Tressie McMillan Cottom, Associate Professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), will give the Ed Mignon Distinguished Lecture at the University of Washington iSchool on April 13, and the keynote address for the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) 2021 Conference, taking place April 13-16.
McMillan Cottom is an award-winning author, professor, and sociologist, whose work has earned national and international recognition for the urgency and depth of its incisive critical analysis of technology, higher education, class, race, and gender. Her most recent accolades include a 2020 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, informally known as the “genius grant.”
In addition to her appointment with SILS, McMillan Cottom is a senior faculty researcher at Carolina’s Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) and a faculty affiliate at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.
McMillan Cottom holds a BA from North Carolina Central University and a PhD from Emory University. Her dissertation research formed the foundation for her first book Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy (The New Press 2016).
Her most recent book, THICK: And Other Essays (The New Press 2019), is a critically acclaimed Amazon best-seller that situates Black women’s intellectual tradition at its center. THICK won the Brooklyn Public Library’s 2019 Literary Prize and was shortlisted for the 2019 National Book Award in nonfiction.
With hundreds of thousands of readers amassed over years of writing and publishing, McMillan Cottom’s columns have appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Dissent Magazine. She is also an influential voice on Twitter and co-host of Hear to Slay, a Black feminist podcast with writer Roxane Gay.
As a researcher and public intellectual, she has appeared on Amanpour & Co., MSNBC, The Daily Show, and National Public Radio, and she is frequently invited to deliver lectures and serve on panels hosted by university research centers and professional schools.
Click below to watch a November 2020 talk, "How Black Women Are Shaping the Future of American Democracy," hosted by the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the University of Texas at Austin.