This will be the first year in which the Caribbean Philosophical Association grants the Stuart Hall Outstanding Mentorship Award. The Committee has voted to honor Professor Hazel V. Carby because of her taking on the mantle of Stuart Hall, who was her mentor, in the cultivation of Black Cultural Studies in the United States. Professor Emerita Catherine Hall granted permission to the Caribbean Philosophical Association to create this award in her late husband’s memory. She offered this note for the association to include in its press release upon learning of Professor Carby’s being the first recipient:
I am thrilled that [Carby] has been named as the first recipient of the first Stuart Hall Mentor’s award given by the Caribbean Philosophical Association. … It is a very fitting recognition of the major work that [she has] done and the contribution [she has] made.
Among Professor Carby’s former students consulted was Professor Michelle Stephens, who is now Dean of the Humanities at Rutgers University. Here is an excerpt from Dean Stephens’s letter:
Hazel was very much a student of Stuart Hall, replicating administratively and pedagogically his enduring insight that African diasporic peoples inhabit modernity from a position askance to traditional bodies of knowledge. In engaging with such traditional fields, as English, Art History, Sociology, Political Science, History, Philosophy and Psychology, [she] brought a different set of questions to the table that required the development of new, interdisciplinary research methodologies….
In my own intellectual formation, it was Hazel Carby who first introduced me to Stuart Hall. It was Hazel Carby who helped me to see Hall’s greatest observation, one that went on to define the way I think of myself as a cultural studies scholar. Rather than simply contesting others’ representations, for both Hall and Carby what was singular in 20th century black cultural production was the ways in which black artists were seeking to claim the field of representation for themselves in new ways. But it was also Hazel Carby who, in introducing me specifically to Hall’s 1990 essay, “Cultural Identity and Diaspora,” stimulated my full-blown awareness that a transatlantic conversation about blackness had to recognize the Caribbean as the third, crucial interlocutor in a dialogue emerging between black British and African American academics.
President Neil Roberts adds:
I can think of no better living figure to receive the inaugural Stuart Hall Outstanding Mentorship award. Hall would be extremely proud of her, as are her many students and we.
Professor Carby’s achievements are many. She is the Charles C. and Dorothea S. Dilley Professor of African American Studies and American Studies at Yale University. Her books include the influential Reconstructing Womanhood. The following sites offer information on her scholarship and other accolades: