Herman Bennett is a renowned scholar on the history of the African diaspora, with a particular focus on Latin American history. Through his work, he has called for scholars to broaden the critical inquiry of race and ethnicity in the colonial world. He has written extensively on the presence of African slaves and freedmen in Mexican society during the colonial period and on the consequent interaction between Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans in colonial Mexico. Bennett has received fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. He has lectured widely in Europe and the Americas, and comes to the Graduate Center from Rutgers University after starting his scholarly career at Johns Hopkins University. Bennett holds a Ph.D. in Latin American history from Duke University where he was a Mellon Scholar of the Humanities.
In 2021, he was elected to become a Senior Editor of The Americas., and was appointed to the board of the Hispanic American Historical Review
African Kings and Black Slaves: Sovereignty and Dispossession in the Early Modern Atlantic. (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018)
The African Diaspora: A Very Short Introduction (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming)
Colonial Blackness: A History of Afro-Mexico (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009).
“Writing into a Void: Slavery, History and Representing Blackness in Latin America” Social Text (Winter 2007).
Africans in Colonial Mexico: Absolutism, Christianity, and Afro-Creole Consciousness, 1570-1640 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003; paperback edition 2005).