Gwendolen M. Carter

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"Carter came to the United States to do graduate work at Radcliffe, where she earned an M.A. (1936) and a Ph.D. (1938), both in political science. She held instructorships at Wellesley and Tufts Colleges before being appointed assistant professor at Smith College in 1943. Smith promoted her to associate professor in 1947 and professor in 1951 and then named her Sophia Smith Professor in 1961. In 1964, Carter was appointed Melville J. Herskovits Professor of African Affairs and Director of the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University, a position she held for a decade.

"Carter's early work concentrated on European governments; after doing her dissertation on aspects of the League of Nations, her first book, published in 1947, was The British Commonwealth and International Security. Major Foreign Powers, a text she co-authored with John Herz, has been through several editions. While working on a study of the British Commonwealth after the war, Carter first visited Africa in 1948.

"Her scholarly interests immediately turned to that continent, and she returned to South Africa for a yearlong study in 1952. Succeeding trips resulted in a number of publications concerning African affairs, including The Politics of Inequality: South Africa Since 1948 (1958); Independence for Africa (1960); South Africa's Transkei: The Politics of Domestic Colonialism (1967); and Which Way is South Africa Going? (1980). She edited several works about Africa, including the four-volume From Protest to Challenge: A Documentary History of African Politics in South Africa 1882-1964 (1972-1977).

"In addition to receiving Ford and Rockefeller Foundation grants for her work, Carter served on the advisory council of the African Bureau of the Department of State (1962-1967), was a State Department lecturer in Africa in 1966, and directed an Office of Education seminar for American teachers in Africa in 1967. She was active in professional activities, serving as president of the African Studies Association (1958-1959), vice-president of the American Political Science Association (1963-1964), president of the New England Political Science Association (1959-1960), and trustee of the African American Institute (1964). She also served on various boards and committees of these and other organizations." [1]

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  1. GWENDOLEN M. CARTER, (1906-1990) PAPERS, 1915-1991, Northwestern University, accessed April 3, 2010.