Sherwin K. Bryant to Lead the Center for African and African American Studies at Rice University

Sherwin K. Bryant, a leading scholar of slavery, race, and the early modern African diaspora, will join Rice University in Houston on January 1 as director of the Center for African and African American Studies. He will also serve as an associate professor in the department of history.

“I am honored to join the Rice faculty as director of the Center for African and African American Studies at this moment in history,” Dr. Bryant said. “The 2020 global Black protests against the enduring legacies of slavery, colonialism, and racial rule catalyzed commitments to Black history and Black knowledge. Now, an onslaught of attacks against Black knowledge confront our world and the very lives of Afro-descendant populations.”

Dr. Bryant added that “joining this dynamic community of scholars addressing Africa and the African diaspora across the Americas offers a unique opportunity to contribute to the field of Black studies, the humanities, and the social sciences at a critical moment in history. As Rice emerges to engage its own history of slavery, segregation, and racial injustice, CAAAS promises to help situate Rice as a major hub for African and Black thought in the global south.”

Dr. Bryant currently serves as an associate professor of Black studies and history at Northwestern University. He is the former co-director of the Andean Cultures and Histories working group in the Weinberg College Center for International and Area Studies and a former director of Northwestern’s Center for African American History. He is the author of Rivers of Gold, Lives of Bondage: Governing through Slavery in Colonial Quito (University of North Carolina Press, 2014).

Dr. Bryant earned a Ph.D. at Ohio State University.

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