The Center for
Africana Studies has received a $200,000 grant from the
for the Humanities, funding that the five-year-old center
will use to host a monthlong summer
institute on the Homewood campus for college and university
professors in 2009.
Ben Vinson, the center's director, said the event,
titled "Slaves, Soldiers, Rebels: Currents of
Black Resistance in the Tropical Atlantic, 1760-1888," will
contribute to the university's legacy in the
field of Atlantic history while also furthering the
center's mission to bring Diaspora studies to
college-level educators. Vinson is co-director of the
summer institute, along with Stewart King, a
professor of history at Mount Angel Seminar in Oregon, and
Natalie Zacek, a lecturer in history and
American studies at the University of Manchester in the
"Johns Hopkins has a long history of being a pioneer
in Atlantic history, stretching back to the
1970s," Vinson said. "This conference will help us give it
a fresh face for the 21st century, an
opportunity to ask some new questions within the framework
of studying the Atlantic."
The summer institute will be a training ground for 25
faculty members from colleges and
universities across the country. Sessions will be led by
approximately 10 visiting scholars from
Vanderbilt, Columbia, Duke, Yale, Northwestern, Stanford
and other universities who are leaders in
their fields. Topics will include slave resistance and the
rebel presence in Latin America, the United
States, and the English and Dutch Caribbean, as well as
Haiti, with a particular emphasis on the
Haitian revolution. New insights will emerge on how black
slave resistance helped form modern nations
in the late-18th and 19th centuries.
Vinson said that he and his colleagues have been
working on the summer initiative since he
joined the center two years ago.
"Obviously, this is an important gift for the center,"
Vinson said. "It is going to help us elevate
our profile and really improve some of our programmatic
offerings. This allows us to enhance our
ability to create training initiatives for educators in
areas of Diaspora."
Prior to the institute, the Center for Africana
Studies will be hosting a two-day conference in
February to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the
establishment of the National Association for
the Advancement of Colored People.