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James Anderson

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Contact Information

366 Education Building, MC-708, 1310 S. Sixth St.

Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor Emeritus


James D. Anderson is Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

In 2021, Anderson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest honor societies in the nation. He was sworn into the Board of Trustees at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and inducted into the Stillman College Educator Hall of Fame—both in 2020.

Additionally, the AERA awarded him a Presidential Citation in 2020, its highest award. In 2012, Anderson was selected as a Fellow for Outstanding Research by the AERA and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Anderson was also elected to the National Academy of Education in 2008.

His scholarship focuses broadly on the history of U.S. education, with a subfield on the history of African American education. Anderson’s seminal book, The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935, won the American Educational Research Association outstanding book award in 1990.

From 2006 to 2016, Anderson served as senior editor of the History of Education Quarterly. In 2016, he was awarded AERA’s Palmer O. Johnson Award for best article. He served as an adviser for and participant in the PBS documentaries School: The Story of American Public Education (2001), The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow (2002), Forgotten Genius: The Percy Julian Story (2007) and Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities (2018).

Among numerous honors from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Anderson was awarded the IMPACT award from the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center at the University of Illinois in 2019. In 2013, he was selected a Center for Advanced Study Professor of Education for the campus.

Research Interests

My past research has focused on the history of African American education in the South from 1860-1935, the history of higher education desegregation in southern states, the history of public school desegregation, institutional racism, and the representation of Blacks in secondary school history textbooks.

My current research projects include the history of African American public higher education and the development of African American school achievement in the twentieth century.

Additional Campus Affiliations

Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor Emeritus, College of Education
Dean Emeritus, College of Education

Highlighted Publications

Anderson, J. D. (1988). The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935. University of North Carolina Press.

View all publications on Illinois Experts

Recent Publications

Anderson, J. D. (2022). A long shadow: The American pursuit of political justice and education equality. In S. F. Semel, M. Vollman Makris, & C. Kronen (Eds.), Foundations of Education: Essential Texts and New Directions (2 ed., pp. 27-53). Routledge.

Ladson-Billings, G., & Anderson, J. D. (2021). Policy Dialogue: Black Teachers of the Past, Present, and Future. History of Education Quarterly, 61(1), Article 2000068.

Dixson, A. D., Ladson-Billings, G., Suarez, C. E., Trent, W. T., & Anderson, J. D. (Eds.) (2020). Condition or Process? Researching Race in Education. American Educational Research Association.

Pak, Y. K., Span, C. M., Anderson, J. D., & Trent, W. T. (2018). Where do we go from here? Reflections on building institutional diversity for lasting change. Teachers College Record, 120(14).

Anderson, J. (2017). Commentary: The History of Education for the Next America. American Educational Research Journal, 54(1_suppl), 75S-77S.

View all publications on Illinois Experts