Paula J. Giddings

Smith College
Historian; Educator
Humanities and Arts

Paula J. Giddings, the Elizabeth A. Woodson 1922 Professor , Emerita, of Africana Studies at Smith College, is the author of four books: When and Where I Enter: The Impact on Black Women on Race and Sex in America; In Search of Sisterhood, Delta Sigma Theta and the Challenge of the Black Sorority Movement; Burning All Illusions, (editor) an anthology of articles on race published by the Nation magazine from 1867 to 2000; and Ida, A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching.    

IDA received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography, the Letitia Woods Brown Book Award from the Association of Black Women Historians; and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award. The book was deemed one of the best books of 2008 by the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune.

Ms. Giddings is a journalist, and former magazine and book editor. She is the editor emerita of Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, that is housed at Smith and published by Duke University Press. She was a book editor at Random House and Howard University Press; a magazine editor and Paris Bureau Chief for Encore American and Worldwide News; and a journalist who has written on national and international issues for the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jeune Afrique (Paris), The International Herald Tribute, Sage: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women, and The Nation among other publications.

Giddings has been a United Negro Fund Distinguished Scholar at Spelman College, The Laurie Chair in Women’s Studies at Rutgers University, and also taught at Duke and Princeton Universities. She has been awarded fellowships by the Guggenheim Foundation; the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park and has Honorary Doctorates from Wesleyan University, Bennett College, and Howard University. She is Chair of the Council of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to which she was elected in 2017.

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