Anthony Kwame Harrison Named Edward S. Diggs Professor in Humanities

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Anthony Kwame Harrison
Anthony Kwame Harrison

Anthony Kwame Harrison, associate professor of sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, was recently named Edward S. Diggs Professor in Humanities by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The Edward S. Diggs Professorship in Humanities recognizes and promotes excellence in research and teaching in the humanities. It was created through an estate gift by Hattie Wilson Diggs in memory of her husband, who earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Virginia Tech in 1914. Recipients hold the position for a five-year term.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2003, Harrison is a cultural anthropologist who conducts research on the impact of race in popular music, recreation, and higher education. He has written two books, co-edited a book on race in the marketplace, and published multiple peer-reviewed journal articles, seven chapters in edited books, and many articles in publications for professionals and laypersons.

In addition, he has received 15 awards and grants supporting his efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.

Harrison is regarded as an innovative teacher who was named a Diggs Teaching Scholar in 2011. He has received 11 other awards and recognitions for teaching excellence, including the university’s Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2015. He is a member of the Academy of Teaching Excellence and a faculty affiliate of both the American Indian studies minor and the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought.

Earlier this year, Harrison was reappointed the Gloria D. Smith Professor of Black Studies by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands and Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke. He had held that appointment since 2014.

Harrison is a member of the American Anthropological Association, International Association for the Study of Popular Music, National Council for Black Studies, Southern Sociological Society, and Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree and doctorate from Syracuse University.

Written by Mark Owczarski; photographed by Leslie King