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Benjamin A. Quarles Humanities and Social Science Institute

About The Institute

Benjamin A. QuarlesThe Benjamin A. Quarles Humanities and Social Science Institute at Morgan State University, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is an intellectual, cultural, and academic center and resource that promotes and facilitates excellence in scholarship, training, resource development and public engagement that leads to an understanding and appreciation of peoples and cultures of African America and the African Diaspora and their intersection with all continents in the global community.

The Institute aims to increase the number African-American faculty, faculty of African descent and faculty who have expertise in the area who are engaged in scholarly activities and teaching at historically black colleges and universities. Second, it aims to increase the enrollment, retention and graduation of undergraduate students majoring in disciplines and entering graduate programs in the humanities and social sciences. Finally, it aims to expose underrepresented and underserved communities to the interdisciplinary nature of the humanities at Morgan and the study and appreciation of cultures in the African Diaspora.

The Quarles Institute sponsors Quarles Faculty Fellows in Research and Professional Enrichment, Quarles Graduate Student Scholars in African-American and African Diaspora Studies, Quarles Undergraduate Scholars in Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the African-American Legacy, and Quarles Summer Outreach Partnership with Baltimore City public high schools.

Dr. Benjamin A. Quarles

Dr. Benjamin A. Quarles was one of the America’s prominent historians of the twentieth century and one of the first African-American historians whose essays appeared in major national historical journals, such as the Mississippi Valley Historical Review. The author or editor of more than fourteen major books on African-American history— including the signature Negro in the Making of America, Frederick Douglass, The Black Abolitionist and The Negro in the American Revolution—Quarles was an historian whose work had the extraordinary quality of being pioneering and definitive.

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Quarles joined the faculty of Morgan State College in 1953 as Professor and Chair of the History Department. During his years at Morgan, he became the first scholar named Distinguished Professor, and he was the first faculty member named Teacher-of-the-Year. In addition to being awarded eighteen honorary degrees, including the Doctorate of Humane Letters from Morgan on his retirement in 1974, Professor Quarles was appointed Honorary Consultant in U. S. History to the Library of Congress and was awarded the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History Lifetime Achievement Award. He remains Morgan’s greatest exemplar of scholarly achievement and effective teaching in African-American history and culture.