Author to Present Lecture, Town Hall Meeting

February 05, 2014

ALLIANCE, Ohio – Author and Colgate University English Professor Phillip Richards will present the Mary W. and Eric A. Eckler Endowment in Literature and Drama at the University of Mount Union at 11:15 a.m. on Thursday, February 13 in the Myers Sanctuary of Dewald Chapel.

Richards will present Mid-Century Cleveland in Black and White. Immediately following his lecture, a book signing and reception will be held in Dewald Chapel.

In addition, Richards will be featured at a town hall meeting held in conjunction with Mount Union's Black History Month celebration at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday evening in the East Room of the Hoover-Price Campus Center. He will discuss diversity, education and the liberal arts with Mount Union faculty, staff and students.

Richards is a tenured member of the Department of English at Colgate University. He has written broadly on black intellectual and academic life during the post-Civil Rights era. His published writing includes  accounts of the development of the black studies field in the newly integrated, selective universities after the age of black power. His books include the monograph “Black Heart: the Moral Life of Recent African American Letters” and the autobiography, “An Integrated Boyhood: Coming of Age in White Cleveland.”

He has also been published widely in professional journals such as Early American Literature, American Quarterly, Style and the Journal of the Early American Republic as well as in general intellectual periodicals such as Harper's Magazine, Dissent, American Scholar and Massachusetts Review. He has been a visiting professor in the English departments of universities in Gabon (French Central Africa), France and Germany. He also has been a Fulbright scholar, a fellow at the National Humanities Center and the Institute on Racial and Social Division. 

Richards is a recipient of research awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Bradley Foundation. He is currently working on an intellectual history of the scholarship produced by the crossover generation of John Hope Franklin, Kenneth Clark and Nathan Scott, eminent African American scholars who entered the elite American university departments in the post-War II epoch.   

Richards in now on a two-year scholarly leave from Colgate University where he has taught for 26 years.

The Eckler Lecture in Literature and Drama was established in 1981 through an endowment given by Mr. John A. and Mrs. Dorothy (Nelson ’29) Cummins in appreciation of the many years of service to the community and Mount Union by the Ecklers. Dr. Eric A. and Mrs. Mary Eckler were long-time faculty members in the Department of Education at the institution.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information on the Eckler Lecture, contact the Office of Marketing at (330) 823-6063 or

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