Linda M. Heywood
- AAS; Spring ’17 Hours: M 4-5, W 9-10, or by appt.
Professor of History and African American Studies
B.A., Brooklyn College; M.A., Ph.D., Columbia University
African history, African American history, African diaspora
Linda Heywood started off her academic career with a research interest that was solidly in nineteenth- and twentieth-century African history (Contested Power in Angola, 1840s to the Present) but also was interested in the history of the African Diaspora (ed. Central Africans and Cultural Transformations in the Atlantic Diaspora). Over the years she has pushed beyond modern Africa and has collaborated with Prof. John Thornton to write the award-winning book, Central Africans, Atlantic Creoles and the Foundation of the Americas (co-winner of the 2008 Melville Herskovits Award for the Best Book Published in African Studies). Her articles on Angola and the African Diaspora have appeared in The Journal of African History, Journal of Modern African Studies, Slavery and Abolition, and the Journal of Southern African Studies.
She also has an interest in history and the media and designed and co-taught a course on the African Diaspora and Film. Opportunities to work in public history led her to serve as a consultant for numerous museum exhibitions, including African Voices at the Smithsonian Institution, Against Human Dignity sponsored by the Maritime Museum, and Jamestown Settlement Galleries. She was also a consultant and appeared in the PBS series produced by Prof. Henry Louis Gates, African American Lives (2006) and Finding Oprah’s Roots (2007). She continues to serve as a consultant for several projects that Prof. Gates is developing. She is completing a manuscript on the life and legacy of Queen Njinga of Angola. The study examines the life of this remarkable 17th-century Angolan queen and follows her to Brazil and to contemporary Angola, where she is remembered in Brazilian folk culture and has become a symbol of modern Angolan nationalism.