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[Virtual] Scholars@Hallwalls: Jordan Fox Besek, “W.E.B. Du Bois And Interdisciplinarity: How Du Bois Fused Natural Science Into His Political Projects”

March 5 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Throughout his life, W.E.B. Du Bois actively engaged the scientific racism infecting natural sciences and popular thought. Nevertheless, he also demonstrated a sophisticated and critical engagement with natural science. Debate remains, however, regarding exactly how and why Du Bois incorporated such natural scientific knowledge into his own thinking. In this presentation, Besek draws on archival research and Du Bois’ own scholarship to investigate his general approach to interdisciplinarity, addressing how and why he fused natural scientific knowledge into his social science, intertwining each with his broader intellectual and political aims.


Jordan’s talk is available to watch now with a live Q+A session via Zoom on March 5th, 4pm. Registrants will receive the Zoom meeting info via email the week of the event.

Click here to register.

While we cannot provide complimentary wine and light fare in this time of virtual gatherings, we can provide a drink recommendation for each talk!

Speaker’s Choice Wine Recommendation

Suertes del Marqués 7 Fuentes

One bottle I return to again and again at Paradise Wine is 7 Fuentes from the Orotava Valley in Tenerife. It is a blend, but one dominated by Listán Negro, the most planted varietal in the Canary Islands. The Canary Islands are quite an interesting place in terms of wine because they have the highest concentration of ancient, own-rooted vines in the world. (Own-rooted means non-grafted, and the Canary Islands are special in this regard because their island status rendered them far less susceptible to pests over the centuries, thus less need to graft…. historical sociology and island biogeography at work together here.) I am slightly obsessed with this varietal/terroir combo – the resultant wine is often peppery, smoky, intense, has a slight funk to it but also a lightness, or maybe a translucence, one to me reminiscent to me of some wines from the Jura valley in France. Also, this bottle is in part produced by the Portuguese wine-maker Luis Seabra, somebody who is today challenging the traditional, old-boys, wine network in the Douro Valley in Portugal. I have a great story about meeting Luis, perhaps for when we can safely gather in person again.

paradise wine logoYou can purchase 7 Fuentes online at Paradise Wine (435 Rhode Island Street in the Five Points neighborhood) for pick up or delivery.

About Jordan Fox Besek, Assistant Professor, Sociology

An assistant professor of sociology, Jordan’s research variously explores both the material and ideological aspects of “nature” during a time of planetary urbanization (i.e. how ecological processes and ecological ideas are tied to international flows of goods, people, culture, and capital); how sociological theory can best incorporate both the power and limits of the natural sciences, and the continued relevance of W.E.B. Du Bois. His work has appeared in journals such as The Journal of Classical Sociology, The Sociological Quarterly, Environmental Sociology, Law & Policy, Socius, among others.


March 5
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Humanities Institute