Reena N. Goldthree

Assistant Professor
Department of African American Studies
Ph.D, History
Duke University
Stanhope 007
Reena N. Goldthree

Reena Goldthree specializes in the history of Latin America and the Caribbean. Her research and teaching focus on social movements; political theory; labor and migration; and Caribbean feminisms. She earned her B.A. in History-Sociology (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Columbia University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Duke University. Her current book project, Democracy Shall be no Empty Romance: War and the Politics of Empire in the Greater Caribbean, examines how the crisis of World War I transformed Afro-Caribbeans’ understanding of, and engagements with, the British Empire.

Beyond the book manuscript, her research has appeared in the Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, The American Historian, Radical Teacher, Caribbean Military Encounters (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and Global Circuits of Blackness: Interrogating the African Diasporas (University of Illinois Press, 2010). Professor Goldthree is the co-editor of a special issue of the Caribbean Review of Gender Studies on gender and anti-colonialism in the interwar Caribbean (forthcoming, October 2018). Her research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the American Historical Association, Coordinating Council for Women in History, Ford Foundation, Mellon Foundation, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and Fulbright.

Professor Goldthree is an Associated Faculty Member in the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies and in the Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS).


AAS 313, LAS 377, HIS 213
Modern Caribbean History

This course will explore the major issues that have shaped the Caribbean since 1791, including: colonialism and revolution, slavery and abolition, migration and diaspora, economic inequality, and racial hierarchy. We will examine the Caribbean through a comparative approach–thinking across national and linguistic boundaries–with a focus on Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. While our readings and discussions will foreground the islands of the Greater Antilles, we will also consider relevant examples from the circum-Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora as points of comparison.

AAS 319, LAS 368, GSS 356
Caribbean Women’s History

This seminar investigates the historical experiences of women in the Caribbean from the era of European conquest to the late twentieth century. We will examine how shifting conceptions of gender, sexuality, race, class, and the body have shaped understandings of womanhood and women’s rights. We will engage a variety of sources – including archival documents, films, newspaper accounts, feminist blogs, music, and literary works – in addition to historical scholarship and theoretical texts. The course will include readings on the Spanish-, English-, and French-speaking Caribbean as well as the Caribbean diaspora.

AAS 322, LAO 322, LAS 301, AMS 323
Afro-Diasporic Dialogues: Black Activism in Latin America and the United States

This course investigates how people of African descent in the Americas have forged social, political, and cultural ties across geopolitical and linguistic boundaries. We will interrogate the transnational dialogue between African Americans and Afro-Latin Americans using case studies from Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, and Puerto Rico. We will explore how black activists and artists from the US have partnered with people of color in Latin America and the Caribbean to challenge racism and economic inequality, while also considering why efforts to mobilize Afro-descendants across the Americas have often been undermined by mutual misunderstandings.

AAS 328, LAS 352
Slavery and Emancipation in Latin America and the Caribbean

This course explores the history of African slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean from the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade in the early sixteenth century to Brazilian emancipation in 1888. The course will focus on the lived experiences of enslaved Africans, while also examining the broader social, political, legal, and cultural contexts. The assigned materials will include a variety of written primary and secondary sources, films, and visual images.