Guide to the William H. Exum (1942-1986) Papers

Collection Title: William H. Exum (1942-1986) Papers
Dates: 1965-1985
Identification: 11/3/1/1
Creator: Exum, William H., 1942-
Extent: 3.50 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: The William H. Exum Papers fill three and one-half boxes and are arranged in five subseries: biographical material, education files, correspondence, teaching files and publications files. Materials span the years 1964-1985.
Acquisition Information: The University Archives acquired the William H. Exum Papers on May 5, 1986 as Accession #86-59, and May 19, 1986 as Accession #86-77 from Leon Forrest, Chair, Department of African-American Studies.
Processing Information: Ellen C. O'Brien, April 19, 1989
Separated Materials: Thirty-five audio cassettes were transferred to the University Archives' audio cassette collection (AC 166). Duplicate vitae, class bibliographies, and exams were discarded.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

William H. Exum was born on December 11, 1942 in Oklahoma and grew up in Kentucky. He became involved in school integration efforts during the late 1950s and early 1960s both as a student and as a civil rights worker. He received an A.B. cum laude in Social Relations from Harvard University in 1963 and a Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University in 1974. He received the Founders Day Award from NYU in 1974 for “consistent evidence of outstanding scholarship.” Exum was a professor of African Amerian Studies and Sociology at Northwestern from 1977 to 1986.

Exum began his teaching career at Sarah Lawrence College as an instructor and assistant professor from September, 1969 to June, 1973. He was on leave for the academic year 1971-1972. From July, 1973 to June, 1977 he was Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Williams College, serving as Director of the Afro-American Studies Program from July, 1975 to June, 1977. He joined the faculty of Northwestern University in September, 1977 and served as Associate Professor of African-American Studies and Sociology until his death in April, 1986.

Exum's stated research interests and publications all indicate his concern for understanding the “phenomena of difference,” that is, how people and behavior come to be defined as different and the impact that perception has on those individuals in institutions and social interactions. He was an active member of the American Sociological Association, the Illinois Council for Black Studies, the Midwest Sociological Association, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the Society for Values in Higher Education.

Scope and Content

The William H. Exum Papers fill three and one-half boxes and are arranged in five subseries: biographical material, education files, correspondence, teaching files and publications files. Materials span the years 1964-1985.

The small amount of biographical materials consist mostly of curriculum vitae, prepared by Exum at Northwestern University. Further biographical material on Exum appears in a booklet titled “NIA Afro-American Studies Newsletter,” September 1974, No. 2 page 12.

The education materials are from Exum's years as a graduate student at New York University. They consist of some course readings, notes (a few handwritten) and exams, 1964-1967 and some lengthier course papers submitted during the years 1964-1966. A photocopy of his Ph.D. dissertation “Black Student Movements in White Colleges and Universities” February, 1974 is also part of this material.

The correspondence relates primarily to Exum's professional career, especially his teaching, writing and speaking engagements. A few letters from former students and correspondence with department heads dealing with the conditions of his employment are also included. The correspondence is arranged in chronological order, 1970-1985. A copy of an alphabetical list of correspondents, 1970-1985, is included.

The teaching files consist of class materials (bibliographies, syllabi, reading lists, and exams) from Sarah Lawrence College, Williams College, and Northwestern University, 1969-1985. Tenure related materials are filed here. Among these materials is a photocopy of testimony by William Exum to the House Subcommittee on Elementary, Secondary, and Vocational Education, House of Representatives, United States Congress in support of H.R. 14365 and S. 3319 “The School Integration Innovation Act of 1976,” August, 1976 (Box 2 Folder 17).

The publication files are comprised of copies of printed articles and copies of manuscripts. These are arranged in chronological order by date or approximate date of publication with the title noted on the individual folders. A list of publications is included in Exum's vitae.

Arrangement of Materials

The William H. Exum Papers are arranged in five subseries: biographical material, education files, correspondence, teaching files and publications files.


Corporate Name

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Department of African American Studies--Faculty

Personal Name

Exum, William H., 1942-


African Americans--Social conditions--Study and teaching (Higher)

Container List / Contents

  • Education Files
    • NYU readings, notes, exams, 1964-1967Box 1, Folder 2
    • NYU graduate papers, 1964-1966Box 1, Folder 3
    • Ph.D. Dissertation, pp. 1-164, 1974Box 1, Folder 4
    • Ph.D. Dissertation, pp. 165-304, 1974Box 1, Folder 5
    • Ph.D. Dissertation, pp. 305-Bibliography, 1974Box 1, Folder 6
  • Correspondence
    • Alphabetical list of correspondents, 1970-1985Box 1, Folder 7
    • Correspondence, 1971-1972Box 1, Folder 8
    • Correspondence, 1973-1974Box 1, Folder 9
    • Correspondence, 1975-1978Box 1, Folder 10
    • Correspondence, 1979-1980Box 1, Folder 11
    • Correspondence, 1981Box 1, Folder 12
    • Correspondence, 1982Box 2, Folder 1
    • Correspondence, 1983Box 2, Folder 2
    • Correspondence, 1984-1985Box 2, Folder 3
  • Teaching Files
    • Sarah Lawrence reading lists, 1969-1973Box 2, Folder 4
    • Williams reading lists & syllabi, 1973-1974Box 2, Folder 5
    • Williams reading lists & syllabi, 1974-1975Box 2, Folder 6
    • Williams reading lists & syllabi, 1975-1976Box 2, Folder 7
    • Williams reading lists & syllabi, Spr, 1977Box 2, Folder 8
    • Williams course outlines, syllabi, bibliographies, 1973-1978Box 2, Folder 9
    • Northwestern exams, 1977-1978Box 2, Folder 10
    • Northwestern, “Social Meaning of Race” reading lists and exams, 1978Box 2, Folder 11
    • Northwestern reading lists & exams, 1978-1979Box 2, Folder 12
    • Northwestern syllabi & exams, 1979-1980Box 2, Folder 13
    • Northwestern syllabi & exams, 1980-1981Box 2, Folder 14
    • Northwestern syllabi & exams, 1981-1982Box 2, Folder 15
    • Northwestern syllabi & exams, 1982-1983Box 2, Folder 16
    • Tenure materials-presentations and reviews, 1976-1982Box 2, Folder 17
    • Tenure-course syllabi & exams, 1977-1982Box 3, Folder 1
    • Tenure-proposals & reports, 1979-1981Box 3, Folder 2
  • Publications
    • “The University-Church Analogy”, 1975Box 3, Folder 3
    • “Black Student Unions”, 1978Box 3, Folder 4
    • “Inequality and Academic Careers: The Problem of Minority Faculty”, 1979-1980Box 3, Folder 5
    • “Plus Ca Change...? : Racism”, 1980Box 3, Folder 6
    • “How Unique are Academic Institutions”, 1980-1982Box 3, Folder 7
    • “The Partly Opened Door: Conflict of Values”, 1980-1982Box 3, Folder 8
    • “The Partly Opened Door: Conflict of Values & Limited Access in American Education”, 1980-1982Box 3, Folder 9
    • Manuscript - Paradoxes of Protest - pp. 1-154, 1980-1984Box 3, Folder 10
    • Manuscript - Paradoxes of Protest - pp. 155-260, 1980-1984Box 3, Folder 11
    • Manuscript - Paradoxes of Protest - pp. 261-373, 1980-1984Box 3, Folder 12
    • Manuscript - Paradoxes of Protest - pp. 374-Ref, 1980-1984Box 3, Folder 13
    • Paradoxes of Protest - rev. prospectus & several revised chapters, 1980-1984Box 4, Folder 1
    • Publishers letters - Paradoxes of Protest, 1982Box 4, Folder 2
    • “Barriers to Progress of Women and Minority Faculty”, 1982Box 4, Folder 3
    • “Affirmative Action & Higher Education: Some Implications for Scholarly Publications”, 1982Box 4, Folder 4
    • “Affirmative Action & the University Press”, 1982Box 4, Folder 5
    • “Affirmative Action & the University Press”, 1983Box 4, Folder 6
    • “Climbing the Crystal Stairs: Values”, 1982Box 4, Folder 7
    • “Making it at the Top” (with co-authors), 1984Box 4, Folder 8
    • “Academia as an Internal Labor Market”, 1984Box 4, Folder 9
  • Biographical materials, 1976-1986Box 1, Folder 1