Assistant Professor of History
University of California, Riverside

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Jody Benjamin is a historian of Africa. He earned his Ph. D. from Harvard University in the Department of African and African American Studies in 2016. He trained there in early and contemporary African History, Atlantic History and French empire. 

This year, he is completing his book manuscript, “The Texture of Change,” with the support of a faculty research award from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Grant number: HB-263188-19.

His research has also been supported by recent fellowships and awards including a Hellman Fellowship in 2017-2018, the UC Humanities Research Initiative Junior Faculty Manuscript Award in 2018-2019. In 2017, he was the Ruth and Linclon Ekstrom Fellow at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. 

His research centers on historical processes constructing elastic notions of race/ethnicity, gender, class and other social identifications in western Africa during the “early modern” period and beyond. It seeks to push the conversation beyond thematic preoccupations with the Atlantic slave trade and colonialism.  

For more on my current book project, “The Texture of Change: Cloth, Commerce and History in Western Africa, 1700-1850,” visit Research