Duchess Harris


Professor of American Studies, Department Chair

Neill Hall 109
Telephone: 651-696-6478

Duchess Harris is the author of two books, Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Clinton/Obama (Palgrave Macmillan) and an edited volume with Bruce Baum, Racially Writing the Republic: Racists, Race Rebels, and Transformations of American Identity (Duke University Press)

Professor Harris was a Mellon Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated from PENN in 1991 with a degree in American History and Afro-American Studies. Six years later, she earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. She was one of two graduates in a class of sixteen to be nominated for the American Studies Association National Dissertation Prize. She spent her final year in grad school as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota Law School. 

In 1998, Harris joined the faculty at Macalester College. She became the first Chair of the American Studies Department in 2003 and was granted tenure in 2004. In 2007 she decided that attending law school would allow her to expand the scope of her scholarship even further. In 2008, she was the only law student in the country chosen to be an Associate Editor for Litigation News, the American Bar Association Section's quarterly flagship publication.  In 2009, she won a $96 K fellowship from the Bush Leadership Program, which encourages their recipients to create positive change in their communities.  In 2010, she enhanced the William Mitchell College of Law’s community and created positive change as the first Editor-in-Chief of Law Raza Journal, an interactive on-line race and the law journal. 

She earned a Juris Doctorate in January 2011, and has an expertise in Civil Rights Law.  Her most recent publication is, Civil Rights Law and The Valley Swim Club: “Trouble the Waters” in the Age of Obama (with Craig Green and Keesha Gaskins), William Mitchell Law Raza Journal (2012). Please visit her website to learn more about Professor Harris and her work.