I am a historian of early America with interests in the history of race and slavery as well as that of women, gender, and family.
I am currently writing my first book. Titled “African Families, American Stories: Black Kin and Community in Early New England,” it explores the attempts of Africans, both slave and free, to create and maintain families in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century New England. Pulling together thousands of fragments of evidence, the manuscript reveals patterns in blacks’ living situations, gendered relationships, and kin communities that historians have never before recognized. At the same time, it advances arguments related to a range of historical issues, from the relationship between family and freedom in early New England to the nature of slave family life on smallholdings in Anglo-America. The project sets forth methodological arguments as well. Contending that historical method has an important bearing on the ability of scholars to understand and portray slaves as fully human, with complete life spans and complicated contexts, it makes a case for the importance of reconstructing the lives and trajectories of enslaved individuals in great depth—despite the archival challenges that such an undertaking inevitably entails.
After the completion of my book, I plan to begin work on several interrelated projects: an investigation of women in maroon colonies throughout the Atlantic world (which were notable for their incredible lack of gender parity); a digital project related to slaves, space, and Atlantic seaports; and a book-length project exploring the lives of runaway women—slave, servant, and free—in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Anglo-American colonies.
- Ph.D. in History, Harvard University
- M.A. in History, Harvard University
- B.A. in History, English, and Policy Studies, Rice University
- “Power, Patriarchy, and Provision: African Families Negotiate Gender and Slavery in New England.” Journal of American History (forthcoming: December 2016).
- “Sojourners and Strangers in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic.” Review of Cornelia H. Dayton and Sharon V. Salinger, Robert Love’s Warnings: Searching for Strangers in Colonial Boston (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014) in Common-place, Winter 2015.
- Review of Katherine Howlett Hayes, Slavery Before Race: Europeans, Africans, and Indians at Long Island’s Sylvester Manor Plantation, 1651–1884 (New York: New York University Press, 2013) in the Journal of the Early Republic, Summer 2014: 285-287.
- Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Charles Warren Center, Harvard University, 2014–2015
- Grant for Innovative Graduate Research, Center for American Political Studies, 2014
- New England Regional Consortium Fellowship Grant, 2012–2013
- Kate B. and Hall J. Peterson Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society, 2012–2013
- Michael Kraus Research Grant in Colonial History, American Historical Association, 2012
- Artemas Ward Fellowship for Dissertation Research, Harvard University, 2011–2014
- Graduate Society Term-Time Merit Fellowship, Harvard University, 2011
- Richard A. Berenson Graduate Fellowship, Harvard University, 2010–2013
- Jacquelyn Dowd Hall Prize, Southern Association for Women Historians, 2009