Carole Boyce-Davies

Carole Boyce-Davies is a student-first, Caribbean-American radically intellectual committed to social justice.  Currently, Professor of Africana Studies and English at Cornell University, from the mid1980’s and throughout the 1990’s, 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. An African Diaspora scholar in writing and in practice, she has recently been appointed to the prestigious Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon.

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 visiting professorships including the Herskovits Professor of African Studies at Northwestern University and Fulbright professorship at the University of Brasilia, Brasil and University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.  Her Fall, 2014 distinguished visiting professorship at Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing, China is one of the most memorable. Her most recently published book Caribbean Spaces: Escape Routes from Twilight Zones, dealing with the issue of internationalizing Caribbean culture was long listed for the BOCAS Prize in non-fiction in 2014.

She is the author of the classic Left of Karl Marx. The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones (Duke University Press, 2008) and has recently appeared in the documentary film Looking for Claudia Jones (by Nia Reynolds, 2013) and The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo (by Yaba Badoe, 2014). 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 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 work 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 serving as the general editor of the 3-volume The Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora (Oxford: ABC-CLIO, 2008).  Her recent publications are 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 Contradictions in Black Women and International Law: Deliberate Interactions, Movements and Actions (Cambridge University Press, 2015:  23-34). She is working on a new book project 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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