Matthew Alexander Randolph

BA, History & Spanish, Amherst College '16
Matthew Alexander Randolph Graduate Student

Matthew Alexander Randolph (Matt, he/him) is a History Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University in the Transnational, Global, and International (TIG) field with a focus on the intellectual, political, and cultural history of the African Diaspora, particularly in the Americas and in Europe.

Matt is broadly interested in Black political and intellectual life in European metropolises (especially Paris as a hub of Black internationalism), the field of Caribbean Studies, and how the far-flung regions of the Atlantic World intersect as people, ideas, and cultures cross borders. He is drawn to the concept of the “Greater Caribbean'' that expands the study of the region beyond the archipelago and the notion that Caribbean history is essential to understanding the development of the modern world. In his pedagogy, Matt places the Caribbean in a global context and he has taught his own seminar at Stanford on the global reverberations of the Haitian Revolution in both the past and present. 

Matt’s dissertation project explores the encounters and migrations that link Dominican, Haitian, and African American history as well as the thought and politics of leading Black thinkers in the nineteenth century. He seeks to juxtapose and merge the history of Black politics and culture by contextualizing the short-term travels of intellectuals and diplomats in the Dominican Republic like Frederick Douglass and Archibald Grimké with coordinated nineteenth-century emigration movements in which Black people imagined a future for themselves beyond the borders of the United States. Matt is particularly interested in the aspects of U.S. culture that these migrants retained as well as those of Dominican culture which they absorbed and integrated to forge a new hybrid identity - perhaps neither Dominican nor American, but something in between.   

Matt is a graduate coordinator for the Black Studies Collective and a graduate fellow for the Program in African & African American Studies. From 2020-2021, he served on the board for the graduate research workshop CORE (Critical Orientations to Race and Ethnicity). Matt has also founded and led two reading groups at Stanford: one for Caribbean Studies and another for the history and legacy of the Black Panther Party. Outside of academia, Matt is a storyteller and community-builder with a passion for leveraging history to inspire and empower others while pushing for social change. He has contributed to public history projects in the Bay Area and beyond, including volunteer work for the African American Museum and Library at Oakland, the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco, and his alma mater, Amherst College in Massachusetts.