Judith Carney

Judith Carney working in the field

Judith Carney

Emeriti Faculty

Office: 1255 BUNCHE


Phone: 3108251216


(Ph.D., UC Berkeley, 1986) conducts fieldwork on Africa and the African food legacy in the Americas. She teaches courses on African ecology and development, the African diaspora, Atlantic environmental history, food and the environment.


Ph.D. in Geography, University of California, Berkeley 1986.


African food contributions to Atlantic history; agrarian change in sub-Saharan Africa; human-environmental relations in tropical America and Africa; mangrove ecosystems as food forests

Selected Publications

  • J. Carney. Subsistence in the Plantationocene: Dooryard gardens, agrobiodiversity, and the subaltern economies of slavery, Journal of Peasant Studies (2020) online 10 April, 25 pp. doi: 10.1080/03066150.2020.1725488
  • A. Fent; R. Bardou; J. Carney; K. Cavanaugh. Transborder Political Ecology of Mangroves in Senegal and The Gambia, Global Environmental Change 54, no.1 (2019):214-226.
  • J. Carney. Shellfish Collection in Senegambian Mangroves: A Female Knowledge System in a Priority Conservation Region, Ethnobiology 37no.3  (2017):440-57.
  • K.S. Zimmerer and J. Carney. How do Demographic Change and Spatial Interaction Interact with Agrobiodiversity? in Karl S. Zimmerer and Stef de Haan (eds.) Agrobiodiversity in the 21st Century. Strüngmann Forum Reports, vol. 24 (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2018), pp.163-82.
  • J. Carney. ‘The Mangrove Preserves Life’: Habitat of African survival in the Atlantic World, Geographical Review 107 (4):1-19.  (Published online in early view August 4, 2016). doi:10:1111/j.1931-0846.2016.12205.x.
  • T.R. van Andel; R.S. Meyer; S.A. Aflitos; J.A. Carney; M.A. Veltman; D. Copetti; J.M. Flowers; R.M. Havinga; H. Maat; M.D. Purugganan; R.A. Wing; E. Schranz. Tracing ancestor rice of Suriname Maroons traced back to its African origin, Nature Plants 2, article number: 16149, 3 Oct. 2016: 1-5. doi: 10.1038/nplants.2016.149.
  • J. Carney. Between Land and Sea: Mangroves and Mollusks along Brazil’s Mangal Coast, Fronteiras: Journal of Social, Technological and Environmental Science 5, no. 3 (2016):17-38.
  • .K. Zimmerer; J. Carney; S. Vanek. Sustainable smallholder intensification in global change? Pivotal spatial interactions, gendered livelihoods, and agrobiodiversity, Current Opinion in Environment and Sustainability 14 (2015): 49-60.
  • J. Carney and H. Rangan. Situating African Agency in Environmental History, Environment and History 21, no.1 (2015): 1-11.
  • H. Rangan; E. Alpers; T. Denham; C. Kull; J. Carney. Food Traditions and Landscape Histories of the Indian Ocean World: Theoretical and Metholodigical Reflections, Environment and History 21, no.1 (2015): 135-157.
  • J. Carney. The Columbian Exchange, in Joseph C. Miller (ed.) Princeton Companion to Atlantic History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, forthcoming 2015).
  • J. Carney and Marlène Elias. Gendered Knowledge and the African Shea-Nut Tree, in Susanna Hecht, Kathleen Morrison, Christine Padoch (eds.) The Social Lives of Forests: Past, Present, and Future of Woodland Resurgence (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014), pp. 231-238.
  • J. Carney. Fields of Survival, Foods of Memory, in Rachel Slocum and Arun Saldanha (eds.), Geographies of Race and Food: Fields, Bodies, Markets (Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2013), pp. 61-78.
  • M. Wang; Y. Yu; G. Haberer; P. Marri; C. Fan; J.L. Goicoechea; A. Zuccolo; X. Song; D. Kudrna; S.S.A. Jetty; R.M. Cossu; C. Maldonado; J. Chen; S. Lee; N.Sisneros; K. de Baynast; W. Golser; M. Wissotski; W. Kim; P. Sanchez; M.-N. Ndjiondjop; K. Sanni; M. Long; J. Carney; O. Panaud; T. Wicker; C. Machado; M. Chen; K.F.X. Mayer; S. Rounsley; R.A. Wing. The genome sequence of African rice (Oryza glaberrima) and evidence for independent domestication, Nature Genetics 46, no.9, (2014): 982-988.
  • J. Carney, T. Gillespie; R. Rosomoff. The Changing Pattern of Mangrove Forest Coverage in Senegambia: 1986-2010, Geoforum, 53 (2014): 126-35.
  • J. Carney. African Plant and Animal Species in Eighteenth-Century Tropical America, in Veronika Hyden-Hanscho; Renate Piper; Werner Stangl (eds.) Cultural Exchange and Consumption Patterns in the Age of Enlightenment Europe and the Atlantic World (Bochum: Winkler Verlag, 2013), pp. 97-115.
  • H. Rangan, J. Carney, and T. Denham. Environmental History of Botanical Exchanges in the Indian Ocean World, Environment and History, 18, no.3 (2012): 311-342.
  • B. Crow and J. Carney. Commercializing Nature: Mangrove Conservation and Female Oyster Collectors in The Gambia, Antipode, 45 (2) (2013): 275-293.
  • J. Carney. “Landscapes and Places of Memory: African Diaspora Research and Geography,” in Tejumola Olaniyan and James H. Sweet (eds.), The African Diaspora and the Disciplines (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010), pp.101-118.
  • W. Moseley, J. Carney, and L. Becker “Neoliberal Policy Reform, Food Production, and Household Livelihood Security in West Africa: A Comparative Study of the Gambia, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mali,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)107, (2010): 5774-5779. (PDF)
  • J. Carney and R.N. Rosomoff. In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009). (PDF)
  • J. Carney. Reconsidering Sweetness and Power through a Gendered Lens, Food and Foodways, 16, no.2 (2008):127-134. (PDF)
  • J. Carney and M. Elias. “Revealing Gendered Landscapes: Indigenous Female Knowledge and Agroforestry of African Shea,” Canadian Journal of African Studies, 40, no.2 (2006): 235-267. (PDF)
  • J. Carney. “Rice and Memory in the Age of Enslavement: Atlantic Passages to Suriname,” Slavery and Abolition, 26, no.3 (2005): 325-347. (PDF)
  • J. Carney. ‘With Grains in Her Hair’: Rice History and Memory in Colonial Brazil, Slavery and Abolition, 25 no.1 (2004): 1-27 . (PDF)
  • J. Carney and R. Acevedo. Saberes agrícolas dos escravos africanos no Novo Mundo, Ciência Hoje, 35, no.205 (2004): 26-33. (PDF)
  • J. Carney. Navegando Contra a Corrente: O Papel dos Escravos e da Flora Africana na Botânica do Período Colonial, África: Revista do Centro de Estudos Africanos, 22/23, no. 1 [1999-2001] (2004): 25-47.
  • J. Carney and R. Voeks. “Landscape Legacies of the African Diaspora in Brazil,” Progress in Human Geography, 27, no.2 (2003): 139-152. (PDF)
  • J. Carney. African Traditional Plant Knowledge in the Circum-Caribbean Region, Journal of Ethnobiology, 23, no.2 (2003): 167-185. (PDF)
  • J. Carney. African Rice in the Columbian Exchange, Journal of African History, 42, no.32 (2001):377-396. (PDF)
  • J. Carney: Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001). (PDF)
  • J. Carney and R. Acevedo Marin. Aportes dos escravos na história do cultivo do arroz africano nas Américas, Estudos Sociedade e Agricultura, 12 (1999): 113-133.
  • J. Carney. The Role of African Rice and Slaves in the History of Rice Cultivation in the Americas, Human Ecology, 26, no.4: (1998): 525-545.
  • J. Carney and M. Hiraoka. Raphia taedigera in the Amazon Estuary, Principes, 41, no.3 (1997): 125-130. (PDF)

Grants & Awards

2020 Distinguished Historical Geographer Award, Historical Geography Specialty Group, American Association of Geographers.

2019 Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C.

2019 Carl O. Sauer 23rd Memorial Lecture, University of California Berkeley.

2019 Miller lecture, Pennsylvania State University.

2018 Elected Fellow of the Association of American Geographers

2018 Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society Fellowship

2017 Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

2017-18 Phi Beta Kappa Society Visiting Scholar

2014 National Geographic Society CRE Award, research on mangrove reforestation initiatives in Senegambia

2012 Distinguished Scholarship Honor, Association of American Geographers

2012 Robert McC. Netting Award in recognition of distinguished research and professional activities that bridge geography and anthropology, Association of American Geographers.

2012 Carl O. Sauer Distinguished Scholarship Award, Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers, Association of American Geographers.

2010 Frederick Douglass Book Prize, Gilda Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, for In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World (University of California Press, 2009).

2005-06 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship

2005 Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio residency

2004 American Council of Learned Societies fellowship

2003 James M. Blaut Publication Award, Association of American Geographers for Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas (Harvard University Press, 2001).

2002 Melville Herskovits Book Award, African Studies Association, for Black Rice

2001 National Geographical Society (for research on quilombos, Brazil)

1997 Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research (quilombos, Brazil)

1996 UCLA Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award: Eby Award for undergraduate teaching

1988-89 John D. Rockefeller Foundation post-doctoral fellowship

1987 University of Wisconsin, Land Tenure Center, post-doctoral fellowship (declined)

1986 Brown University, World Hunger Program, post-doctoral fellowship (declined)