Skip to main content

Exum, William H., 1942-1986



  • Existence: 1942- - 1986


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.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

William H. Exum (1942-1986) Papers

Identifier: 11/3/1/1

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.

Dates: 1965-1985