Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Carina Ray Carina Ray
Assistant Professor of History
Office Location: Dealy Hall 639
Phone: (718) 817-0581
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Research Interests

Carina Ray is an historian of Africa and the Black Atlantic world.  Her research interests include the racial and sexual politics of colonial rule and nationalism; comparative histories of race mixture in Africa and the African Diaspora; Black Atlantic migrations; and the relationship between race, ethnicity, and political power in post-independence Africa.

Her forthcoming manuscript, Crossing the Color Line: Race, Sex, and the Contested Politics of Colonialism in Ghana, illuminates how the domain of interracial sex became a space in which racial, political, administrative, gendered, and indigenous hierarchies were constructed, contested, and reordered by a broad range of social actors, both African and European.  What emerges throughout the manuscript is a vivid, yet nuanced picture of what social relations in colonial Ghana looked like from the ground up, even as the British administration and colonized elites tried to reorder them from the top down.

Ray's next book project, Emerging Blackness: A History of Race Making in Ghana, focuses on a cluster of questions that evolved over the course of her ongoing encounters with race and blackness in Ghana:  When does the concept of somatic blackness emerge among the peoples indigenous to modern-day Ghana?  And how does indigenous thought about blackness change over time in relationship to the rise of the trans-Saharan and trans-Atlantic slave trades, abolition, race mixture, colonialism, nationalism, migration, and diasporic discourses on race and racial emancipation?  In seeking answers to these questions Emerging Blackness is concerned with understanding the history of indigenous racial thought in a region of Africa where scholarly attention has been primarily focused on the study of ethnic rather than racial identities.

In addition to teaching the undergraduate African history survey course, Ray offers courses that explore the themes of race, sexuality, and power in the making of empire (Race, Sex, and Colonialism), and use biography as a means of understanding Africa’s complicated twentieth-century history (Twentieth Century African Icons).  Ray also offers courses through the Service Learning initiative (The African City) and Fordham’s summer program in London (Archiving Africa).

Her publications include, Darfur and the Crisis of Governance in Sudan: A Critical Reader and Navigating African Maritime History.  She has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters including, “The ‘White Wife Problem’: Sex, Race, and the Contested Politics of Repatriation to Interwar British West Africa” (Gender and History 21:3); “Tales from the New African Archive” (Historical Reflections/Reflexions Historiques 38:2); “Sex Trafficking, Prostitution, and the Law in Colonial British West Africa, 1911-1943” (Sex Trafficking in Slavery’s Wake: Law and the Experience of Women and Children in Africa, Ohio University Press 2012); and “Interracial Sex and the Making of Empire” (A Companion to Diaspora and Transnational Studies, Blackwell 2013).  She is also a columnist for New African magazine, the oldest Pan-African monthly magazine in print. Her column, "Lest We Forget," meditates on the past, present, and future realities of the global African world.

Courses taught:

Introduction to African History
Understanding Historical Change: Africa
Understanding Historical Change: Africa (Manresa Seminar)
Archiving Africa: Uncovering Britain’s African Empire
The African City: Urban History and the Making of the Global African World
Twentieth Century African Icons
Race, Sex, and Colonialism

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