John H. Rashford

Professor Emeritus of Anthropology

Address: 19 St. Philip Street, Room 104
Phone: 843-953-4504


Ph.D., Anthropology, The Graduate School, City University of New York
Dissertation:  "Roots and Fruits:  Social Class and Intercropping in Jamaica"

M.A., Anthropology, The Graduate School, City University of New York

B.A., Anthropology and Music, Friends World College

Research Interests

  • Economic Anthropology
  • Ecology
  • Religion
  • Cognitive Anthropology
  • Ethnobotany
  • Origin of Agriculture
  • Social Stratification
  • Anthropology of Time

Courses Taught

  • ANTH 101: Introduction to Anthropology
  • ANTH 109:  Special Topics in Anthropology
  • ANTH 314 and Honors ANTH 314:  Antropological Perspectives on Time
  • ANTH 316:  Ecological Anthropology
  • ANTH 318:  Theories for the Origins of Agriculture
  • ANTH 319:  Special Topics in Anthropology
  • ANTH 327:  Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean
  • ANTH 356:  Anthropological Perspectives on Religion
  • ANTH 362:  Social and Cultural Change

Honors and Awards

Elected to membership in the Linnean Society of London, 2002

Kenan Fellow, National Tropical Botanical Garden, Kauai, Hawaii, 2001

Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, 2000-present

Omiron Delta Kappa Distinguish Service Award, College of Charleston, 1989

Elected to membership. Charleston of Charleston chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, 1989



Voeks and Rashford, J. H. (2012). African Ethnobotany in the Americas. New York, NY: Springer.

Book Chapters

Rashford, J. H., (2012). Ficus Species that Serve as Candomble's Cosmic Tree. In: Bob Voeks and John Rashford eds., African Ethnobotany in the Americas (New York, NY: Springer Press).

Rashford, J. H., (2012). A contributing author to a team-published article titled 'Multicultural Perspectives on Biocultural Collections'. In The Management of Biological Collections (Missouri Botanical Garden). 

Rashford, J.H., (1998).  Human Influence on the Vegetation of Jamaica.  In:  David Barker, Carol Newby, Mike Morrissey eds., A Reader in Caribbean Geography (Kingston, Jamaica:  Ian Randle Publicshers).

Book Reviews

Rashford, J. H. 2012. In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World. Historical Geography, No. 40 (Forthcoming).

Rashford, J. H. 2012. Bush Medicine of the Bahamas: A Cross-cultural Perspective from San Salvador Island, including Pharmacology and Oral Histories by Jeffrey Holt McCormack, Kathleen Maier, and Patricia B. Wallens. HerbalGram (The Journal of the American Botanical Council), No. 93:73-74.

Rashford, J. H. (2011). Common Medicinal Plants of Portland, Jamaica (2nd Edition). Austin, Summer and Michael B. Thomas, eds., Economic Botany, Vol. 65, No. 1 108-109.

Rashford, J. H. (2010). Jamaican Food: History, Biology, Culture. Barry W. Higman. Society of Ethnobiology (Online Journal), Volume 1:12-13.

Other Publications

2022 A Historically Contextulazie Account of the Baobab Trees (Adansonia digitata L.) of Tobago. The New York Botanical Garden. 

2022 Nyame's altar. A cultural history of the 'God tree' in Jamaica: The Cultural Value of Trees: Folk Value and Biocultural Conservation. (Jeffrey Wall, editor). Routledge Earthscan. London and New York. 5:76-87.

2019 Elsa Goveia Memorial Lecture: Human beings and baobab and tamarind trees in India and Caribbean: Ethnographic, historical and evolutionary perspective on an ancient African mimetic complex. The University of the West Indies, Mona. 

2007 Potential Bigmen, Fig Trees, and Tourist Attractions in Barbados. Practicing Anthropology. 28(4):31-35.

2007 Ethnobotany, the Science of Survival: a Declaration from Kauai. (Sir Ghillian Prance, general editor). In the spring of 2007 I was part of a group of 44 individuals from ethnobotany and associated disciplines who participated in an Ethnobotanical Summit at the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai, Hawaii, from 27th to the 30th of January. The statement was published in the journal Economic Botany 61(1):1-2.

2007 The leaf Falls in the River: Selection of Jamaican Proverbs. Polyphony (College of Charleston multilingual literary magazine). 3(1):49-52.

2006 Jamaican Proverbs. Polyphony. 2(1): 18-19.

2002 Evidence of Seasonal Hunger in the Oral Traditions of Jamaicans: An Ethnobiological Perspective. Paper presented at the 7th International Congress of Ethnobiology, University of Georgia, October 23-27, 2000. Published in the conference proceedings titled Ethnobiology and Biocultural Diversity, edited by John R. Stepp, Felice S. Wyndham, and Rebecca K. Zarger. International Society of Ethnobiology, University Of Georgia Press, 2002 (pages 478-495).

2001 Those that do not smile with kill me: The Ethnobotany of the Ackee in Jamaica. Cover article, Economic Botany, 55(2):190-211.

1997 Africa's Baobab Tree in Jamaica: A Further Comment. Jamaica Journal, 26(2):51-58.

1997 An Explanation for Tamarind and Baobab Trees Growing Together in Africa and the Caribbean: The Case of St. Croix. Virgin Islands Agriculture and Food Fair, Bulletin Number 11, pages 22 - 26. University of the Virgin Islands.

1996 Ackee Poisoning and the Evolutionary Biology of Jamaica's Ackee Motif.  Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Food Crops Society, July 7-13, 1996.  32: 185-192.

1995 The Distribution, History and Use of the African Baobab in Barbados.   Proceedings of the 31st Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Food Crops Society and the Barbados Society of Technologists in Agriculture, July 10-14, 1995.

1995 The Past and Present Uses of Bamboo in Jamaica.  Economic Botany, 49(4): 395-405.

1994 Jamaica's Settlement Vegetation, Agroecology, and the Origin of Agriculture.  Caribbean Geography, 5(1): 32-50.

1993 Arawak, Spanish and African Contributions to Jamaica's Settlement Vegetation.  Jamaica Journal, 24(3):17-23.

1989 Barringtonia.  Jamaica Journal, 22(2):65-72.

1989 Leaves of Fire:  Jamaica's Crotons.  Jamaica Journal, 21(4):19-25.

1988 Packy Tree, Spirits and Duppy Birds.  Jamaica Journal, 21(3):2-10.

1987 The Baobab Tree and Seasonal Hunger in Africa:  The Case of the San.  Botswana Notes and Records, 19, 57-68.

1987 The Search for Africa's Baobab Tree in Jamaica.  Jamaica Journal, 20(2):2-11.

1985 The Cotton Tree and the Spiritual Realm in Jamaica.  Jamaica Journal, 18(1):49-57.

1984 Plants, Spirits and The Meaning of 'John' in Jamaica.  Jamaica Journal, 17(2):62-70.