Dexter Gordon

Communications Studies
Director, African American Studies

Dexter GordonDexter Gordon explores the themes of social, intellectual, and political history; public discourse; and social theory through his research and writing. He directs the university's African American Studies program and leads the Race and Pedagogy Institute, which holds regular international conferences on the Puget Sound campus, which have attracted speakers including Angela Davis, Henry Louis Gates, Freeman Hrabowski, and Winona LaDuke. In his book, Black Identity: Rhetoric, Ideology, And Nineteenth-Century Black Nationalism (2003), Gordon advocated for a critical reconstruction of historical memory that would provide an understanding of black identity and that might initiate a movement toward redemption and repair. In communication studies he teaches courses that focus on rhetoric and cultural studies, and on African American and Caribbean public discourse. He is a sought-after public speaker and community leader, with roles in the Tacoma social justice group The Conversation and the Tacoma Pierce County Black Collective. He was a founding member of the Tacoma Civil Rights Project and member of the Tacoma Public Schools advisory council on the achievement gap. Recently Gordon has been working on a project tentatively titled “Language and Identity in Jamaica.”

B.A., Jamaica Theological Seminary, 1984; M.A., Wheaton College, 1991; Ph.D., Indiana University, 1998

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