Ben Vinson was recently made Dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at George Washington University. An expert on Latin American history, Vinson’s scholarship focuses on colonial Mexico, especially the African presence in Mexico. He has authored several books on the participation of blacks in the militias, free black populations in Mexico, slavery in Latin America more broadly, and African American experiences in Mexico as well as Afro-Mexican experiences in the United States. He is currently researching the colonial Latin American caste system. Before George Washington University, he was vice dean at Johns Hopkins University, associate professor at Penn State University and an assistant professor at Barnard College. He has been awarded fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, National Humanities Center, Social Science Research Council, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Ford, Rockefeller and Mellon foundations. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a Master of Arts, Master of Philosophy and PhD in Latin American History from Columbia University.