He will be commissioned into the Marine Corps in May. A native of Seattle, he plans to study for a master’s degree in public policy at King’s College in London.
Keith Hawkins is a senior at Ohio University in Athens. He is an astrophysics major in the university’s Honors Tutorial College. Last summer he spent time conducting research at Institute for Astronomy of the University of Hawaii. He will pursue a Ph.D. in astronomy at Cambridge University. An avid bicyclist, he routinely bikes 50 to 60 miles each weekend.
Jacob Tzegaegbe is a 2011 graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in civil engineering. This May he will earn a master’s degree in civil engineering. His research focused on bus rapid transit systems in African cities. With his Marshall Scholarship, he will pursue a Ph.D. in planning studies at University College London.