Fellowship / Fellows

Eddie R. Cole

  • 2023–2024
  • Social Sciences
  • Joy Foundation Fellow
  • UCLA
Portrait of Eddie R. Cole
Photo by Kevin Grady/Harvard Radcliffe Institute

Eddie R. Cole is an associate professor of education and history at UCLA. His most recent book, The Campus Color Line: College Presidents and the Struggle for Black Freedom (Princeton University Press, 2020), received numerous book prizes, including honors from the American Educational Research Association, Association for the Study of Higher Education, and History of Education Society.

While at Radcliffe, Cole is preparing a critical history of American higher education and the Black intellectuals who shaped it. His book project—titled “Black Ideas”—examines Black professors, administrators, and students and their views about the purpose and aims of higher education across the past two centuries. Whereas most of the contributions of Black people to higher education has been either ancillary or presented as an addendum to the dominant white-Euro-centered narrative, this project shifts that narrative by examining Black individuals who were motivated to expand higher education’s espoused mission of addressing societal inequalities. “Black Ideas” traces Black people’s historical pursuit for equality, beginning in a small schoolhouse in 18th-century Vermont and culminating with ideas that continue to shape American higher education.

Cole has written for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post and been an expert commentator for BBC World News, C-SPAN Book TV, and MSNBC. His work has been supported by several grants and fellowships, such as the Institute for Citizens & Scholars, the National Academy of Education, Princeton University, the Spencer Foundation, and the University of Chicago. Cole earned his PhD at Indiana University Bloomington.

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