The New Director of African and African American Studies at the University of Arkansas

Caree A. Banton is the new director of the African and African American studies program in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the Univerity of Arkansas. Dr. Banton is an associate professor of African diaspora history, who is jointly appointed in the department of history and the African American studies program. She teaches classes in Afro-Caribbean history, African diaspora history, and race. Her research focuses on movements around abolition, emancipation and colonization as well as ideas of citizenship, Blackness, and nationhood in the 19th century.

Dr. Banton is the author of More Auspicious Shores: Barbadian Migration to Liberia, Blackness, and the Making of the Liberian Republic, 1865–1912 (Cambridge University Press, 2019). She joined the faculty at the Univerity of Arkansas in 2013.

“There has been an effort among faculty and students to study Black life from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, the United States, Asia, and indeed the world over, since the movements of the 1960s brought Black studies to campus,” Dr. Banton said. “This is something that the University of Arkansas should be engaged in and strive to be at the forefront of as we increasingly move toward a more globalized world in which cultural competency is a valued currency.”

“In this present moment of uprisings from the United States to Nigeria, a global pandemic, and financial recession, we need the African and African American studies program now more than ever to bring its interdisciplinary approach and methodological framework to interrogate our past and current realities in ways that will foster a better understanding of our troubles as well as help us to envision the possibilities of a different and brighter future,” Dr. Banton continued.

Dr. Banton is a graduate of Grambling State University in Louisiana, where she double majored in history and public administration. She earned master’s degrees at the University of New Orleans, the University of Ghana, and Vanderbilt University. Dr. Banton holds a Ph.D. in history from Vanderbilt University.

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