Winston A. James

Picture of Winston A. James
Professor, History
School of Humanities
Ph.D., London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London.
Phone: History Department: (949) 824-6521
Fax: (949) 824-2865
University of California, Irvine
460 Krieger Hall
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Caribbean, African-American, Black Britain, African Diaspora
Research Abstract
My interests are wide and many. They coalesce, however, around an abiding pre-occupation: the experience and fate of the African diaspora, especially in the Americas and Europe. How have Africans born in the Americas fared in different parts of the New World? What can historians and other scholars learn from their experiences? What have been the obstacles to the emancipation of African peoples in the Americas and elsewhere? And how have they attempted over time to deal with those obstacles? These have been the key questions that have kept me busy over the years.

The ways in which their struggles and aspirations are given intellectual, cultural and ideological expression over time and space have been integral and fundamental components to the experience of African Americans and the African diaspora more generally. Thus, as my teaching and publications reveal, I am especially interested in intellectual history, and in particular, the political ideologies that were developed and espoused by the oppressed of the diaspora and the African continent itself.

A two-volume study of the political evolution of Claude McKay—an important, fascinating and generally misunderstood figure in Caribbean and African-American letters and politics—comprises my major project at the moment.

At UCI I have taught courses on the history of the African Diaspora, the Black Experience in Europe, Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism, the Caribbean (pre-Columbian to mid twentieth century), Global Soccer, Harlem, History and Theory, and the New Negro Movement, among others.

» Holding Aloft the Banner of Ethiopia:Caribbean Radicalism in Early Twentieth-Century America, 2nd edition (London and New York: Verso, 2020) xvi + 406 pp.

» The Struggles of John Brown Russwurm: The Life and Writings of a Pan-Africanist Pioneer, 1799-1851 (New York: New York University Press, 2010; Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, 2010), xiv + 305 pp.

» Holding Aloft the Banner of Ethiopia: Caribbean Radicalism in Early Twentieth-Century America (New York: ACLS Humanities E-Book, 2008), x + 406 pp

» A Fierce Hatred of Injustice: Claude McKay’s Jamaica and His Poetry of Rebellion (London and New York: Verso, 2000; Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers, 2001), xx + 265 pp.

» Holding Aloft the Banner of Ethiopia: Caribbean Radicalism in Early Twentieth-Century America (London and New York: Verso, 1998), x + 406 pp.
[Winner of the Gordon K. Lewis Memorial Award for Caribbean Scholarship, Caribbean Studies Association]

» Editor (with Clive Harris), Inside Babylon: The Caribbean Diaspora in Britain, (London and New York: Verso, 1993), x + 317 pp.

» Co-author, The Poverty Brokers: The IMF and Latin America (London: Latin America Bureau, 1983), ix + 136 pp. [Published in Spanish and Arabic in 1984, and Japanese in 1986.]
Chapters of Edited Volumes

“Radical Networks and the Bolshevization of Claude McKay in London,” in David Featherstone and Christian Hogsbjerg, eds., The Red and the Black: The Russian Revolution and the Black Atlantic (Manchester: Manchester University Press, forthcoming 2020).

“Harlem’s Difference,” in Andrew Fearnley and Daniel Matlin, eds., Race Capital? Harlem as Setting and Symbol (New York: Columbia University Press, 2018), pp. 111-142.

“Afro-Puerto Rican Radicalism in the United States: Reflections on the Political Trajectories of Arturo Schomburg and Jesús Colón,” in Carlos Vargas-Ramos, ed., Race, Front and Center: Perspectives on Race Among Puerto Ricans (New York: Centro Press, 2017), pp. 113-132.

“The Caribbean Diaspora and Black Internationalism,” in Franklin Knight and Ruth Iyob, eds., Dimensions of African and Other Diasporas (Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, 2014), pp. 254-274.

“African American Emigration,” in Lynn Dumenil, ed., Oxford Encyclopedia of American Social History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 13-16.

» “Culture, Labor, and Race in the Shadow of US Capital,” in Stephan Palmié and Francisco Scarano, eds., The Carbbean: A History of the Region and its People (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011), pp. 445-458.

» “Dissent, Coercion, Containment and Marronage: The Agony and Trajectory of the Radical Intellectual in Barbadian History,” in Bill Schwarz, ed., The Locations of George Lamming (Oxford: Macmillan Education, 2007), pp. 26-48.

» “Caribbean Immigration,” in Howard Dodson and Sylviane Dioufe, eds., In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2004), pp. 156-169.

» “Anglophone Caribbeans and the Harlem Renaissance,” in Cary Wintz and Paul Finkelman, eds., Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance, 2 vols. (New York: Routledge, 2004), vol. 1, pp. 32-37.

» “Claude McKay,” in Cary Wintz and Paul Finkelman, eds., Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance, 2 vols. (New York: Routledge, 2004), vol. 2, pp. 777-783.

» “The Black Experience in Twentieth-Century Britain,” in Philip Morgan and Sean Hawkins, eds., The Black Experience and the Empire, Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 347-386.

» “The Wings of Ethiopia: The Caribbean Diaspora and Pan-African Projects – From John Brown Russwurm to George Padmore,” in Geneviève Fabre and Klaus Benesch, eds., African Diasporas in the New and Old Worlds: Consciousness and Imagination (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2004), pp. 133-172.

» “A Race Outcast of an Outcast Class: Claude McKay’s Experience and Analysis of Britain,” in Bill Schwarz, ed., West Indian Intellectuals in Britain (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003), pp. 71-92.

» “Being Red and Black in Jim Crow America: On the Ideology and Travails of Afro-America’s Socialist Pioneers, 1877-1930,” in Charles Payne and Adam Green, eds., Time Longer than Rope: A Century of African American Activism (New York: New York University Press, 2003), pp. 336-399.

» “New Light on Afro-Caribbean Social Mobility in New York City,” in Brian Meeks and Folke Lindahl, eds., New Caribbean Thought: A Reader (Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, 2001), pp. 395-427.

» “Race Consciousness and Radicalism,” in Thomas C. Holt and Elsa Barkley Brown, eds., Major Problems in African-American History, Vol. II: From Freedom to “Freedom Now,” 1865-1990s (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000), pp. 177-183.

» “The Making of Black Identities,” in John Hutchinson and Anthony Smith, eds., The Oxford Reader in Ethnicity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 155-161.

» “Migration, Racism and Identity Formation: The Caribbean Experience in Britain,” in James and Harris, Inside Babylon, pp. 231-287.

» (With Clive Harris) “Introduction [: New Perspectives on the Caribbean Diaspora in Britain],” in James and Harris, eds., Inside Babylon, pp. 1-8.

» “The Making of Black Identities,” in Raphael Samuel (ed), Patriotism: The Making and Unmaking of British National Identity, (Vol. II), Minorities and Outsiders (London: Routledge, 1989), pp. 230-255.
Essays (selected)

“Letters from London in Black and Red: Claude McKay, Marcus Garvey and the Negro World,” History Workshop Journal, Issue 85 (Spring 2018), pp. 281-293.

“In the Nest of Extreme Radicalism: Radical Networks and the Bolshevization of Claude McKay in London,” Comparative American Studies, vol. 15, issues 3-4 (2017), pp. 174-203.

» “The History of Afro-Caribbean Migration to the United States,” in The Schomburg Center, ed., In Motion: The African American Migration Experience website (plus statistical tables, bibliography and weblinks, commissioned by and submitted to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture).

» “Becoming the People’s Poet: Claude McKay’s Jamaican Years, 1889-1912,” Small Axe, no. 13 (March 2003), pp. 17-45.

» “Explaining Afro-Caribbean Social Mobility in the United States: Beyond the Sowell Thesis,” Comparative Studies in Society and History, vol. 44, no. 2 (April 2002), pp. 218-262 [lead article].

» “Reflections on Radical History,” Radical History Review, no. 79, Winter 2001, pp. 99-102.

» “Being Red and Black in Jim Crow America: Notes on the Ideology and Travails of Afro-America’s Socialist Pioneers, 1877-1930,” Souls, vol. 1, no. 4, Fall 1999, pp. 45-63.

» “New Light on Claude McKay: A Controversy, a Document, and a Resolution,” Black Renaissance / Renaissance Noire, vol. 2, no. 2, Summer 1999, pp. 114-122; earlier version published in Jamaica Journal, vol. 26, no. 3, December 1998, pp. 7-12.

» “An Island Accent to Twentieth-Century Black Radicalism,” American Visions, August/September 1998, pp. 34-38.

» “Race Consciousness, Class Consciousness and Afro-Puerto Rican Radicalism in America: Reflections on the Political Trajectories of Arturo Schomburg and Jesús Colón,” Centro: Journal of El Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, [Special Double Issue on “Race and Identity”], vol. viii, nos. 1 & 2, Spring 1996, pp. 92-127.

» “Migration, Racism and Identity: The Caribbean Experience in Britain,” New Left Review, no. 193, May-June 1992, pp. 15-55.

» “Nuff Respect: The Legacy of C.L.R. James,” Marxism Today, July 1989.

» “A Long Way From Home: On Black Identity in Britain,” Immigrants and Minorities, vol.5, no.3, November 1986, pp. 258-284; also published in Western European Education, vol. 20, no. 4, Winter 1988-1989, pp. 60-94.

» (With Fitzroy Ambursley) “Maurice Bishop and the New Jewel Revolution,” New Left Review, no.142, November-December 1983, pp. 91-96.

» “The Decline and Fall of Michael Manley: Jamaica 1972-80,” Capital and Class, no. 19, Spring 1983, pp. 143-182. [A longer version was published as the lead article in the French journal, Archipelago: Revue de la Caraïbe, vol. 2, no. 5, Juin 1984, pp. 17-67].

» “The Hurricane that Shook the Caribbean,” [Review essay of Ken Post, Arise Ye Starvelings: The Jamaican Labour Rebellion of 1938 and Its Aftermath (The Hague, 1978) and Strike the Iron: A Colony at War – Jamaica, 1939-45, 2 vols. (Atlantic Highlands, 1981)], New Left Review [Marx Centenary Issue], no. 138, March - April 1983, pp. 85-91.
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