What is Professor Goldthree reading?
We sat down with Reena Goldthree, Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, and talked about some of the most exciting books on her shelf right now. Here is what she had to say:
1. Adom Getachew, Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination
Published in 2018, Getachew's book traces the work of prominent anti-colonial thinkers from Africa and the African Diaspora—including Jamaican Michael Manley, Trinidadians Eric Williams and George Padmore, and Ghanaian Kwame Nkrumah—to demonstrate how black intellectuals and politicians fundamentally challenged the racist world order and articulated revolutionary visions of the postcolonial future. For Professor Goldthree, this book does a remarkable job of linking different schools of anti-colonial thought, while also offering a fresh perspective on the politics of decolonization in the twentieth century.
2. Dixa Ramirez, Colonial Phantoms: Belonging and Refusal in the Dominican Americas, from the 19th Century to the Present
In this work, Ramírez uncovers how ideas about blackness, race, and belonging have developed in the Dominican Republic and in the Dominican diaspora. Situated at the intersection of literary and historical studies, Colonial Phantoms analyzes how colonialism, U.S. military interventions, migration, and practices of erasure (or “ghosting”) have informed Dominicans’ relationship to blackness. For Professor Goldthree, this book highlights the centrality of the Dominican Republic to both Caribbean and hemispheric understandings of black subjectivity.
3. Jorge L. Giovannetti-Torres, Black British Migrants in Cuba: Race, Labor, and Empire in the twentieth-Century Caribbean, 1898–1948
In Black British Migrants in Cuba, Giovannetti-Torres traces the history of black migration from the British Caribbean to Cuba after 1898. As a major receiving society for West Indian migrants, Cuba served as a meeting ground for working people from Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad, and other islands in the British Caribbean. In this comprehensive account, Giovannetti-Torres maps the intra-Caribbean migratory networks that brought tens of thousands of West Indians to Cuba and poses new questions about the making of the West Indian diaspora during the early twentieth century.
4. Stefan Bradley, Upending the Ivory Tower: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Ivy League
In this groundbreaking work, Bradley reveals how black students and staff at America’s eight Ivy League institutions pursued racial equality on their campuses in the decades following World War II. The book details the wide range of tactics that black students, administrators, and faculty at Ivy League schools employed to contest exclusionary practices both inside and outside of the classroom. For Professor Goldthree, Bradley's work shows that the social transformations of the Civil Rights and Black Power eras resonated far beyond the U.S. South, reshaping elite, predominately white universities in New England and the Northeast.
Based on Scott’s 1986 doctoral dissertation, The Common Wind fundamentally changed how scholars of the Caribbean and of the Atlantic World studied the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804). Tracing the inter-imperial networks of communication among sailors, maroons, military deserters, and other “masterless men,” Scott unearths how rumors about emancipation and revolution were communicated across the Americas. His work highlights the interconnected histories of slave resistance in the Americas and places black insurgents—both enslaved and free—at the very forefront of political struggle during the Age of Revolution.