James D. Anderson Selected to Deliver 2014 Brown Lecture

April 2014

James D. Anderson, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a noted expert on American education history and desegregation, has been selected by AERA to present the 2014 Brown Lecture in Education Research. The public lecture will take place on October 23 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Anderson is the Edward William and Jane Marr Gutsgell Professor of Education; the head of the Department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership; the executive associate dean for the College of Education; and an affiliate professor of history.

Anderson’s scholarship focuses broadly on the history of U.S. education, with specializations in the history of African American education in the South, the history of higher education desegregation, the history of public school desegregation, and the history of African American school achievement in the 20th century. His book The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860–1935 won the AERA Outstanding Book Award in 1990. Anderson is senior editor of the History of Education Quarterly.

He has served as an expert witness in a series of federal desegregation and affirmative action cases, including Jenkins v. Missouri, Knight v. Alabama, Ayers v. Mississippi, Gratz v. Bollinger, and Grutter v. Bollinger. Anderson also served as an adviser for, and participant in, the PBS documentaries School: The Story of American Public Education (2001), The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow (2002), and Forgotten Genius: The Percy Julian Story (2007).

In 2012, Anderson was selected as an AERA Fellow and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. He was elected to the National Academy of Education in 2008.

The  Brown Lecture—now in its 11th year—was inaugurated by AERA in 2004 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, in which the U.S. Supreme Court took scientific research into account in issuing its landmark ruling.

The Brown Lecture Selection Committee included then AERA President Barbara Schneider, Michigan State University; President-Elect Joyce King, Georgia State University; AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine; AERA Director of Social Justice and Professional Development George L. Wimberly; Social Justice Action Committee (SJAC) Chair Estela Bensimon, University of Southern California; and two additional SJAC members, Thandeka Chapman, University of California, San Diego; and Django Paris, Michigan State University.

The announcement was made at the AERA 2014 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

“This announcement comes as Dr. Anderson is participating in two Annual Meeting sessions marking the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision,” said Levine. Anderson was a participant in the panel “Brown v. Board of Education at 60: What Happened?” which examined the various interpretations and implementations of the Brown decision. He also presented at a symposium titled “60th Since Brown . . . 50th Since the Civil Rights Act,” which looked back, and ahead, at what progress is observable and what continues to create barriers for equal opportunity and progress.

“The Brown Lecture in Education Research is an annual reminder of the important role of research in advancing understanding of equality and equity in education,” said Levine.