Carnegie Mellon University

Edda Fields-Black

Edda Fields-Black

Associate Professor, Department of History


Dr. Edda L. Fields-Black is an Associate Professor in Carnegie Mellon University's Department of History where she teaches courses on African history from the early pre-colonial to the neo-colonial period, slavery and freedom in Africa and the New World, West African history, globalization in African History, entrepreneurship in Africa, and the making of the African Diaspora.  She also serves as the Faculty Advisor for Carnegie Mellon's African and African American Studies Minor.  Fields-Black's research has been funded nationally by the Woodrow Wilson, Ford, as well as by Fulbright-Hays. At Carnegie Mellon, Dr. Fields-Black has received funding from the Berkman and Faulk Funds, Innovation and Technology, and the Henry Luce Foundation Project: The Greening of Early Undergraduate Education and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation: Institute for the Study of Entrepreneurship.

Fields-Black's first book, Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008) focuses on West African farmers' innovation of these rice-growing techniques that would be transmitted to South Carolina and Georgia rice plantations as a result of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and would subsequently play an important role in the growth of commercial rice industries in the American South.  She is currently research and writing a second book about technological developments in West Africa and their influence on antebellum South Carolina and Georgia.  In addition, she is collaborating with Francesca Bray and Peter Coclanis on a conference and publication tentatively entitled "New Histories of Rice."  This collaborative project, which looks at the history of rice and rice farmers in Asia, West Africa, the US South and West has been funded by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin.