Graduate Student Bios

Marlene H. Gaynair is a doctoral candidate specializing in social, cultural and digital histories of the modern Black Atlantic, particularly North America and the Caribbean. Her dissertation, Islands in the North: (Re)Creating Jamaican Identities & Cultures in Urban North America, 1950s-1990s  is a comparative social history of Jamaican migrants and their descendants in Toronto and New York City, and takes a comprehensive look at how diasporic identities have been shaped by local and distant cultural and political forces over time and space. A scholar invested in sharing her expertise in conversations outside academe, Marlene has written for publications including Huffington Post Canada and Ebony Magazine. She believes this engagement with popular audiences is crucial for extending historical knowledge to wide and varied audiences. You can find updates of her current digital projects at or on Twitter at @blkatlanticCDN.