- Ph.D., African Diaspora History, Howard University, 2005
- M.A., African Diaspora History, Howard University, 2001
- B.A., Computer Science, Florida A&M University, 1997
Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies
Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies
Hailing from the island of Bermuda, Professor Quito Swan is an award-winning historian of Black internationalism, Black Power, and the Black Pacific and a scholar of race, public policy, and the African Diaspora. Before joining Indiana University Bloomington as Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies, Dr. Swan was Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and directed its public policy driven William Monroe Trotter Institute for the Study of Black Culture. He obtained his Ph.d in African Diaspora History from Howard University, and taught in its Department of History.
Dr. Swan is the author of three monographs, Black Power in Bermuda (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), Pauulu's Diaspora: Black Internationalism and Environmental Justice (University Press of Florida, 2020), and the forthcoming Pasifika Black: Oceania, Anticolonialism, and the African World (New York University Press, 2022). Pauulu's Diaspora was awarded the African American Intellectual History Association's (AAIHS) 2021 Pauli Murray Book Prize and a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) 2021 Fellowship Book Award Prize, was a finalist for the 2021 Association for the Study of African American Life and History Book Prize and received Honorable Mention for the 2021 Organization of American Historians Liberty Legacy Foundation Book Award and was a Black Perspectives Best Black History Book of 2020. Swan's next book projects include Black El Dorado: Bermuda and the Black Radical Diaspora (under contract with University Press of Illinois) and Born As A Sufferah: The Insurgent Soundscapes of Dancehall Music, which explores Black internationalism at the turn of the twenty first century through the soundscapes of Reggae, Dancehall and Sound System cultures.
Swan's research has garnered several prestigious national and international awards and grants, including fellowships from the NEH, Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute, the American Council of Learned Societies, Australia's University of Queensland, Pennsylvania State University's Humanities Institute, Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta University of Technology, and the Wilson International Center for Scholars. Swan's articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in journals and forums such as the Radical History Review, the Journal of Civil and Human Rights, Black Perspectives, the American Historical Review, the Journal of Pan-African Studies, Black Scholar, and Wadabegei. His frequent media engagement on issues affecting the Black world include appearances on radio shows, podcasts, and news networks such as the New Books Network, Black Power Media, Black Perspectives, C-SPAN, Wilson Center Now, and Bernews.com. Swan co-edits the University Press of Illinois' Book Series on Black Internationalism.
Swan is also a scholar of race and public policy. As a 2018 Fellow at Washington DC's Wilson Center, Swan's research project, Oceania's Rising, explored the contemporary relationships between Black social movements across the Pacific and the Americas that addressed issues such as the carceral state, immigration, Black Lives Matter, climate change, gender politics, and sustainable development. As Director of the Trotter Institute, Swan designed and implemented several community programs aimed to map and archive Black Boston's political, cultural, and socio-economic experiences through the areas of social advocacy, digital humanities, and community engagement. His public policy work included designing African Studies curriculum for the Boston Public School's systems new ethnic studies courses—which including collaboration with students, teachers, administrators, and UMass-Boston's CANALA institutes (Consortium Collaborative of Asian American, Native American, Latino and African American Institutes), conducting research on Black Boston's history of anti-police brutality activism, establishing a public policy brief series, and documenting Boston's Black Radical Tradition.
In 2020, Swan served as an expert consultant for the Government of Bermuda's Commission of Inquiry into Historic Land Grabs in Bermuda, where he gave evidence on the question of reparations for Black Bermudians who were displaced by the building of a US base in Bermuda during WWII. He is currently working with the Government's Ministry of Education as a consultant in its initiatives to reform Bermuda's education system, which has a legacy of racial segregation, colonialism, and racism. Swan's 2012 "The Politics of Remembering Sally Bassett and Slavery in Bermuda" addressed how the public memory of slavery, monuments, and Black women who resisted slavery is a politically contested and racially polarized space.
2021: National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. Open Book Award.
2021: African American Intellectual Heritage Society. Pauli Murray Book Prize.
2021: Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Harvard University. Summer Fellowship.
2020-2021: Humanities Institute. Pennsylvania State University. Visiting Scholar in Residence.
2020: Bermuda Government Commission of Inquiry into Historic Land Losses. Expert Consultant.
2020: Fryer Library, University of Queensland. Brisbane, Australia. Indigenous Collections Fellowship.
2019: Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University. Towards a Black Pacific Exploratory Seminar.
2018-19: Wilson International Center for Scholars. Washington DC. Global Sustainability and Resilience Fellow.
2018: Digital Diaspora. Technology Grant. Office of Provost for Research. Howard University.
2018: Office of Provost for Research. Howard University. Technology Grant.
2017-18: American Council for Learned Societies. Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.
2016: Harry Ransom Center for the Humanities. University of Texas, Austin. Research Fellowship.
2015: Howard University Research Week. Social Sciences Symposium Winner Award.
2014: National Endowment for the Humanities. Fellowship for University Faculty.
2014: Kansas State University and African Institute for Capacity Development. Jomo Kenyatta
University. Project for African Decolonial and Indigenous Knowledges Fellowship.
2014: Faculty Senate, Howard University. Scholarship and Creativity Award.
2013: Indiana University Bloomington. African Studies Collections Short-Term Residential Fellowship.
2013: Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. Howard University. Andrew Mellon Summer Fellowship.
2010: Afro-Venezuela/Howard University Exchange Initiative, Howard University. Summer Travel Grant.
2010: Faculty Senate. Howard University. Emerging Scholar Award.