UCL Institute of the Americas


Kesewa John

Dr Kesewa John


Associate Lecturer (Teaching) in Caribbean History

Study Abroad Tutor (Caribbean, Latin America)

Joint Faculty Library Committee Representative

Programme Director: MA Caribbean and Latin American Studies


Kesewa John is an Associate Lecturer (Teaching) in Caribbean History at the Institute of the Americas. Prior to joining UCL she was a Junior Fellow (ATER) at the Université des Antilles in Guadeloupe 2019-21, and a Teaching Fellow (Lectrice and Vacataire) at the Université des Antilles in Martinique 2012-15.

Dr. John obtained her PhD in History in 2021 from the University of Chichester. She also holds a Maîtrise (MA) in Teaching French as a Foreign Language (FLE - 2014), an MA in Ethnicity, Globalisation, and Culture (2011), and a BA in French and History (2006). Her research explores gender in Caribbean people’s political history, specialising in transatlantic, multilingual linkages between Afro-Caribbean activists and the evolution and dissemination of early twentieth century Black radical thought.

Kesewa John is the current Vice-Chair of the Society for Caribbean Studies, coordinator of the Translating Blackness project, a member of the Black British History Matters working group, and Caribbean film collective Cinemawon, and historical lead for Insightful Black History, a community history project.

Research Summary

Interested in the intersections of Black feminist and Black radical histories of early twentieth century Caribbean activism, Kesewa John’s research focuses on the evolution and discourses of the colonial Caribbean's radical press, and the place of Afro-Caribbean women within Caribbean historical narratives.

Teaching Summary


AMER0088:The Caribbean Radical Tradition, 1791-2020: Introduction to Black Intellectual History

Post Graduate Taught:

AMER0011: Politics, Society and Development in the Modern Caribbean

AMER0013: The Caribbean from the Haitian Revolution to the Cuban Revolution


Research Publications

  • “To ‘Hold Up the Hand of the Emperor Ras Tafari’ in 1935-6: When Caribbean Women Led The Ethiopian Solidarity Campaign,” 76 King Street Journal, forthcoming 2021.  

  • “Militant Diaspora: Britain’s International African Service Bureau and the Caribbean Labour Rebellions of the 1930s,” History Matters, Volume 2, Issue 1, Winter 2021.

  • “Public Thinker: Annette Joseph-Gabriel on Black Women, Frenchness and Decolonization,” Public Thinker interview series, Public Books, 9 October 2020.

  • “'You ask for bread, they give you hot lead' : When Caribbean Radicals Protested Conscription for Colonial Subjects,” in (ed.) Hakim Adi, Black British History: New Perspectives, London: Zed Books, 2019.