Dr. Richard B. Pierce is chair of the Department of Africana Studies, the John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C. Associate Professor of History, and a Fellow at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Pierce, the former Carl E. Koch Assistant Professor of History, conducts research in African American and urban history and has been a member of the Notre Dame faculty since 1996. His most recent publications include Polite Protest: The Political Economy of Race in Indianapolis, 1920 – 1970 (Indiana University Press 2005) and "More than a Game: The Political Meaning of High School Basketball" in Patrick B. Miller and David K. Wiggins, eds. Sport and the Color Line: Black Athletes and Race Relations in Twentieth-Century America (Routledge Press 2004). His current research investigates corporal punishment practices in American families.
Dr. Pierce, along with colleagues at the University spearheaded the establishment of the Department of Africana Studies, housed in the College of Arts and Letters in July 2005. The Department avails the opportunity for undergraduate students at Notre Dame to pursue a major in the Africana experience. Dr. Pierce was also an architect in the Erskine A. Peters Dissertation Fellowship Program, a pre-dissertation residential fellowship designed to enable outstanding African American doctoral candidates to devote their full energies to the completion of their dissertation.
In 2009, Professor Pierce received the Charles Sheedy award for excellent teaching in the College of Arts and Letters. In 2004, Professor Pierce received the Erskine Peters Award, presented annually to the outstanding faculty member of the year by the Notre Dame Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Additionally, he received a Ford Foundation funded fellowship from the Center for African American Studies and the Economy at Carnegie Mellon University in 2000.