Shawn Leigh Alexander, who received his PhD from the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2004, is an Associate Professor of African and African American Studies and the director of the Langston Hughes Center at the University of Kansas. His area of research concentration is African American social and intellectual history of the 19th and 20th Centuries.
Professor Alexander has published an anthology of T. Thomas Fortune's writings, T. Thomas Fortune, the Afro-American Agitator (University Press of Florida, 2008); a study of African American civil rights activity in the post-Reconstruction era entitled, An Army of Lions: The Struggle for Civil Rights before the NAACP (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012); and a reprint of William Sinclair’s classic 1905 study, The Aftermath of Slavery: A Study of the Condition and Environment of the American Negro (The University of South Carolina Press, 2012). He has also published work on early African American civil rights activity in the Great Plains Quarterly and inRadicalism in the South Since Reconstruction (Palgrave, 2006). Currently, he is completing a study of the violence of the Reconstruction period entitled, Reconstruction, Violence, and the Ku Klux Klan Hearings(Bedford/St. Martins Press), as well as a short study of W. E. B. Du Bois for the Roman and Littlefield Library of African American Biography series, entitled, W. E. B. Du Bois: An American Intellectual and Activist.
Prior to joining the University of Kansas, Professor Alexander taught at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst College, Gettysburg College, and Yale University, where he was the first Cassius Marcellus Clay Fellow (2005-2007) in the Department of History.