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Carina Ray, Ph.D.

Who We Are

Who We Are

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Carina Ray, Ph.D.

African History

Cornell University, 2007


Carina E. Ray is a historian of Africa and the Black Atlantic world with primary research and teaching interests in race and sexuality; comparative colonialisms and nationalisms; migration and maritime history; and the relationship between race, ethnicity, and political power. Her current book projects form a trilogy that takes up questions of race-making and blackness across the precolonial, colonial, and post-independence periods in Ghana.  Somatic Blackness: A History of the Body in Precolonial Ghana traces the development of indigenous ideas about blackness, the body, and human difference within local, regional, and global networks of exchange and knowledge production. Black on White: Writing Race in the Gold Coast Press (1857-1957) and Becoming Black Stars: Race and State Politics in Twentieth-Century Ghana track the transformations that occurred during the colonial and post-independence periods as Ghanaians constructed and claimed blackness as a political identity in opposition to (white) British colonial rule and in conversation with African nationalism and global Pan-Africanism. Ray is also working on an oral history project which documents the sprawling Cuban presence in Cold War era Africa in its full ideological complexity from the perspective of the Cuban men and women who served there.  Dr. Ray is currently an Associate Professor of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University ( 


Awards and Honors

Mandel Faculty Grant in the Humanities (2018)

Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize, African Studies Association, Women's Caucus (2017)

Finalist, Fage and Oliver Book Prize, United Kingdom African Studies Association (2016)

Wesley-Logan Book Prize for African Diaspora History, American Historical Association (2016)

Berkshire Conference of Women Historian's 2014 Article Prize (2015)

Society for the Humanities Fellowship, Cornell University (2015)

OpEd Project Public Voices Fellowship (2011 - 2012)

Center for African American Studies Fellowship, Princeton University (2009 - 2010)

Choice 2009-2010 Significant Press Title for Undergraduates (2009)


Ray, Carina. "Oxford Street, Accra: Rethinking the Roots of Cosmopolitanism from an Africanist Historian's Perspective." PMLA 131. 2 (2016): 505-514.

Ray, Carina. "When Sex Threatened the State." Rev. of When Sex Threatened the State: Illicit Sexuality, Nationalism, and Politics in Colonial Nigeria, 1900-1958, by Saheed Aderinto. Journal of the History of Sexualityvol. 25 of 3 September 2016: 508-510.

Ray, Carina. "World War Two and the Sex Trade in British West Africa." Africa and World War II. Ed. Judith Byfield, et al. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015

Ray, Carina. Crossing the Color Line: Race, Sex, and the Contested Politics of Colonialism in Ghana. 1st ed. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2015.

Ray, Carina. "Decrying White Peril: Interracial Sex and the Rise of Anticolonial Nationalism in the Gold Coast." The American Historical Review 119. 1 (2014): 78-110.

Ray, Carina. "Interracial Sex and the Making of Empire." A Companion to Diaspora and Transnationalism. Ed. Ato Quayson and Girish Daswani. Wiley Blackwell, 2013

Ray, Carina. "Sex Trafficking, Prostitution, and the Law in Colonial British West Africa, 1911-1943." Trafficking in Slavery's Wake: Law and the Experience of Women and Children in Africa. Ed. Benjamin Lawrance and Richard Roberts. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2012

Ray, Carina. "Tales from the New African Archive." Historical Reflections/Reflexions Historiques 38. 2 (2012): 13-24.

Ray, Carina (with Jeremy Rich), ed. Navigating African Maritime History. Liverpool: International Maritime Economic History Association/University of Liverpool Press, 2009.

Ray, Carina (with Jeremy Rich). "Charted Routes and New Directions in the Study of Africa's Maritime History." Navigating African Maritime History. Ed. Ray, Carina (with Jeremy Rich). International Maritime Economic Association/University of Liverpool Press, 2009

Ray, Carina (with Salah Hassan), ed. Darfur and the Crisis of Governance in Sudan: A Critical Reader. 1st ed. Ithaca: Cornell University Press and The Prince Claus Fund Library, 2009.

Ray, Carina (with Salah Hassan). "Critically Reading Darfur and the Crisis of Governance in Sudan." Darfur and the Crisis of Governance in Sudan: A Critical Reader. Ed. Carina Ray (with Salah Hassan). Ithaca: Cornell University Press/Prince Claus Fund Library, 2009

Ray, Carina. "'The White Wife Problem': Sex, Race, and the Contested Politics of Repatriation to Interwar British West Africa." Gender and History 21. 3 (2009): 628-646.

Ray, Carina. "Darfur in the African Press." Darfur and the Crisis of Governance in Sudan: A Critical Reader. Ed. Carina Ray (with Salah Hassan). Cornell University Press/Prince Claus Fund Library, 2009

Ray, Carina. "Social History and the Engendering of African History." Power and Nationalism in Modern Africa: Essays in Honor of Don Ohadike. Ed. Toyin Falola and Salah Hassan. Carolina Academic Press, 2008