Professor Caroline Shenaz Hossein receiving a WEB DuBois award | group photo | 2018-04-02

Social science professor wins W.E.B. DuBois Distinguished Book Award


Professor Caroline Shenaz Hossein, from York University’s Department of Social Science, is a recipient of the 2018 W.E.B. DuBois Distinguished Book Award.

The National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS) in the U.S. named Hossein the award winner for her book Politicized Microfinance: Money, Power and Violence in the Black Americas (2016) at its 49th annual meeting, titled Race and the Environment: Agency, Survival and the Continuing Challenges of Black Inequalities, held in Chicago on March 16.

The award honours Dr. W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963), a famous academic, writer, historian and civil rights activist. He was the first African-American to earn a doctorate at Harvard and one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The NCOBPS grants the award for books that contend with questions of political power, race and other intersections of oppression.

“DuBois fought long and hard as an academic to have his ideas recognized,” said Hossein, who teaches in the Business & Society program. “I am inspired by him and other great Black thinkers to bring knowledge to the academe that is often absent – and that speaks to the experiences of racialized people in economics.”

shenaz hossein award

Left to right: Byrdie Larkin, Alabama State University and awards chair; Caroline Shenaz Hossein, York University; Shayla Nunnally, University of Connecticut and president of NCOBPS; Sekou Franklin, Middle Tennessee State University and president-elect of NCOBPS

In her book Politicized Microfinance, Hossein crosses the Western Hemisphere to tell the untold stories of how people of African descent are hurt or helped when they engage with the financial world.

“This book award is a great honour. I am humbled by the news,” said Hossein. “I am just grateful that I am to be a scribe to hundreds of people who never get their stories told. This is the work I am supposed to do, so this win is really for those people who risk everything to speak to me. I am truly blessed to be an academic and to write on people I love so much.”

Hossein is also editor of The Black Social Economy in the Americas: Exploring Diverse Community-Based Markets (2018), co-editor of Business & Society: A Critical Introduction (2017) and winner of the 2017 Helen Potter Award.