Professor Emeritus of History
Joined Connecticut College: 1988-2008
B.A., Manchester University, England; M.S., London School of Economics, England; Ph.D., London University, England
• Modern Africa • Africa and the New World • African-American History • Role of women in African history
Vincent Thompson retired from teaching in December, 2008.
Once a teacher of European history, Professor Thompson's areas of specialization most recently encompass two continents, Africa and The Americas, and three regions: Africa, the Caribbean and the rest of the Americas including the United States. These specializations are reflected in the courses he has taught including: Legal and Constitutional History of East Africa, West African History, Eastern African History, Comparative Slavery, and Historical Methodology relating to Africa, and especially Eastern and Central Africa. He is also knowledgeable about African's diplomatic history.
Believing that traveling aids research, he has traveled extensively in Europe, Africa from Cairo to the Cape, and many countries of the Caribbean, North and South America. He has delivered papers at conferences, lectured and conducted seminars at Syracuse University, Keane College, the University of Delaware and the University of Miami, University of Harare, Zimbabwe, Vista University, and at the Soweto Campus on issues confronting contemporary Africa. He is often called upon by institutions to read transcripts and proposals for scholars seeking fellowships for the National Humanities Center, and to perform tenure reviews. With his background in economics, political science, anthropology, and philosophy, he believes in interdisciplinary teaching.
His book, Africans of the Diaspora: Evolution of Leadership, 18th Century - 20th Century, by Africa/World Press/ Red Sea Press, Lawrenceville, N.J., was published in 2000. His other published books include Africa and Unity: The Evolution of Pan Africanism, Longman,1969 and several reprints into the 1980's; The Making of the African Diaspora in the Americas, 1441-1900, Longman (Addison Wesley, 1989, seventh impression 1996.) Of the latter, Professor A. Dzidzienyo of Brown University commented:
"The African Diaspora is a fundamental text... The point of the matter is that his work goes to the very core of the evolution of new conceptualizations of Africa in the Americas and the historical, cultural and socio-economic reflections of the above in American societies, North, South, Central and the Caribbean... It bears emphasizing that the kind of work Professor Thompson has been engaged upon, written about, and continues to research from an impressive intellectual base has enriched and will continue to enrich an international community of scholars and by so doing, large numbers of students across continents stand to benefit from his work."
Works in progress include two volumes on the Horn of Africa and its conflicts and an introductory book to Africa as History. His current research is directed to Central and Southern Africa.
Professor Thompson is an expert on the history of the Calypso, music emanating from the West Indies.
Thompson has been active in The New York Academy of Sciences, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, The Royal Africa Society, London, the Caribbean Studies Association and the American Historical Association.
"Even twenty years ago, Thompson was well-known because all serious classes in African History and Political Science were using his book. The book is still in print and in use in Europe, the United States, South America, Asia and Australia. His Africa and Unity: The Evolution of Pan-Africanism, has been enthusiastically received over the years by students, teachers, and scholars all over the world. Professor Thompson's latest book, The Making of the African Diaspora in the Americas, 1441-1900,is a masterful study that has been enthusiastically welcomed by scholars ... Thompson's work is meticulously researched and elegantly presented. Indeed Thompson is at the forefront of research on the slave trade. His scholarship is original and imaginative." - Professor Edward Reynolds, professor of history, University of California, San Diego