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2012/2013 Warren Center Sawyer Seminar Fellows

Age of Emancipation:  Black Freedom in the Atlantic World


EMILY M. AUGUST is a doctoral candidate in English. She is the recipient of the 2012 John M. Aden Award for excellence in graduate writing, and the 2012-2013 President of the English Graduate Student Association. Her research interests span the nineteenth century and include anatomy, surgery, and the history of medicine; black Atlantic autobiography; fairy tales; poetics; and visual and material culture. Her dissertation investigates how the concept of the human body changed during the nineteenth century, looking in particular at the role of emancipation and the influence of black Atlantic autobiography in the construction of professional anatomical textbooks.

CAREE A. BANTON is a doctoral candidate in history. Her dissertation explores emigration from the West Indies (particularly Barbados) to Africa (particularly Liberia) and the implications of this movement to experiences of freedom, citizenship, and black nationbuilding. Using letters, ship manifest data, birth and church records, and newspaper reports in a variety of archives in Barbados, the United States, and Liberia, her dissertation explores the social, economic, and political changes in the lives of 346 Barbadians as they sojourned from Barbados to begin their new lives in Liberia during the post-emancipation era. In 2011, Banton served as a Rotary Ambassador in Liberia, Africa.

RICHARD J. M. BLACKETT is Andrew Jackson Professor of History. The author of a number of books dealing mainly with the trans-Atlantic abolitionist movement, he most recently published Divided Hearts: Britain and the American Civil War (Louisiana State University Press, 2001). Blackett is at work on a study of the ways communities organized to support or oppose enforcement of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law and the way slaves by escaping influenced the debate over the future of slavery in the US. For the 2013/2014 academic year, Blackett will serve as the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University.

CELSO T. CASTILHO is Assistant Professor of History, with teaching and research interests in slavery and abolition, race and citizenship, and memory and politics in Latin America and the Atlantic world. He is finishing a book manuscript, "The Politics of Slave Emancipation in Pernambuco: Abolitionism and the Public Sphere, 1868-1889," which deals with the interrelated histories of political mobilizations and antislavery movements in late nineteenth-century northeastern Brazil. He is also beginning a second book-length project on the history of Uncle Tom's Cabin in Latin America, focused on Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and Argentina.

NIHAD M. FAROOQ is Assistant Professor of American Studies in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Her primary research interests are in American and African American studies, and in transatlantic epistemologies of race and science in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She has just completed her first book manuscript entitled "Undisciplined: Transatlantic Personhood and the Science of Diaspora, 1830-1930," and will spend her fellowship year at Vanderbilt working on her second book project, "Virtual Emancipation: Slavery and Social Networks in the New World." She is the 2012/2013 Andrew W. Mellon Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow at the Warren Center.

TERESA A. GODDU is Associate Professor of English and Director of the American Studies Program. She is a specialist in nineteenth-century American literature and culture with an emphasis on race and slavery. She is the author of Gothic America: Narrative, History, and Nation (Columbia, 1997) and is currently completing a study of abolitionist print culture titled "Selling Antislavery: Antebellum Print Culture and Social Reform." She is the recipient of two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and a Senior Specialist Fulbright award.

JANE G. LANDERS is Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History. She is the author of numerous books, book chapters, and articles on the history of Africans in the Iberian Atlantic World, the most recent being Atlantic Creoles in the Age of Revolutions (Cambridge, Mass., 2010). She directs the Ecclesiastical and Secular Sources for Slave Societies digital preservation project and archive and has consulted on a variety of archaeological projects, documentary films, and museum exhibits about Africans in the Americas. She is currently working on two monographs–one about an enslaved Mandinga and his various Atlantic lives and another on runaway slave communities around the Iberian Atlantic.

HERBERT ROBINSON MARBURY is Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible. His interests include social history in Persian Yehud and counter-history in Black Atlantic biblical hermeneutics. His recent work includes "The Strange Woman in Persian Yehud: A Reading of Proverbs 7" in Approaching Yehud: New Approaches to the Study of the Persian Period (Brill, 2007), and "Imperial Dominion and Priestly Genius" (forthcoming, 2012). His current project, "Pillars of Cloud and Fire," traces counter-historical impulses in African American biblical hermeneutics from the Antebellum period to the mid-twentieth century.

CATHERINE A. MOLINEUX is Assistant Professor of History, specializing in the cultural history of the early modern British Atlantic world and the visual histories of race, slavery, and empire. Her book, Faces of Perfect Ebony: Encountering Atlantic Slavery in Imperial Britain, was published by Harvard University Press in January 2012, and she remains interested in the visual and cultural histories of the early Atlantic slave trade. She is currently writing a book on British, British American, and African American encounters during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with West African rulers involved in this human traffic.

DANIEL J. SHARFSTEIN is Professor of Law. His main fields of interest are the legal history of race in the United States and property. He is the author of several articles as well as a book, The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White (Penguin, 2011), which explores the history of race in the South through the multigenerational narratives of three families who started out as people of color and assimilated into white communities. Currently, he is working on a book about the collapse of Reconstruction and its legacies in the American West.