Assistant Professor, HistoryOffice: Blair 211
African Diaspora, Southern Africa and African American History
Robert Trent Vinson received his Ph.D. in African History from Howard University. He has written The Americans are Coming!: The Dream of African American Liberation in Segregationist South Africa (Ohio University Press, January 2012). He is now completing two additional book projects, Shaka's Progeny: Zulu Cultures and the Making of the Modern Atlantic World, co-authored with Benedict Carton and Crossing the Water: African Americans and South Africa, 1890-1965, a documentary history co-edited with Robert Edgar and David Anthony (forthcoming, Ohio University Press). Vinson has also published several articles, including in the Journal of African History, the African Studies Review, and the Journal of Southern African Studies and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the Sasakawa Foundation have funded his research. Vinson is on the editorial board of Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies.
Vinson also was co-chair of the Lemon Project at William and Mary, a long-term research project named after Mr. Lemon, one of many enslaved blacks owned by the College of William and Mary before the Civil War. The Lemon Project involves College faculty, staff and students as well as members of the Greater Williamsburg community. The goal of the project is to better understand, chronicle, and preserve the history of blacks at the College and in the community and to promote a deeper understanding of the indebtedness of the College to the work and support of its diverse neighbors.
The Americans Are Coming!: Dreams of African American Liberation in Segregationist South Africa (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2012)
Books in Progress
Crossing the Water: African Americans and South Africa, 1890-1965: A Documentary History (with David H. Anthony and Robert R. Edgar, Athens: Ohio University Press, forthcoming)
Shaka’s Progeny: Zulu Cultures and the Making of the Modern Atlantic World (co-authored with Benedict Carton)
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
“Abantu-Batho, Garveyism and Black Transnational Print Culture” in Peter Limb ed. Abantu-Batho: The History of an African newspaper (Johannesburg: University of Witwatersrand Press, 2012)
“Providential Design: American Negroes and Garveyism in South Africa” in Michael O. West, William G. Martin, and Fanon Che Wilkins eds. From Toussaint to Tupac: The Black International since the Age of Revolution (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009)
“Zulus, African-Americans and the African Diaspora” with Robert R. Edgar, in Benedict Carton, John Laband and Jabulani Sithole ed. Being Zulu: Contesting Identities Past and Present (Pietermaritzburg: University of Kwa-Zulu Natal Press, 2008)
“Zulus Abroad: Cultural Representations and Educational Experiences of the Zulu in America, 1879-1945”, with Robert Edgar Journal of Southern African Studies 33, 1, (March 2007), 43-62.
“Sea Kaffirs: ‘American Negroes’ and the Gospel of Garveyism in Segregationist South Africa” Journal of African History 47, 2, (July 2006), 281-303.
Citizenship Over Race?: African Americans in American-South African Diplomacy, 1890-1925” Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Comparative Studies 15, (April 2004), 13-32; updated and revised in the electronic journal World History Connected, 1, 2, (January 2005)
“Poking Holes in the Sky: Professor James Thaele, American Negroes, and Modernity in 1920s Segregationist South Africa”, with Amanda D. Kemp, African Studies Review 44, 1, (April 2000) 141-159.
“The Law As Lawbreaker: The Promotion and Encouragement of the Atlantic Slave Trade by the New York Judiciary System, 1857-1862” Afro-Americans in New York Life and History 20, 2, (July 1996), 35-58.
Timothy J. Juckes, “Opposition in South Africa: The Political Leadership of Z.K. Matthews, Nelson Mandela and Steven Biko” The Negro History Bulletin, 60, 3, July-Sept. 1997
James Meriwether, “Proudly We Can Be Africans: African Americans and Africa, 1935-61” International Journal of African Historical Studies 35, 2-3, 2002
Francis Njubi Nesbitt, “Race Against Sanctions: African Americans Against Apartheid, 1946-1994” Journal of American History 92, 2 (September 2005)
Hakim Ali and Marika Sherwood, “Pan-African History: Political Figures from Africa and the Diaspora since 1787” H-South Africa Scholarly Discussion Network (2005)
Andrew Zimmerman, “Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South” Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas 8, 2 (Summer 2011)
B.A. Psychology, 1992
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
M.A. History, 1995
Ph.D. (with distinction), History, 2001
Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Virginia 2002
Assistant Professor, Washington Univ. in St. Louis 2002-07
Visiting Assistant Professor, College of William and Mary 2006-2007
Assistant Professor, College of William and Mary 2007-10
Associate Professor, College of William and Mary 2010-2011
University Associate Professor for Teaching Excellence, College of William and Mary, 2011-
History of Africa before 1800
History of Africa since 1800
History of South Africa
Modern History of South Africa (since 1870)
Gender, Sexuality and Kinship in Africa
The Rise, Fall and Legacies of Apartheid
History of the African Diaspora
The Atlantic Slave Trade
History of Pan-Africanism
The Global Color Line: The U.S. Civil Rights Movement and the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa
African Americans and Africa
African American History in Global Context: The Black International
African American History
African American History before 1865
African American History since 1865