Bankers, Empire, and Black Study

The Department of African American Studies at UCLA presents a roundtable discussion on Peter James Hudson's “Banker's and Empire: How Wall Street Colonized the Caribbean”.

Thursday, February 01, 2018
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Room 11360 Conference Center
Charles E. Young Research Library


Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report

Peter James Hudson, UCLA

Walter Johnson, Harvard University

Deborah A. Thomas, University of Pennsylvania

Moderated by Marcus Hunter, UCLA

Using Peter James Hudson’s recently published monograph Bankers and Empire: How Wall Street Colonized the Caribbean (Chicago, 2017) as a touchstone, this roundtable discussion will focus on a number of urgent questions concerning the current intellectual and political project of Black Studies: How do we understand the relationship of finance capital to racial capitalism?  What role does research on the history and political economy of imperialism and the institutions of globalization have within Black Studies?  Do questions of Caribbean sovereignty – and, more broadly, of internationalism – still have a place within the discipline?  And how can Black Studies scholarship and scholars be mobilized in the service of anti-capitalist and anti-imperial critique?  Participants will offer brief statements before the workshop is opened up to general conversation.


Cosponsored by the Department of History and

the James S. Coleman African Studies Center


Participant bios:


Glen Ford is the Executive Editor of The Black Agenda Report: News, Commentary, and Analysis from the Black Left.  A long-standing and distinguished radio-show host and commentator, in 1977 Ford co-launched, produced and hosted America’s Black Forum, the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television.  In 1987, Ford launched Rap It Up, the first nationally syndicated Hip Hop music show, broadcast on 65 radio stations.  Ford co-founded the Black Commentator in 2002 and in 2006 he launched the Black Agenda Report.  A former White House and State Department correspondent, Ford is also the author of The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion.


Peter James Hudson is an historian who obtained his Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University and currently teaches in the departments of history and African American studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.  Hudson’s essays and reviews have appeared in the Black Agenda Report, Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, Radical History Review, Race & Class: A Journal on Racism, Globalisation, and Empire, Haitï Liberté, the CLR James Journal, Chimurenga, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Boston Review of Books, Transition: An International Review, and elsewhere. Hudson edits the digital history resource The Public Archive: Black History in Dark Times and he is the author of Bankers and Empire: How Wall Street Colonized the Caribbean (2017).


Walter Johnson received his Ph.D. from Princeton University.  He is Professor of History and African American Studies and Director of the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University.  Johnson’s books, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market (1999) and River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom (2013), are the recipients of numerous awards, including the Francis B. Simkins Award from the Southern Historical Association, the John Hope Franklin Prize from the American Studies Association, the SHEAR Book Prize from the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic, and the Frederick Jackson Turner and the Avery O. Craven Prizes from the Organization of American Historians.  He is currently writing a book about the central role of St. Louis in the imperialist and racial capitalist history of the United States, from Lewis and Clark to Michael Brown.


Deborah A. Thomas received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from New York University and is Professor of Anthropology and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  Thomas is the author of Exceptional Violence: Embodied Citizenship in Transnational Jamaica (2011) and Modern Blackness: Nationalism, Globalization, and The Politics of Culture in Jamaica (2004).  She is co-editor of Globalization and Race: Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness (2006) and she co-edited special issues of the journals Identities and Feminist Review.  Thomas is co-director and co-producer of the documentary Bad Friday: Rastafari After Coral Gardens, a chronicle of the history of violence and resistance in Jamaica.  She was editor of the journal Transforming Anthropology from 2007-2010, and is currently editor-in-chief of American Anthropologist, the flagship journal of the American Anthropological Association.


Chair of the Department of African American Studies at UCLA, Marcus Anthony Hunter is the Scott Waugh Endowed Chair in the Division of the Social Sciences, and Associate Professor of African American Studies and Sociology.  He is the author of Black Citymakers: How The Philadelphia NegroChanged Urban America (2013) and (with Zandria Robinson), Chocolate Cities The Black Map of American Life (2018).

Cost : Free and open to the public; pay-by-space and all-day ($12) parking available in lot 3.

Department of African American Studies

Sponsor(s): African Studies Center, Department of History