Position Type
- Present
B.A., Mary Washington College; M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., Columbia University



My research interests concern the role that socially shared ideas and beliefs play in shaping people’s behavior, especially their political action. In my dissertation research, I explored the question of why politicians in Jamaica chose to use Rastafarian symbols and reggae music in electoral campaigns (Race, Class and Political Symbols, Transaction Press 1985). My second book project was an examination of the way post-colonial Jamaica has revised its historical narratives and a study of heritage tourism development and unofficial community history in Port Royal, Jamaica (Planning the Past, Lexington Books 2006). I have published research articles about conspiracy theories in African-American political culture (in The Journal of Black Studies) the uses that Jamaican politicians make of historical narratives (in Caribbean Quarterly), the way Columbus residents express hostile attitudes toward Somali immigrants (in Bildhaan: A Journal of Somali Studies), and the presentation of revolutionary history in Cuban museums and commemorative events (in the Canadian Journal of Caribbean and Latin American Studies). Recently I have turned my attention to the way Cuba is portrayed in political discourse in the United States.