Robert Bellinger, PhD

Associate Professor, History

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Director, Black Studies Program
Director, Clark Collection of African American Literature


  • PhD, Boston College
  • EdM, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • BA, Amherst College

Personal Statement

All history depends ultimately upon its social purpose. This is why in the past it has been handed down by oral tradition and written chronicle...

(Paul Thompson, The Voices of the Past, p. 1)

Prof. Bellinger teaches classes in African American and American history, African Diasporan studies, and the history and culture of Senegal. His research interests include late 19th century African American history, West African history and Culture, and West African drum traditions. In addition to his teaching and research, Prof. Bellinger is also involved in training student teachers to teach history in the middle and secondary schools, working on the inclusion of African and African diasporan history and culture into school and university curriculums, and working with study abroad programs that provide students an international, cross-cultural enhancement of their academic work.

Programs and Research

  • Director, The Géwël Tradition Project, Dakar, Senegal
  • Director, Senegalese-American Student Teaching Program, Dakar, Senegal


  • Monuments, Memorials and Historic Sites, New England’s Visible Black History in Photographs. Photographs and Text by Robert A. Bellinger, Ph.D. AAHGS New England Chapter, Inc., 2018.

Book Projects

  • The Culture and History of the Géwël Tradition.
  • Ngéwël, A Photo History of the People and Traditions of the Sing Sing Family of Medina, Dakar, Senegal, West Africa.

Related Activities

  • Afriterra, Board of Directors
  • Interfuture, Inc., Board of Directors
  • The Gunnery School, Board of Trustees
  • Robbins House, Concord, MA, Advisory Committee
  • Salem United, Advisory Board
  • 400th Commemoration Commission Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Commissioner


  • African American Historical and Genealogical Society
  • Association for the Study of African American Life and History
  • African Studies Association
  • MANDE Studies Association
  • West Africa Research Association
  • Massachusetts Colonial Society
  • Massachusetts Historical Society, Fellow
  • Colonial Society of Massachusetts, member
  • Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, member

Performance Groups

  • Soli Soma Jembe Orchestra (2001-present)
  • Trytone Creative Music Ensemble (1999-present)
  • Roots Uprising Dance Company (2002-present)
  • Tam Tam Gisé (2006-present)
  • International Manager, Sing Sing Juniors Sabar Drum and Dance Ensemble
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Courses Taught

  • HST 272 African-American Hst From 1860
  • HST 271 African-American Hst 1619-1860
  • HST 319 Hst of Black Music in America
  • BLKST 101 Intro to Black Studies II