Clyde Woods

Clyde WoodsThe Center for Black Studies Research at the University of California at Santa Barbara has lost a valiant soldier in the struggle for social justice teaching and scholarship. Early Wednesday morning, July 6, 2011, Associate Professor Clyde Woods, acting director of the Center, passed away at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara at the age of 54. He leaves behind his son, Malik, and countless friends, students, and colleagues who love him.

Dr. Woods began his appointment at UCSB in fall 2005, having previously taught at Pennsylvania State University and the University of Maryland. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009, the same year he became Acting Director of the Center for Black Studies Research. With a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA, Dr. Woods innovated a unique research programme that engaged social and public policy issues by examining the cultural practices of those oppressed by such policies.  His book, Development Arrested, is a model of interdisciplinary research that reframed the history of the Mississippi Delta by unearthing and interpreting the blues epistemology of its residents. At the time of his passing, Dr. Woods had just published In the Wake of Hurricane Katrina: New Paradigms and Social Visions (2010), a Johns Hopkins University Press book version of his special edited American Quarterly issue on Katrina, and was working on three additional books—Development Drowned and Reborn on Post-Katrina New Orleans (under review at University of California Press), a book on Black California that emerged from funded research at the Center for Black Studies Research, and a revised, updated version of Development Arrested. An original thinker and prolific scholar, Professor Woods believed the purpose of public social science was to explore and suture the links between knowledge embedded in communities of color and the knowledge disseminated by universities.

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