Renowned scholar, university president McBride to join Washington University

Dwight A. McBride
Dwight A. McBride, a leading scholar of race and literary studies, and president and University Professor at The New School in New York City, joins the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis, effective Aug. 15. (Courtesy photo)

Dwight A. McBride, a leading scholar of race and literary studies, and president and University Professor at The New School in New York City, will join the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis, according to Chancellor Andrew D. Martin. His appointment is effective Aug. 15.

A highly accomplished leader with nearly three decades of experience in higher education, McBride will be the inaugural Gerald Early Distinguished Professor, with an appointment in the Department of African and African-American Studies in Arts & Sciences. He also will serve as a senior advisor to the chancellor.

“I’m thrilled that a scholar of the caliber of Dwight McBride has accepted our offer to join the WashU faculty,” Martin said. “His reputation as both an intellectual and an academic leader is unsurpassed and I could not be more pleased that he is bringing his immeasurable talents to St. Louis. 

“I look forward to working closely with Dwight in his role as senior advisor to the chancellor, and I know our students and faculty will be deeply enriched by his presence in our academic community,” Martin added. “This is an incredibly important hire for us, and I’m grateful to Dwight for choosing WashU for the next endeavor in his brilliant career.”

McBride, who has served as president of The New School since 2020, is widely known for his academic achievements and his innovative, interdisciplinary approach to university leadership. He has written numerous books and edited volumes exploring race, Black studies, sexuality and identity politics. He is a two-time Lambda Literary Award winner and in 2003, was awarded the Monette/Horowitz Trust Achievement Award for research combating homophobia. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities have all supported McBride’s research.

Prior to his presidency at The New School, McBride served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Emory University. He has also held leadership roles at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

“We are thrilled that Dwight McBride will be joining our faculty and our university,” said Feng Sheng Hu, dean of Arts & Sciences and the Lucille P. Markey Distinguished Professor. “He brings to WashU a truly impressive record of accomplishments as a leader and scholar of race and literary studies, and I know his collaborative style and academic expertise will help elevate WashU’s work in this area. This is an incredible win for Washington University, and I’m looking forward to welcoming Dwight to St. Louis.”

“The Department of African and African-American Studies is thrilled and honored to have Dwight McBride join our faculty,” said Shanti Parikh, chair and professor of African and African American studies and professor of anthropology, both in Arts & Sciences. “He represents a modern-day renaissance scholar and is one of the foremost intellectuals and thought leaders in the country. On top of all his achievements and recognitions, Dwight is simply a delightful person whose warmth, wit and charisma fill the room. His expertise will be invaluable as we begin to build a graduate program in global Black studies, and his appointment is a tremendous opportunity for Washington University as well as our region’s intellectual community.”

McBride is co-founder and co-editor of the annual open-access journal the James Baldwin Review, work that he will bring with him to Washington University. He is a founding co-editor of “The New Black Studies Series” at the University of Illinois Press, which has published more than 50 titles. He is also a founding co-director of the Academic Leadership Institute, a partnership between the University of Michigan and The New School that supports development of future academic leaders who are committed to advancing diversity and inclusion. 

“I am thrilled to be joining the WashU academic community,” McBride said. “I look forward to supporting Chancellor Martin’s ambitious vision for the university in all the ways I can. And what a moment to be working with my colleagues in African and African American studies to continue to build on the strengths of that wonderful department. WashU has the academic distinction, the resources and the leadership to continue its rise from excellence to eminence, and I look forward to being a part of that important work. And on a personal level, I could not be more humbled to be the inaugural occupant of the Gerald Early Distinguished Professorship, named not only for one of the most prolific and important scholars in my discipline, but also one of WashU’s very own.”

A native of South Carolina, McBride earned a bachelor’s degree in English, with a concentration in African American studies, from Princeton University, and a master’s degree and PhD in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Leave a Comment

Comments and respectful dialogue are encouraged, but content will be moderated. Please, no personal attacks, obscenity or profanity, selling of commercial products, or endorsements of political candidates or positions. We reserve the right to remove any inappropriate comments. We also cannot address individual medical concerns or provide medical advice in this forum.