Advisory Board

The following distinguished scholars have agreed to serve on the Slave Biographies Advisory Board.

Manuel Barcia, Senior Lecturer in Latin American Studies and Deputy Director of the Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, University of Leeds, is a young scholar and author of the outstanding book, Seeds of Insurrection: Domination and Resistance on Western Cuban Plantations, 1808-1848. This book is based heavily on slave testimony in the Conspiracy of the Ladder trials in Cuba, listing slaves’ ethnic designations. His next book will be out in the Spring 2012, focusing on the revolt of 1825 in Guamacaro, one of the largest African-led revolts in the history of Cuba.

Maria del Carmen Barcia Zequeira, professor of history at the University of Havana, has published numerous award winning books and articles and has done outstanding work creating and developing slave databases in Cuba. Her newest database of 30,000 African emancipados, slaves brought illegally into Cuba after the Transatlantic slave trade was outlawed, contains extraordinary information about names, ethnic and linguist information about slaves landed illegally in Cuba and then captured and interrogated by colonial officials.

Nielson Rosa Bezerra, has received his PhD in History from Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Brazil in 2010. His PhD thesis is on Transatlantic Slave Trade among Rio de Janeiro, Benguela and Bight of Biafra regarding different Atlantic routes and a trade of food for slave between 1780s and 1840s. Dr. Bezerra has been awarded a prestigious Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship (2012-2014) to pursue his research program at the Harriet Tubman Institute, York University. Bezarra’s research project, Liberated African Slaves in Brazil in the Nineteenth Century, examines patterns of forced migration of enslaved Africans to the Americas after the British and North American abolition of the slave trade.  The research focuses on the 100,000 enslaved Africans who were destined for Brazil but were removed from slave ships by the British Royal Navy after 1820 and declared “Liberated Africans.”

O. Vernon Burton, Distinguished Professor of Humanities, a Professor of History and Computer Science at Clemson University, and the Director of the Clemson University CyberInstitute.  He was the founding Director of the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (I-CHASS) at the University of Illinois, where he is emeritus University Distinguished Teacher/Scholar and Professor of History, African American Studies, and Sociology.  Burton’s research and teaching interests include the American South, especially race relations and community, and the intersection of humanities and social sciences.  Burton is a prolific author and scholar (16 authored or edited books and more than two hundred articles).  Among his honors are fellowships and grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Pew Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Humanities Center, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Carnegie Foundation.

Douglas B. Chambers, Associate Professor of History at the University of Southern Mississippi, researches the early modern Black Atlantic with a focus on the Igbo Diaspora, and is the author of Murder at Montpelier: Igbo Africans in Virginia (2005), two edited volumes on U.S. Southern studies (2012), and a number of journal articles, book chapters, extended review essays, and other publications. Chambers has received research fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and is currently working on a monograph on “Eboes Landing” (St. Simons Island, Georgia). He is leading an international effort to document runaway slaves in the Atlantic world, as a digital humanities project.

Matt D. Childs, Director of the History Center at the University of South Carolina.  His primary research and teaching interests are Latin American, Caribbean, and Atlantic history with a particular emphasis on the importance of understanding the historical legacies of slavery and racism in shaping the modern world. Professor Childs is the author of The 1812 Aponte Rebellion in Cuba and the Struggle against Atlantic Slavery (2006), which was a finalist for the 2007 Frederick Douglass Book Prize, co-editor with Toyin Falola on The Yoruba Diaspora in the Atlantic World (2005) and author of The Changing Worlds of Atlantic Africa:  Essay in Honor or Robin Law (2009). Childs has received research grants from the Social Science Research Council, the Ford Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Fulbright-Hays Program, and other agencies to conduct research in Cuba, Spain, Great Britain, and the United States.

Gabino La Rosa Corzo, Professor Honoris Causa, University of Havana, anthropologist and archaeologist, has published numerous award winning books and articles in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Porto Rico, Brazil and the USA. His original methodologies focus to a great extent upon runaway slaves in Cuba His latest book,Tatuados. Deformaciones etnicas en los cimarrones en Cuba. Havana, 2011, won the Fernando Ortiz prize for 2012.

Joseph Carroll Dorsey teaches at Purdue University. He defines himself principally as an interdisciplinary historian with expertise in Iberian languages and literature as well as linguistics. Aside from his Ph.D in Latin American history from the University of California, he holds a certificate in Iberian Studies from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and a certificate in advanced linguistics from the Instituto Pedagógico de Lenguas Modernas in Havana. His first book, Slave Traffic in the Age of Abolition: Puerto Rico, West Africa, and the Non-Hispanic Caribbean, 1815-1859, was nominated for several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. He received the Lydia Cabrera Award for Research in Cuban Historical Studies for his ongoing study of Chinese contract labor in late nineteenth-century Cuba. His essays appear in such journals as: African American Studies, The Journal of Caribbean History, The Journal of Caribbean Studies, Latin American Perspectives, and Slavery and Abolition, as well as in anthologies edited by Hilary Beckles, Verene Shepherd, Linden Lewis, and Marta Moreno Vega. He is an elected member of the Executive Board of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora. At present, he chairs the national committee for the Lydia Cabrera Award for Research in Cuban Historical Studies, administered by the Conference for Latin American History.

Edda L. Fields-Black, Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon in the Department of History, is a specialist in early/pre-colonial and West African history and author of Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora (Indiana University Press, 2008).  Fields-Black is currently working on both sides of the Atlantic on a co-authored global history of rice with Francesca Bray, Peter Coclanis, and Dagmar Schafer and a monograph examining the development of Creole language, culture, and identity among the Gullah/Geechee.

Manolo Florentino, faculty member in the Department of History at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, is an outstanding Brazilian scholar heavily relying on his own databases for his publications and, as a member of the TSTD2 Steering Committee, is one of the four primary editors of TSTD2, responsible mainly for Brazilian and Portuguese voyages.

Virginia Gould, received her Ph.D. in history from Emory University in 1991 and now teaches History at Tulane University. She has published widely on enslaved and free people of African descent and on Catholicism in the Gulf South region. Her experience in slave databases includes her work on colonial and antebellum censuses of the Gulf Ports.

Linda Heywood, Professor of African History and African-American Studies at Boston University, is author of many edited books and articles. Her latest book, with John K. Thornton, Central Africans, Atlantic Creoles, and the Foundation of the Americas, 1585-1660 (Cambridge University Press, 2007, won the Herskovits prize of the African Studies Association for the best scholarly work from the previous year.

Martin Klein is a retired professor of African History from the University of Toronto. He is best known for Slavery and Colonial Rule in French West Africa (1998) , which was an honorable mention for the Herskovits prize, and for several edited books: Slavery, Bondage and Emancipation in Modern Africa and Asia (1993), Women and Slavery in Africa (1983) (with Clare Robertson), and Slavery and Colonial Rule in Africa (1999) (with Suzanne Miers). Since 2005, he has been involved with Sandra Greene and Alice Bellagamba in a project to discover and publish African sources for slavery and the slave trade. The last stage of this project is the collection of the life histories of African slaves. In 2002, Klein was awarded the Distinguished Africanist award of the African Studies Association.

Mark Kornbluh, Dean of College of Arts & Sciences, University of Kentucky, is a digital technologies pioneer. Kornbluh, a historian, is one of the founders of H-Net and was the first director of the MATRIX digital humanities center at Michigan State University. He was crucial in the creation of many on-line history projects including The American Black Journal ( and South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid (, among others.

Paul F. LaChance, Invited Professor of History, University of Ottawa, has wide experience in database creation. He serves on the TSTD2 Development Team and is the data specialist and member of the editorial board for the Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (Yale University Press, forthcoming, November 2010). He is also a widely published historian of slavery and the slave trade. LaChance and Hall have worked together on projects for over 15 years.

Henry Lovejoy, is a recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Post-Doctorate Fellowship and Teaching Fellowship at the University of British Columbia.

Paul Lovejoy, Distinguished Research Professor and Canada Research Chair in African Diaspora History at York University, is deeply engaged in international collaborations in researching slavery and is widely connected throughout Africa and the Americas as Director of Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples and head of UNESCO Slave Trade Archives Project. He has collected a large library of digitized historical documents from throughout the Atlantic World.

Kristin Mann received her Ph.D. in African history from Stanford University. She is currently a Professor in the Department of History at Emory University, where she has spent much of her professional career. The author of Marrying Well: Marriage, Status, and Social Change among the Educated Elite in Colonial Lagos (1985) and Slavery and the Birth of an African City: Lagos, 1760-1900 (2007) and co-editor of Law in Colonial Africa (1991) and Rethinking the African Diaspora: The Making of a Black Atlantic World in the Bight of Benin and Brazil (2001), her research interests encompass gender, marriage, and domesticity; slavery, emancipation, and the slave trade; colonial political and legal systems; and West African commercial and agricultural transformations. She is currently writing a book Trans-Atlantic Lives: Slavery and Freedom in West Africa and Brazil, which reconstructs the biographies of a number of slaves exported from the Bight of Benin to Brazil who succeeded in manumitting themselves and returning to West Africa.

Brian Keith Mitchell, adjunct professor of History at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, is currently developing a database which consolidates data from several primary sources (free black registers, baptism records, the federal census, probate and succession records, and city directories) to create a digital model of New Orleans’s free black community between 1840 -1863. Among his academic interests are issues involving free black and slave migration, manumission, and quantitative analysis of free black and slave communities.

Steven Mintz, Director of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Teaching Center.   An authority on the history of the family and of children, he is the author and editor of 13 books.  A pioneer in the application of new technologies to history, he is the creator of the Digital History website ( and past president of H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online.

Assan Sarr, is an Assistant Professor of History and African Studies at Ohio University. Sarr taught African history for three years at the College of Charleston. He is affiliated with the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program (College of Charleston) and he is a fellow at The Charles J. Ping Center for the Teaching of the Humanities at Ohio University. Sarr is interested in slavery, Islam and history of agrarian change in Africa. He is presently completing his first book manuscript tentatively entitled “Chiefs, Clerics and Farmers”: Transformations in the forms of Dependency on Land and People in the Gambia Region, c. 1790s to 1920s. Sarr is also working on a scholarly biography of a man named Samuel John Forster (c.1873-1940), a Gambian creole and descendant of a ‘Liberated African.’

Ibrahima Seck, Assistant Professor of History, Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal,has researched and published about slavery in Louisiana and helped identify the meanings of African names in the Louisiana Slave Database. Seck speaks Pulaar, Wolof, French, English, and Arabic and is an outstanding lecturer in several languages and first-rate international networker.

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