Monique Bedasse

Associate Professor of History and of African and African-American Studies
PhD, University of Miami
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    • Washington University
      CB 1062
      One Brookings Drive
      St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Professor Bedasse specializes in Modern Caribbean history, the African diaspora, Modern Africa and transnational history.

    Broadly, her research interests include the intellectual, political and social history of decolonization, black internationalism and African diasporic politics.

    Her current book project, Jah Kingdom: Rastafarians, Tanzania and Pan-Africanism in the Age of Decolonization (University of North Carolina Press, August 2017), uses Rastafarian repatriation to Tanzania to examine the transnational politics of pan-African ideas and praxis following the rise of independent nation-states across the Caribbean and Africa.

    Jah Kingdom Rastafarians, Tanzania, and Pan-Africanism in the Age of Decolonization

    Jah Kingdom Rastafarians, Tanzania, and Pan-Africanism in the Age of Decolonization

    From its beginnings in 1930s Jamaica, the Rastafarian movement has become a global presence. While the existing studies of the Rastafarian movement have primarily focused on its cultural expression through reggae music, art, and iconography, Monique A. Bedasse argues that repatriation to Africa represents the most important vehicle of Rastafari’s international growth. Shifting the scholarship on repatriation from Ethiopia to Tanzania, Bedasse foregrounds Rastafari’s enduring connection to black radical politics and establishes Tanzania as a critical site to explore gender, religion, race, citizenship, socialism, and nation. Beyond her engagement with how the Rastafarian idea of Africa translated into a lived reality, she demonstrates how Tanzanian state and nonstate actors not only validated the Rastafarian idea of diaspora but were also crucial to defining the parameters of Pan-Africanism.

    Based on previously undiscovered oral and written sources from Tanzania, Jamaica, England, the United States, and Trinidad, Bedasse uncovers a vast and varied transnational network--including Julius Nyerere, Michael Manley, and C. L. R James--revealing Rastafari’s entrenchment in the making of Pan-Africanism in the postindependence period.


    Winner of Wesley-Logan Prize, American Historical Association (2018)

    Winner of Anna Julia Cooper and C.L.R. James Award, National Council for Black Studies