Associate Professor of History and Interim Director, Humanities Research Center, Virginia Commonwealth University.
I'm a historian of early modern Britain and the British Atlantic, with a focus on the colonial Caribbean. My research and teaching interests include slavery and abolition, empire and national identity, the British monarchy, and intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in Britain and the British Empire. I'm also the Interim Director of the interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center at VCU.
I'm the author of A Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica (Yale University Press, 2018), winner of the Gold Medal for World History in the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards and named an "Essential Academic Title" in Choice Magazine and a January 2019 Choice editors' pick. Focusing on the island of Jamaica, A Dark Inheritance traces the pervasiveness of questions about blood lineage in debates over the meaning of British subjecthood and its extension to new categories of colonial subjects during the age of slavery. I'm also the co-editor, with Gregory D. Smithers, of Native Diasporas: Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in the Americas (University of Nebraska Press, 2014).
My current book project, Subjects of the Crown: Slavery, Emancipation, and the British Monarchy, chronicles the evolving policies and attitudes of the British Crown and prominent members of the royal family toward imperial rule, slavery, and slave trading between 1660 and 1860. Subjects of the Crown has received funding from the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library and the award-winning Georgian Papers Programme, a collaboration between the Royal Collection Trust, King's College London, and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the College of William & Mary. Read about my current research and work in the Royal archives here.