Dr. Melina Pappademos is the interim director of the Africana Studies Institute and Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies at UCONN. She earned a B.A. from Cornell University, her M.A. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and her Ph.D. in history from New York University. Her research and teaching interests focus on the social and cultural history of race, social and political mobilizations, and nationalisms, particularly for people of African descent in the Caribbean and Latin America. Supported by such institutions as New York University, the Ford Foundation, Harvard University, Wesleyan University, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Fulbright-Hays Research program, Dr. Pappademos published her first book, Black Political Activism and the Cuban Republic (University of North Carolina Press, 2011). The book reconstructs historical patterns of black Cuban political activism and their relationship to the political structures and cultures of the Cuban republic (1902-1959). It was awarded the 2012 Murdo J. Macleod Best Book Prize from the Southern Historical Association-Latin American and Caribbean Section as well as an Honorable Mention for Best Book 2013, by the Caribbean Studies Association. Her second book project, funded by a University of Connecticut Research Foundation Large Grant and a National Academy of Sciences Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, examines racial symbolism during Cuba’s turbulent 1930s and 1940s. Dr. Pappademos co-edited Reconceptualizations of the African Diaspora, Special Issue of Radical History Review, which was awarded an honorable mention for Best Special Issue by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) in 2009. Her articles have appeared in African and Black Diaspora: an International Journal; Negritud: Revista de Estudios Afrolatino-americanos; and Issue: Journal of Opinion, Conceptualizing the African Diaspora.