Call for Contributors: Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography

Oxford University Press and Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research would like to announce an ambitious and groundbreaking new project, the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography.

This resource will be invaluable to scholars in Latin American, Caribbean, Atlantic, and African diaspora studies.

The General Editors of the biographical dictionary are Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University, and Franklin W. Knight, the Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University.

In the spirit of Oxford’s African American National Biography (2008), and the Dictionary of African Biography (2011), the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography will reveal the lives and legacies of people of African descent. The initial print edition of the Dictionary, to be published in 2014, will include 2,000 entries in six volumes. A further 2,000 entries will be added online.

The project will be unprecedented in scale, covering the entire Caribbean, and the African-descended populations throughout Latin America, including people who spoke and wrote Creole, Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. It will encompass more than 500 years of history, with entries on figures from the first forced slave migrations in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, to entries on living persons such as the Haitian musician and politician Wyclef Jean and the Cuban author and poet Nancy Morejón. Individuals will be drawn from all walks of life, including philosophers, politicians, activists, entertainers, scholars, poets, scientists, religious figures, kings, and everyday people whose lives have contributed to the history of the Caribbean and Latin America.

As we begin this project, we encourage members of this listserv to recommend for inclusion in the Dictionary the name (s) of the most historically significant people of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Please submit your recommendation of entry names to the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography Executive Editor, Steven J. Niven, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African & African American Research, Harvard University, email: sjniven@fas.harvard.edu.

We would appreciate it if you could also supply dates of birth/death, gender, country of renown, and realm of renown for each name submitted. We are particularly interested in ensuring that a significant proportion of Dictionary entries are on women. With your assistance, our editors hope to reach a broad scholarly consensus to ensure the Dictionary includes the region’s most important and representative black historical figures.

Updates concerning our call for contributors for entries will be available on an Oxford University Press website by February 2012.

For more go to http://www.h-net.org/announce/show.cgi?ID=191392

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