Carole Boyce-Davies

Carole Boyce-Davies is a student-first, Caribbean-American radical intellectual committed to social justice. She is currently the Frank H.T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters in the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Africana Studies and English at Cornell University. From the mid-1980s and throughout the 1990s, she was a popular award-winning professor at the State University of New York, Binghamton. In 1997, she was recruited to build the African Diaspora Studies Program at Florida International University where she served three successful terms until 2007 when she joined the Cornell faculty. She is an African Diaspora scholar in scholarship and in practice and is a popular speaker on several related topics.

Born in Trinidad and Tobago, she studied at the University of Maryland (B.A.) and Howard University (M.A. in African Studies) and received her Ph.D. in African Literature at the University of Ibadan on Commonwealth Scholarship from the government of Trinidad and Tobago. She has held named professorships including being the Herskovits Professor of African Studies at Northwestern University from 2000-2001; Fulbright professorships at the University of Brasilia, Brazil, and University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. Her distinguished visiting professorship in Fall 2014 at Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing, China is one of the most memorable. In 2015, she was appointed to the prestigious Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon.

Her publications include the prize-winning classic Left of Karl Marx. The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones (Duke University Press, 2008). Her Black Women, Writing and Identity: Migrations of the Subject (Routledge, 1994) is considered a theoretical staple for scholars writing about Black women’s writing in global contexts. In addition, she has to her credit over 100 published journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Boyce-Davies has also published the following critical editions: Ngambika. Studies of Women in African Literature (Africa World Press, 1986); Out of the Kumbla. Caribbean Women and Literature (Africa World Press, 1990); a two-volume collection of critical and creative writing entitled Moving Beyond Boundaries (New York University Press, 1995): International Dimensions of Black Women’s Writing (volume 1), and Black Women’s Diasporas (volume 2) and Claudia Jones Beyond Containment: Autobiographical Reflections, Poetry, Essays (Banbury: Ayebia, 2011). Her Caribbean Spaces: Escape Routes from Twilight Zones, dealing with the issue of internationalizing Caribbean culture was longlisted for the BOCAS Prize in non-fiction in 2014. She has also appeared in the documentary film Looking for Claudia Jones (by Nia Reynolds, 2013) and The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo (by Yaba Badoe, 2014).

A sampling of publications specifically on the African diaspora include: The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities (with Ali Mazrui and Isidore Okpewho, Indiana University Press, 1999); Decolonizing the Academy. African Diaspora Studies (Africa World Press, 2003) and the editorship of the 3-volume The Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora (Oxford: ABC-CLIO, 2008). Essays and journal articles include “Pan-Africanism, Transnational Black feminism and the Limits of Culturalist Analyses in African Gender Discourses,” Feminist Africa 19 (2014): 78-93 and Writing Black Women into Political Leadership: Reflections, Trends and Contradictionsin Black Women and International Law: Deliberate Interactions, Movements and Actions (Cambridge University Press, 2015): 23-34). Her current book project is on “Black Women and Political Leadership in the African Diaspora.”

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Carole Boyce-Davies is a past President of the
Caribbean Studies Association, 2015-2016.

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