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Samuel J. and Augusta Spector Professor of History and African and African American Studies, Brandeis University

Chad Williams is the Samuel J. and Augusta Spector Professor of History and African and African American Studies and Chair of the Department of African and African American Studies at Brandeis University. He earned a BA with honors in History and African American Studies from UCLA, and received both his MA and Ph.D. in History from Princeton University. He specializes in African American and modern United States History, African American military history, the World War I era and African American intellectual history.

His first book, Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era, was published in 2010 by the University of North Carolina Press. Widely praised as a landmark study, Torchbearers of Democracy won the 2011 Liberty Legacy Foundation Award from the Organization of American Historians, the 2011 Distinguished Book Award from the Society for Military History and designation as a 2011 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title. He is co-editor of Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism and Racial Violence, published in 2016 by University of Georgia Press and Major Problems in African American History, Second Edition, published in 2016 by Cengage Learning. Chad has published articles and book reviews in numerous leading journals and collections. He has earned fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Ford Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. He is currently completing a study of W. E. B. Du Bois and World War I.


  • –present
    Associate Professor of African and Afro-American Studies, Brandeis University