History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Benedict Carton

Benedict Carton

Benedict Carton

Robert T. Hawkes Professor of History

World History: Africa, environment and health, global and imperial histories, cultural and oral history

Benedict Carton received his Ph.D. in History from Yale University. He has taught at Wesleyan University, University of Washington and University of Natal (now U. KwaZulu-Natal), South Africa, where he was twice a Fulbright scholar. He is the author of Blood from Your Children: Colonial Origins of Generational Conflict in South Africa (2000) and co-author and co-editor of Zulu Identities: Being Zulu, Past and Present (2008). His articles have appeared in Journal of African History, Africa, Journal of Southern African Studies, Journal of Social History, International Journal of African Historical Studies, History in Africa, WerkstattGeschichte, Histoire du sida en Afrique subsaharienne, among other volumes. Carton’s next book with Robert Vinson is titled, “Shaka’s Progeny, A Transnational History: Zulu Peoples and African Americans in the Arc of Racial Justice, 1820-2000.” With colleagues in African and African American Studies, Carton has established a study-abroad program in rural and urban KwaZulu-Natal; and with partners in South Africa and GMU’s Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, he has launched South Africa Archive. Carton has engaged in other dimensions of public history, including work on History of Soweto, a documentary film about the black township; and Heaven's Herds, Heaven’s People, a cinematic portrayal of cattle-keeping in Zulu society. Carton has participated in human rights projects in Namibia, South Africa and Haiti. His ongoing projects involve being on the journal board of African Studies and contributing to Sinomlando in KwaZulu-Natal, a community initiative rooted in “memory box” techniques that promote the use of oral history to record life stories of people affected by AIDS.

Dissertations Supervised

Benjamin Hurwitz, Grazing the Modern World: Merino Sheep in South Africa and the United States, 1775-1840 (2017)

Phyllis E. Slade, A Moral Imperative: The Role of American Black Churches in International Anti-Apartheid Activism (2015)