The 2023-2024 AnthroGuide is the last print version. Edits for graduate programs are due July 31, 2023.

Masonya Bennett
Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, Department of Anthropology
Knowledge / Expertise
Interest/Specialty Areas My teaching and research interests concern African, Caribbean and Afro-Latinx immigration in the U.S. South, Black popular culture(s) in the African Diaspora, race and processes of racialization in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the implications of space, place, material culture, and affect in the formation of black subjectivity, identity and solidarity throughout the African Diaspora. I firmly believe in utilizing interdisciplinary approaches to the fields of Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, Human/Cultural Geography as well as Africana, Latin American, and Ethnic Studies. As an educator within these fields, the classroom as a stage and as an arena takes on even more significance as we discuss and display the sometimes unknown and untold histories, legacies, experiences, and perspectives of underrepresented groups of people in the Diaspora.

I am from Morven, North Carolina, a small rural town about 50 miles southeast of Charlotte. I graduated from UNC-Charlotte with a BA in Africana Studies and International Studies in 2007 and received my MA in Latin American Studies from UNCC in 2010. While at UNCC, I spent a semester in the Dominican Republic as part of the study abroad requirements for International Studies, and I became deeply interested in Black/Afro-descendent populations, race/processes of racialization and culture in Latin America and the Caribbean. I was inspired to return for the MA after teaching for a year in Honduras and, during the MA, I would return to Dominican Republic and Haiti to conduct research. It was after I spent two years as an ESL instructor at the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia that I decided to finally pursue a joint MA/PhD in African and African Diaspora Studies/Global and Sociocultural Studies (with a focus in Cultural Anthropology) at Florida International University. I successfully defended my dissertation, “The New Black in the New South: Negotiating Race and Space in North Carolina’s Immigrant Communities” in November 2018.

Read More Read Less