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Center For Africana Studies

Exploring Dimensions of African Diasporas:  An International Conference

April 26-27, 2012


Richard Bell is Assistant Professor of History at the University Of Maryland, College Park. His research interests encompass the histories of print communication and violence prior to the Civil War. His publications include We Shall be No More: Suicide and Self-Government in the Newly United States (Harvard, 2012) and Buried Lives: Incarcerated in Early America (University of Georgia Press, 2012).

Sara Berry is Professor of History and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Johns Hopkins University.  She teaches courses in African history and anthropology, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches to the study of social, economic and political change. Berry has published several books and numerous articles on 20th century African economic and social history, agrarian change, and development studies, including Fathers work for their sons: accumulation, mobility and class formation in an extended Yoruba community (University of California Press, 1985), No condition is permanent: the social dynamics of agrarian change in sub-Saharan Africa (University of Wisconsin Press, 1993), and Chiefs know their boundaries: essays on property, power and the past in Asante, 1896-1996 (Heinemann, 2000). Her current work uses local histories of conflict over land to examine the historically contingent nature of claims on property and their role in economic and political change; relationships between struggles over property, power and the production of history; and the changing social and economic meaning of law in colonial and postcolonial Africa.

Jarrett Hugh Brown is Assistant Professor of English at the College of the Holy Cross.   He currently teaches courses in contemporary Caribbean Literature, African Diaspora, and Black British Literatures.  Brown’s dissertation, “Black Masculinities as Marronage: Claude McKay’s Representation of Black Male Subjectivities in Metropolitan Spaces,” employs the Caribbean cultural trope of marronage as a theoretical frame for explicating Claude McKay’s representation of black masculinities in his three published novels.   His research interests include contemporary Anglophone Caribbean Literature and culture, African Diasporic Literatures, Black British Literature and Black Migrant Literatures.   Brown earned an undergraduate degree in English from the University of the West Indies, Mona campus in 1999, a Master’s degree in English at Clark University in 1999, and a PhD in American Studies, specializing in African American Literatures at the College of William and Mary.

Leonard Brown is Associate Professor at Northeastern University in Boston with a joint appointment in the Music and African American Studies Departments.  He is a professional musician (saxophonist, composer, and arranger), teacher, ethnomusicologist and specialist in multicultural education.  Brown is co-director of the Afro-Caribbean Music Research Project and has served as chair of African American Studies and head advisor for Music.  From 2000 to 2003, he served as Vice-Provost for Academic Opportunity. Along with his academic and scholarly initiatives and endeavors, from 1996 to 2002, Brown served as senior ethnomusicologist and principal cultural historian to the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, MO, the first national jazz museum in the nation.   He is co-founder and producer of Boston’s annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert. 

James Calvin is Associate Professor in The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.  He has a Joint Faculty Appointment in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and since 2009 has served as Visiting Faculty at Instituto Superior de Psicologia Social in Lisbon, Portugal.  He earned his PHD in Communication, Culture, and Phenomenology from New York University and joined the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in 1996. He is an Associate Professor in the practice track with expertise in the areas of leadership development, community economic development and nonprofit organizations.

Nathan Connolly is Assistant Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University.  His work on Jim Crow segregation, urban redevelopment, and capitalism appear in the journals Caribbean History and Urban History, select edited volumes, and in the forthcoming book  A World More Concrete: Real Estate in the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida, to be published by the University of Chicago Press.

Christian Cwik is an Austrian historian from Vienna. Since 1992 his work is about Latin American and Caribbean History. The main topics of his research are: African and Jewish Diaspora, European Migration to the Americas, Anti-Semitism, Revolutionary processes and territoriality. He has served as guest professor at a variety of universities in Venezuela, Colombia, Spain, Germany and Austria. He is currently the president of the Society for the Study of Continental America and the Caribbean.  

Yvonne Daniel is Professor Emerita of Dance and Afro-American Studies at Smith College.  She is a specialist in dance performance and Caribbean societies and has performed and produced professionally.  After earning her PhD in Anthropology, she published Rumba, Dancing Wisdom: Embodied Knowledge in Haitian Vodou, Cuban Yoruba and Bahian Candomblé, and Caribbean and Atlantic Diaspora Dance: Igniting Citizenship.  She has produced four documentary videos on Caribbean dance and African Diaspora religions and is credited with over thirty articles, encyclopedia entries, and chapters.  Her book on sacred performance won the de la Torre Bueno prize from the Society of Dance History Scholars for best dance research of 2006. She is a Ford Fellow, a Rockefeller Fellow, and has been a Visiting Scholar at Mills College and the Smithsonian Institution.  Dr. Daniel continues to do research, publish, and give presentations in both academic and community settings.

Tamara Ganjalyan studied Eastern European History and German as a Foreign Language at the University of Vienna.  Since 2011, she has been a PhD student at the University of Leipzig and researcher at the Leipzig Centre for the History and Culture of East Central Europe (GWZO), where she is a member of the research project group "Armenians in the Economy and Culture of East Central Europe (14th-19th Centuries).”

Siba Grovogui is Professor of International Relations and Political Theory in the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University.  He is author of Beyond Eurocentrism and Anarchy and Sovereigns, Quasi Sovereigns, and Africans.  Professor Grovogui’s current book projects include Otherwise Human:  The Institutes and Institutions of Rights and Future Anterior:  A Genealogy of International Relations and Society.

Frank Guridy is Associate Professor of History and African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also the Director of the John L. Warfield Center for African and African-American Studies at UT-Austin. He is the author of Forging Diaspora: Afro-Cubans and African Americans in a World of Empire and Jim Crow (University of North Carolina Press, 2010), which won the Elsa Goveia Book Prize from the Association of Caribbean Historians and the Wesley-Logan Book Prize, conferred by the American Historical Association in January. He is also the co-editor of Beyond el Barrio: Everyday Life in Latino/a America (NYU Press, 2010). He has published essays in Radical History Review, Caribbean Studies, Social Text, and Cuban Studies. His fellowships and awards include the Scholar in Residence Fellowship at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in 2002 and the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010.

Michael Hanchard is Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University and a founding director of the Racism, Immigration and Citizenship Program. His research and teaching interests combine a specialization in comparative politics with an interest in contemporary political theory, encompassing themes of nationalism, racism and xenophobia, and citizenship.  His publications include Orpheus and Power: The Movimento Negro of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1945-1988 (Princeton University Press, 1994), Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil, editor, (Duke University Press, 1999) and Party/Politics: Horizons in Black Political Thought (Oxford University Press, 2006). His scholarly articles have appeared in journals such as Public Culture, Political Theory and Social Text. Professor Hanchard received his Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University in 1991, an M.A. in International Relations from the New School for Social Research in 1985, and an A.B. in International Relations from Tufts.

Dr. Floyd W. Hayes, III is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Coordinator of Programs and Undergraduate Studies in the Center for Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University.  His research interests focus on Africana political philosophy, politics, and public policy.  He is the editor of A Turbulent Voyage:  Readings in African American Studies.  Presently, he is working on a book entitled Domination and Resentment:  the Desperate Vision of Richard Wright.

Jared Hickman is Assistant Professor of English at Johns Hopkins University.  He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2008.   He is currently preparing a book manuscript, Black Prometheus: Political Theologies of Atlantic Antislavery, which explores the relationship between racial difference, theological heresy, and political radicalism under the metaphysical regime of Atlantic slavery and racism. He has published and forthcoming articles and reviews on the theology of democracy, race as modern cosmography, transnational American studies, and other topics in The New England Quarterly, Early American Literature, and other venues.  His fundamental interest is in the discursive intersection of Americanity, modernity, and globality and the utopian and millenarian projects that issue from this nexus.

Moira Hinderer received her M.A. andPh.D. from the Department of History at the University of Chicago, and holds a B.A. in African-American Studies from Mount Holyoke College.  Her dissertation, Making African American Childhood: Chicago, 1915-1945, examines the roles that young people and ideas about childhood played in strategies of racial resistance in twentieth-century Chicago.  She is currently writing an article that examines the negotiations and production of knowledge between African American social scientists and the poor Black families they studied during the 1940s.  She is currently the Diaspora Pathways Archival Access Project Manager & Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for African Studies and the Sheridan Libraries.  She previously worked on the Mapping the Stacks project at the University of Chicago, which produced the first full survey of the archival holdings of the Chicago Defender newspaper.

Evelyn Hu-DeHart is Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown. She joined Brown from the University of Colorado at Boulder where she was Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies and Director of the Center for Studies of Ethnicity and Race in America. She has also taught at the City University of New York system, New York University, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Arizona and University of Michigan, as well as lectured at universities and research institutes in Mexico, Peru, Cuba, France, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China.

Ruth Iyob is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Ruth Iyob’s current research focuses on identity politics and the Diasporas of the Afro-Mediterranean and Indian Ocean regions.   She is author of The Eritrean Struggle for Independence:  Domination, Resistance, and Nationalism, 1941-1993 (1995) and with Gilbert Khadiagala, Sudan:  The Elusive Quest for Peace (2006).

Winston James is Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine. His publications include Inside Babylon: The Caribbean Diaspora in Britain (1993), Holding Aloft the Banner of Ethiopia: Caribbean Radicalism in Early Twentieth-Century America (1998), which won the Gordon K. Lewis Memorial Award for Caribbean Scholarship from the Caribbean Studies Association, A Fierce Hatred of Injustice: Claude McKay’s Jamaica and His Poetry of Rebellion (2000),and most recently The Struggles of John Brown Russwurm: The Life and Writings of a Pan-Africanist Pioneer, 1799-1851 (2010). His current project is the completion of a two-volume study of Claude McKay’s political evolution.

Michele A. Johnson previously taught in the Department of History at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica.  She is currently Associate Professor in the Department of History, York University, Canada where she teaches a variety of courses which focus on “Blacks in the Americas.”  She is a fellow of the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean and of the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples, both at York. In the Tubman Institute, she currently directs a new initiative, “Spotlighting and Promoting African Canadian Experiences” (S.P.A.C.E.), which seeks to highlight the presence and contributions of persons of African descent in Canada.  Johnson’s research interests have focused on the cultural history of Jamaica, gender relations, race/racialization and labor, domestic slavery and service in Jamaica/the Caribbean and Canada, as well as migration and Diasporas.

Kelly Baker Josephs, Assistant Professor of English at York College, City University of New York, specializes in World Anglophone Literature with an emphasis on Caribbean Literature, teaching courses in Anglophone Caribbean Literature, Postcolonial Literature and Theory, Literatures of the African Diaspora, and Gender Studies. Her book project, Disturbers of the Peace: Representations of Insanity in Anglophone Caribbean Literature, considers the ubiquity of madmen and madwomen in Caribbean literature between 1959 and 1980.  Professor Josephs is Managing Editor of the journal Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism and of sx salon; a small axe literary project.  She also co-organizes the Caribbean Epistemologies Seminar at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Dr. Tyson D. King-Meadows is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and Visiting Scholar in the Center for Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He is also an affiliate of the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (MIPAR), an affiliate of the Department of Public Policy, and a Faculty Fellow of the Honors College. He received a B.A. in Political Science from North Carolina Central University and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His primary research interests concern African American political behavior and attitudes, identity politics, race and representation, Congress, and elections. He currently serves as president of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS) and has received teaching, service, and research awards, including a fellowship to the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African American Research at Harvard University, a Fulbright Scholar Award to Ghana, West Africa, and a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship for a residency at the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University. He also serves as an Alumni Ambassador of the Fulbright Scholar Program.   He is author of When the Letter Betrays the Spirit: Voting Rights Enforcement and African American Participation from Lyndon Johnson to Barack Obama (Lexington Books, 2011). Dr. King-Meadows is also co-author with Thomas F. Schaller of Devolution and Black State Legislators: Challenges and Choices in the Twenty-first Century (State University of New York Press, 2006). His next book (forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press) examines contemporary racial identity politics and the senatorial and gubernatorial candidacies of black federal representatives. 

Franklin W.  Knight, The Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Professor of History, currently serves as Director of the Center for Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University.  Professor Knight is a Latin American and Caribbean historian who specializes in the social and economic history of the late colonial period, with particular interest in American slave systems and the modern Caribbean. A Hopkins faculty member since 1973, Knight's major publications include Slave Society in Cuba During the Nineteenth Century (1970); The African Dimension of Latin American Societies (1974); UNESCO General History of the Caribbean, Volume III: The Slave Societies of the Caribbean; and, with Teresita Martinez Vergne, Contemporary Caribbean Cultures and Societies in a Global Context (2005). He holds a BA from the University College of the West Indies-London and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Jane Landers is Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History, former Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Science and former Director of the Center for Latin American Studies. She is the author of Atlantic Creoles in the Age of Revolutions (Cambridge, Mass., 2010) which was awarded the Rembert Patrick Book Award and has been awarded honorary mention for the 2011 Bolton Johnson Prize for the best English-language book on any aspect of Latin American History. She has also authored Black Society in Spanish Florida (Urbana, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005) which was awarded the Frances B. Simkins Prize for Distinguished First Book in Southern History and was a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title.  She has published essays in The American Historical Review, Slavery and Abolition, The New West Indian Guide, The Americas, Colonial Latin American Historical Review and a variety of anthologies and edited volumes. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Conference on Latin American History, Vanderbilt University, the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, the Historic St. Augustine Research Institute, and the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain’s Ministry of Culture and United States’ universities.

Tommy Lott is Professor of Philosophy at San Jose State University. He is editor of Subjugation and Bondage: Critical Essays on Slavery and Social Philosophy (1998), co-editor with John Pittman of Blackwell's forthcoming Companion to African-American Philosophy, and author of Like Rum in the Punch: Alain Locke and the Theory of African American Culture, also forthcoming, as well as numerous articles.

Teresita Martínez Vergne lives in Washington DC.  She taught for 20 years at Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN, the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras, and Colgate University in Hamilton, NY.  Dr. Martínez  Vergne is the author of various books and articles, notably among them Nation and Citizen in the Dominican Republic, 1880-1916 (2005) and Shaping the Discourse on Space:  Charity and its Wards in Nineteenth-Century San Juan, Puerto Rico (1999).  She is the editor, with Franklin W. Knight, of Contemporary Caribbean Societies and Cultures in a Global Context (2005) and with Bridget Brereton et al. of volume 5 of the UNESCO General History of the Caribbean -- The Caribbean in the Twentieth Century (2004).  Since 2005, Dr. Martínez Vergne has dedicated her time to non-profit work in education seeking to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups in higher education.

Hollis Robbins, Ph.D, is interim Chair of the Humanities Department at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where she specializes in American literature, drama, film, and aesthetics. She has a joint appointment in the Center for Africana Studies at Homewood where she teaches courses in African American Poetry and Civil Rights.  Robbins holds a PhD in English from Princeton University (2003), an MPP from Harvard University (1990), and a BA in the Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins.  She is currently writing a book on the African American sonnet tradition.

Quito Swan,  Associate Professor of History, obtained his Ph.D. in African Diaspora History from Howard University in 2005 and joined its History Department in 2006. His primary research and writing interests are Diasporic Black political and cultural movements. This includes Black Power as an international phenomenon; pan-African liberation struggles; maroonage and resistance to slavery; Garvey and the UNIA; Diasporic protest music, particularly Reggae and Afro-Venezuelan social movements. His book, Black Power in Bermuda and the Struggle for Decolonization (2009), critically demonstrated the impact of Black Power in the West Indies.

James H. Sweet  is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin.  He is the author of more than a dozen journal and book articles, as well as a co-edited volume (with Tejumola Olaniyan) entitled, The African Diaspora and the Disciplines (Indiana, 2010).  His book, Recreating Africa: Culture, Kinship, and Religion in the African-Portuguese World, 1441-1770 (UNC, 2003) won the American Historical Association’s Wesley Logan prize for the best book on the history of the African diaspora in 2004.  It was also a finalist for the Frederick Douglass Prize.  His Domingos Álvares, African Healing, and the Intellectual History of the Atlantic World (UNC, 2011) recently won the American Historical Association’s James A. Rawley prize for the best book in Atlantic history.

Ben Vinson, III  is the Herbert Baxter Adams Professor of Latin American History and Vice Dean for Centers & Interdepartmental Programs and Graduate Education in the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences at Johns Hopkins University.  A Latin American historian with particular interests in race relations and the African Diaspora, Vinson joined the faculty as a professor in the History Department and served as director of the Center for Africana Studies until 2010. Prior to coming to Hopkins, Vinson was an associate professor at Penn State University, and he taught previously at Barnard College. He has held fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, National Humanities Center, Social Science Research Council, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Ford, Rockefeller, and Mellon Foundations.  An expert on colonial Mexico, Vinson is interested broadly in the 19th and 20th centuries and transnational networks, including the experiences between African Americans and Latinos. His books include Bearing Arms for His Majesty: The Free-Colored Militia in Colonial Mexico (2001); Flight: The Story of Virgil Richardson, A Tuskegee Airman in Mexico (2004); Afromexico (2004); and, with Herbert Klein, African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2nd edition (2007). Vinson received his BA from Dartmouth College in 1992 and a PhD from Columbia University in 1998.

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