UT Prof to Study Chocolate-Slavery Link

KNOXVILLE — Catherine Higgs, associate professor of history, has received a $30,000 sabbatical fellowship from the American Philosophical Society for the spring 2006 semester.

Catherine Higgs

The fellowship will support Higgs’ continuing research on “Chocolate, Slavery, and Work: Portuguese Africa and the English Cocoa Controversy.” The book will examine African labor in the Portuguese colonies of São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola and Mozambique, through the lens of the scandal that erupted in the early 1900s, when allegations that the British chocolate company Cadbury Brothers was using slave-produced cocoa from São Tomé in the manufacture of its chocolate. -Chocolate, Slavery, and Work- will assess what work, both free and unfree, meant in colonial Africa in the first two decades of the 20th century.

Higgs- previous works include -The Ghost of Equality: The Public Lives of D.D.T. Jabavu of South Africa, 1885-1959- (Ohio UP, 1997) and the edited volume, -Stepping Forward: Black Women in Africa and the Americas- (Ohio UP, 2002) with Barbara A. Moss and Earline Rae Ferguson. -Stepping Forward- collected the edited and revised essays about the cultural, religious and historical experiences of black women in Africa and in the New World from the conference “Black Women in the Old World and the New,” held at the University of Tennessee in September 1999 and funded by grants from the Rockefeller Foundation and the University of Tennessee.

Higgs earned a doctorate in African history from Yale University and a bachelor-s degree from Queen’s University at Kingston, Canada. She regularly teaches the African history survey, the World History Survey, a course on South Africa, a graduate reading course on Africa and occasional courses on African film and African women’s history. She has taught at the University of Tennessee since 1995 and was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2004.

Contact:
Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034, amy.blakely@tennessee.edu