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M.A. University of Edinburgh 1993; Ph.D. University of Cambridge 1996. Dissertation Title, 'Encounters between Afro-Americans and Non-Slaveholding Whites in Lowcountry Georgia, 1750-1830'.
University of Warwick -- Lecturer 1996-2005; Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) 2005-2010; Reader 2010-15; Professor since 2015
China Humanities Lead for the University
AHRC Strategic Peer Review College Member
Associate editor of Slavery & Abolition
Board Member of European Early American Studies Association
AHRC Grant: "Africa's Sons Under Arms"
Member of: Southern Historical Association; British Group in Early American History; British Association of American Studies; British American Nineteenth-Century Historians
This book uses the West India Regiments to examine changing attitudes towards race in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.
This volume is a collection of transcribed manuscript materials with extensive commentary and interpretative essays.
This book explores the meaning and role of poor relief in the antebellum south. The main thrust of the argument is that the southern elite increasingly used poor relief as a means to reduce social tension, and to teach the poor what it meant to be 'southern'.
This book is principally about the myriad relationships between non-slaveholding whites and enslaved African Americans, and argues that relations between the two groups were not always antagonistic but could be formed on the basis of mutual advantage.
Africa's Sons under Arms Special issue of Slavery & Abolition 39.3 (September 2018) co-edited with David Lambert
These two volumes are edited collections of rare printed primary materials with commentary and introductory essays.
This collection of essays examines how British people have conceived of America over the course of more than four hundred years. It arose out of conference in 2005 that I helped to organise, and I contributed the introduction to the volume.
Articles in Peer Reviewed Journals
'Foreshadowing Vesey: The Camden Slave Conspiracy of 1816' American Nineteenth Century History (forthcoming)
‘Rural Poor Relief in Colonial South Carolina’ The Historical Journal, 48.4 (December 2005), pp. 955-976.
'"The Manly Game": Cricket and Masculinity in Savannah, Georgia, 1859' International Journal of the History of Sport 20 (September 2003), pp.77-98.
'The Purpose of Public Poor Relief in Buncombe County, North Carolina, 1792-1860.' North Carolina Historical Review 80 (January 2003), pp.28-51.
‘Gender and Justice in Antebellum Savannah: The Case of George Flyming’ Georgia Historical Quarterly, 84 (Summer, 2000), pp.230-253.
‘Trading Encounters between Non-Elite whites and African Americans in Savannah, 1790-1860.’ Journal of Southern History 66 (February, 2000), pp25-48.
‘Crossing the Race Divide: Inter-racial Sex in Antebellum Savannah’ Slavery & Abolition 18 (December, 1997), pp159-173.
'From skin to blood: interpreting racial immunity to yellow fever' in Sean Morey Smith & Christopher Willoughby (eds.) Medicine and Healing in the Age of Slavery (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2021), 165-81
‘Militarized slavery: the creation of the West India Regiments’ in Lawrence Aje & Catherine Armstrong eds, The Many Faces of Slavery: New Perspectives on Slave Ownership and Slave Experiences in the Americas (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), 101-14
‘Maroons in the North America’ in Frances Botkin ed, New World Maroons: Indigenous Communities Without Borders (forthcoming 2019)
' "The King of England's Soldiers": Armed blacks in Savannah and its hinterlands during the Revolutionary War Era, 1778-1787' in Leslie Harris & Daina Berry eds, Slavery and Freedom in Savannah (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2014) 26-41.
'The Rise and Fall of Female Benevolence in Antebellum Savannah' in Mary Laven & Emily Clark eds., Women and Religion in the Atlantic Age - 1550–1900 (London: Ashgate, 2013), 195-212.
‘"To Train Them to Habits of Industry and Usefulness": Moulding the Poor Children of Antebellum Savannah’ in John E. Murray & Ruth Wallis Herndon eds., Children Bound to Labor: The Pauper Apprentice System in Early America. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009) pp. 133-148.
‘Spheres of Influence: Working black and white women in antebellum Savannah’. In Susanna Delfino & Michele Gillespie, (eds.), Neither Lady, Nor Slave: Working Women of the Old South. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002), pp.102-120.
'Partners in Crime: African-Americans and non-slaveholding whites in antebellum Georgia,' in Matt Wray & Annalee Newitz, (eds.) White Trash: Race and Class in America. (New York & London: Routledge Press, 1997) pp57-72.
'A Struggle for Survival: Non-Elite White Women in Lowcountry Georgia, 1790-1830' in Christie Anne Farnham, (ed.),Women of the American South: A Multicultural Reader (New York: New York University Press, 1997), pp26-42.
‘Gender Relations’. In The Macmillan Encyclopaedia of World Slavery (New York: Macmillan, 1998), pp359-361.
Articles on “John Wesley”, “Tomochichi”, “Mary Musgrove”, “Oglethorpe”, “Savannah” and “Georgia” in The Facts on File Encyclopaedia of American History Series Vol 2: Colonization and Settlement (1585-1763) (Infobase, 2003)
Articles on “Benevolent Associations” and “Welfare and Charity” in the Encyclopaedia of the New American Nation 1754-1829(Scribner's 2005)
Articles on “Drake”, “The Virginia Company”, “The thirteen colonies”, “Government in British America” and “The British Empire in the Americas” for the Encyclopaedia of Western Colonialism (Macmillan 2006)
Article on “Antebellum Slavery” for the New Encyclopaedia of Southern Culture v.3 History (Chapel Hill, 2006)
Article on “Slavery” for the Encyclopaedia of Social Theory. (Routledge 2005)
Article on "Illegal Trading" for the Historical Encyclopedia of Slavery in the Americas (Facts on File, 2006)
Article on "North America" for the Concise Dictionary on Ancient Slavery (CD Rom - Mainz, 2006)
Future research plans include a study of Savannah in 1820.
Recent Research Topics Supervised (PhD, MA)
Reading Cultures of the antebellum South (Adam Challoner 2019-)
A comparative study of responses to slave rebellions (Liana Valerio 2015-9)
Fear of the Armed Black Man in the Antebellum South (Rosie Narayan 2014-9)
The papers of Lord Cornwallis (Ian Saberton 2016)
Shadow worlds and "superstitions" : an analysis of Martha Warren Beckwith’s writings on Jamaican folk religion, 1919-1929 (Hilary Sparkes, 2015)
Atlantic contingency : Jonathan Dickinson and the Anglo-Atlantic world, 1655-1725 (Jason Daniels, 2013)
Hierarchies and honour among enslaved men in the antebellum South (David Doddington 2012)
News, intelligence and 'little lies' : rumours between the Cherokees and the British 1740-1785 (Chris Vernon 2012)
The boundaries of coercion in the American Revolution ca.1760-1789 (Tom Rodgers 2011)
The spread and transformation of antislavery sentiment in the transatlantic evangelical network : 1730s-1790s (Young-Hwi Yoon, 2011) (co-supervision)
Band of brothers : enslaved men of the antebellum south (Sergio Lussana 2011) (co-supervision)
Performances of honour : manhood and violence in the Mississippi slave insurrection scare of 1835 (Lydia PLath 2009)
Boundaries of rule, ties of dependency : Jamaican planters, local society and the metropole, 1800-1834 (Christer Petley 2003) (co-supervised)
MA dissertation topics
Lower class leisure in colonial Georgia
Cultural brokers in the 18thC Southeast
Perceptions of gender among Native Americans and Europeans in the Colonial Southeastern USA
The impact of epidemics in antebellum Savannah, Georgia.
The urban jail population of antebellum Savannah, Georgia.
Runaway slaves in Georgia and Jamaica.
Undergraduate Modules Taught
A History of the United States (HI111)
A Global History of Sport (HI2H4)