Harcourt Fuller, Ph.D.
Dr. Fuller is interested in the history of slavery, Marronage and black cultural nationalism in Ecuador and Colombia. While peoples of African descent are found throughout both nation-states, the most established communities are located in el Valle del Chota in the Andes Mountain region and Esmeraldas on the Pacific coast of Ecuador, as well as in the Chocó forest on the Colombian side, which has the largest contingent of peoples of African ancestry in that country.
He is working on a research project entitled, “’La Gran Comarca’: Territory and Black Cultural Nationalism along the Pacific Littoral of Ecuador and Colombia.” It examines the development of a trans-national movement to create a semi-independent, “cultural nation” in the predominantly black, forested territory along the Pacific coast of Ecuador and Colombia. This region has been inhabited by peoples of African descent for over four centuries. The research is based mainly on archival research, as well as fieldwork carried out on the Ecuadorian side, in the province of Esmeraldas, a site of historical, political, cultural and socio-economic importance to the movement. He also examines how Esmeraldas, as well as the Chocó, have become sites of contention between leaders of the proposed black cultural nation, and the multinational corporations and national governmental organizations that have important logging, mining and other economic modernization interests in the region.