- Fellowship year:2011-2012
- University: University of Wisconsin - Madison
- Dissertation Topic/Category: Africa
- Dissertation Title: They Glorify in a Certain Independence: The Politics of Identity in Kisama Angola, and Its Diasporas in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
In this dissertation, I explore the political and intellectual history of an identity that emerged in a rural, politically decentralized region of Angola among those who fled enslavement and among those who claimed this identity in the context of maroonage (flight from slavery and establishment of autonomous communities outside the purview of colonial rule) in northeastern Brazil and coastal Columbia. I intervene in historiographical literature that tends to focus on African identities in the Atlantic world through the lens of culture by pointing to the ways in which reflected internal community debates about political legitimacy, civic virtue, and justice. Moving past the notion that Africans either “retained” some primordial sense of identity in the context of slavery in the Americans or became “creolized”—usually synonymous with “Europeanized” – I argue instead for a dynamic view of identities as trans-Atlantic conversation among Africans and people of African descent in the early Atlantic world.