Affiliated Institutions

University of South Carolina

Kimberly Eison Simmons is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and African American Studies at the University of South Carolina where she is also an Associate Dean in the Honors College and Director of Latin American Studies. She received her B.A. in Spanish from Grinnell College, her M.A. in Anthropology from Iowa State University, and her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Michigan State University where she was also a Researcher-in-Residence with the African Diaspora Research Program. Her research focuses on women's organizations, African American culture and experience, and the cultural construction of identity in the African Diaspora focusing on African Americans and Afro-Latinos/as. She is the author of Reconstructing Racial Identity and the African Past in the Dominican Republic (University Press of Florida, 2009) and co-editor of Afrodescendants, Identity, and the Struggle for Development in the Americas (Michigan State University Press, 2012). She is Past President of the ABA.

Areas of Research

African Diaspora, race and gender, identity


2012 Afro-Descendants, Identity, and the Struggle for Development in the Americas. Co-Edited volume with Bernd Reiter. Ruth Simms Hamilton African Diaspora Book Series. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press.

2009 Reconstructing Racial Identity and the African Past in the Dominican Republic. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Paperback, January 2011.

2012 “Constructing and Promoting African Diaspora Identity in the Dominican Republic: The Emergence of Casa de la Identidad de las Mujeres Afro,” in African and Black Diaspora (Special Issue on Rewriting the African Diaspora in the Caribbean and Latin America), 5(1): 123-133.

2008 “Navigating the Racial Terrain: Blackness and Mixedness in the United States and the Dominican Republic,” in Transforming Anthropology, 16(2):95-111.

2005 “Somos una Liga: Afro-Dominicanidad and The Articulation of New Racial Identities in the Dominican Republic, ” in Wadabagei: A Journal of the Caribbean and its Diaspora, 8(1):51-64.

2006 “Racial Enculturation and Lived Experience: Reflections on Race at Home and Abroad” in Anthropology News, 47(2): 10-11. Special issue on The RACE Project (project of the American Anthropological Association).

2006 “La Hermandad en la Diáspora Africana: Mujeres Afrodominicanas y Afronorteamericanas Forman Comunidades de Identidad y Acción” (“Sisterhood in the African Diaspora: Afro-Dominican and African American Women Form Communities of Identity and Action”) in La Ruta del Esclavo (The Slave Route). Santo Domingo: Editora Búho.

2001 “A Passion for Sameness: Encountering a Black Feminist Self in Fieldwork in the Dominican Republic” in Irma McClaurin (editor) Black Feminist Anthropology: Theory, Praxis, Politics and Poetics. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.


Dominican Republic

United States