Harcourt Fuller is Associate Professor of History in the Department of History at Georgia State University in Atlanta. An historian of Africa and the African Diaspora, Dr. Fuller holds a PhD in International History (under the supervision of Odd Arne Westad and Antony Best) and an MSc (with Merit) in History of International Relations from the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE). He also holds an MA in History, a BA in International Studies, an AS in Liberal Arts & Sciences, and a Certificate in Latin American Studies from the City University of New York (CUNY). He has conducted research, given invited lectures and presented conference papers in Africa, Europe, North and South America, and the Caribbean.
Currently, I’m working on two research projects. The first is a book project titled, Queen Nanny of the Maroons: The Trans-National History, Legend and Legacy of a Jamaican National Heroine, about the early 18th century military, spiritual and cultural leader of the Windward Maroons of Jamaica. I received a 2018-19 Fulbright Global Scholar Award to Jamaica and Britain to complete the research for this project. My second research project is a traveling museum exhibit called Black Money: World Currencies Featuring African, African-American, and African Diasporic History and Cultures, which uses over 300 rare, obsolete and currently circulating banknotes (paper money), as well as other money and art objects from over 80 countries in Africa, Europe, and the Americas, as both sources and subjects of African and African Diasporic history. The Black Money Exhibit recently completed its inaugural run at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History. The Black Money Exhibit is recognized by UNESCO as part of the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015 – 2024) and is also part of the 400 Years of African-American History (1619 – 2019) activities.
I see myself as a non-traditional historian, because I use a variety of methodologies and media to explore African and African Diasporic history and reach a wide audience. In addition to my academic writings and talks, I have collaborated with other scholars and practitioners to produce documentary films, museum exhibits and cultural performances. These works have been presented globally at venues such as the United Nations.
I created a course called Enslavement & Resistance in the Americas, which focuses on resistance against colonial slavery by escaped slaves known as Maroons. Students are surprised to learn about the key role that women leaders have played in Maroon societies, such as Jamaica’s Queen Nanny, who was the commander-in-chief in a successful war against British slavery in the early 18th century.
Sitting on a bookshelf in my office is a framed Jamaican $500 bill, which features an artistic depiction of Queen Nanny of the Maroons. She reminds me of the key position that women have played in history and the significance of bank notes as visual sources that depict people, places and events of historical importance.
Seeing the late South African musical icon and activist Hugh Masekela in concert at the Rialto Theater in 2013.