Dr. Edmund T. Gordon is an anthropologist whose work focuses on power and social transformation in the Black Diaspora. He is founding chair of the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies (2010-2017), is an associate professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and Anthropology, and is the vice provost for diversity at The University of Texas at Austin. His teaching and research interests include: power and identity in the African Diaspora, critical race and gender theory, and the racial economy of space and resources.
Dr. Gordon’s publications have appeared nationally and internationally, and his book Disparate Diasporas: Identity and Politics in an African-Nicaraguan Community (UT Press, 1998), a historical ethnography of Black Nicaraguans’ politics and identity, is currently being translated into Spanish. In an effort to bring his scholarship into public engagement, Dr. Gordon has conducted collaborative research projects with communities in Central America funded by Ford Foundation and World Bank. He also received a major grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, which supported his development of the African Diaspora Program in the Department of Anthropology at UT Austin and the expansion of the Center for African and African American Studies, as its director.
Under Dr. Gordon’s leadership, the Department of African Diaspora Studies was founded in 2010. He was an elected member of the Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees (2015-2018). He continues his service work through the creation of a Racial Geography Tour of UT Austin’s campus. In 2014, Dr. Gordon received UT’s highest honors, a Presidential Citation and the Pro Bene Meritis award in 2016 from the College of Liberal Arts.