Desmond King to Address Current Politics Of Race in U.S. as Pitt’s 2012 Roscoe Robinson Jr. Memorial Lecturer Feb. 16

Issue Date: 
February 13, 2012
Desmond KingDesmond King

Despite President Barack Obama’s election as the first African American U.S. president, Desmond King, the Andrew Mellon Professor of American Government at Nuffield College—a social sciences graduate college of Oxford University in the United Kingdom—argues that the role of race continues to define American politics. King will deliver the 2012 Roscoe Robinson Jr. Memorial Lecture on Diversity and Public Service at 6 p.m. Feb. 16. The lecture, titled “Race and Politics in Obama’s America,” will take place in Ballroom A of the University Club.

King will discuss how Obama’s election did not usher in a new postracial America and how race plays a role in the current presidential campaign. King is the author of Separate and Unequal: African Americans and the U.S. Federal Government (Oxford University Press, 2007) and coauthored Still a House Divided: Race and Politics in Obama’s America (Princeton Studies in American Politics, 2011) with Rogers M. Smith, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania.

King is an Emeritus Fellow of St. John’s College and a Fellow of the British Academy, the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences. He specializes in the study of the American state in U.S. executive politics, race, politics in American political development, comparative welfare politics and labor market policy, democratization, and immigration policy.

The third annual Roscoe Robinson Jr. Memorial Lecture on Diversity and Public Service is hosted by the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. The lecture recognizes the late Roscoe Robinson’s impact on diversity in public service and the U.S. military. A Pitt alumnus, Robinson (GSPIA ’64G) was the first African American four-star general in the U.S. Army.

For more information about the lecture, visit