2014 Participants

Conference Participants


Nicole Aljoe

Nicole N. Aljoe is Associate Professor in the Department of English at Northeastern University. Her research and teaching focuses on 18th and 19th Century Black Atlantic and Caribbean literatures with a specialization on the slave narrative. She published essays and chapters in The Journal of Early American Literature, African American Review, Anthurium, The Oxford Companion to African American Slave Narratives, and Teaching Anglophone Caribbean Literature. She is the author of Creole Testimonies: Slave Narratives from the British West Indies, 1709-1836 (Palgrave 2012) and co-editor of Journeys of the Slave Narrative in the Early Americas (UVA Press, 11/2014). Currently, I am at work on a new project that examines the aesthetic translations of the neo-slave narrative genre within Contemporary Caribbean cultural production.

Timothy Barringer

Tim Barringer is Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art. He specializes in the eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century art of Britain and the British Empire, nineteenth-century American and German art and museum studies. Following positions at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Universities of London and Birmingham in Great Britain, he came to Yale in 1998. His books include Reading the Pre-Raphaelites (Yale, 1998), Men at Work: Art and Labour in Victorian Britain (Yale, 2005) Opulence and Anxiety (2007), catalogue for an exhibition at Compton Verney, and Before and After Modernism (Central St Martins, 2010).

Barringer was curator with Andrew Wilton, American Sublime: Landscape Painting in the United States, 1825-1880 (London: Tate, 2002). With Gillian Forrester and Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz, he co-curated Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds, (Yale, 2007). The accompanying book was awarded the Alfred Barr Prize of the College Art Association. With Alison Smith and Jason Rosenfeld be curated Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde at Tate Britain, London; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Pushkin Museum, Moscow; Mori Arts Center, Toyko, and Palazzo Chiablese, Turin. He is curator of Pastures Green and Dark, Satanic Mills, an exhibition of landscape painting from the National Museum of Wales, which will tour to four US museums in 2015-16.

David W. Blight

David W. Blight, the Class of 1954 Professor of History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University, is the author of Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Harvard University Press, 2001), which received seven book awards, including the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize as well as four awards from the Organization of American Historians, including the Merle Curti prizes for both intellectual and social history. He is also the author of a book of essays, Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory, and the American Civil War (University of Massachusetts Press, 2002); and Frederick Douglass’s Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee (LSU Press, 1989). Blight participated closely in the discovery and bringing to light of two new slave narratives in 2004 and edited and introduced the book, with Harcourt Press, A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation (2007). Blight’s newest book, American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era (Harvard University Press, published August 2011), received the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf Award for best book in non-fiction on racism and human diversity; the work is an intellectual history of Civil War memory, rooted in the work of Robert Penn Warren, Bruce Catton, Edmund Wilson, and James Baldwin. Blight has also been a consultant to several documentary films, including the 1998 PBS series, “Africans in America,” and “The Reconstruction Era” (2004). Blight has a Ph. D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has also taught at Harvard University, at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, and for seven years was a public high school teacher in his hometown, Flint, Michigan.

Nicholas Draper

Dr. Nick Draper is co-director of the Structure and significance of British Caribbean slave-ownership 1763-1833 project at University College London and was a founder-member of its precursor, the Legacies of British Slave-ownership project. His book Legacies of British slave-ownership: Colonial Slavery and the Formation of Victorian Britain (with C. Hall, K. McClelland, K. Donington and R. Lang) has recently been published by Cambridge University Press. His The Price of Emancipation: slave-ownership, compensation and British society at the end of slavery (CUP, 2010) was awarded the Royal Historical Society’s Whitfield Prize and shortlisted for the Frederick Douglass prize. He is a member of the Finance Committee, and a Fellow, of the Royal Historical Society. Prior to his current research, he worked in the City of London for 25 years.

Gillian Forrester

Gillian Forrester is Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, and works on eighteenth-, nineteenth-, twentieth- and twenty-first century visual cultures of Britain and the former British Empire. She studied at the University of Nottingham and held positions at the National Portrait Gallery, London, and Tate Britain before coming to Yale in 1998. Her publications include Turner’s Drawing Book: The Liber Studiorum (Tate, London, 1996) and Rebecca Salter: into the light of things (Yale University Press, 2011). Forrester co-curated, with Tim Barringer and Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz, Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds (Yale Center for British Art and National Gallery of Jamaica, 2007-08), and co-edited the related publication (Yale University Press, 2007), which was the winner of the College Art Association’s 2009 Alfred H. Barr Jr., Award for an especially distinguished catalogue in the history of art. An essay on portrait photography and social formation in nineteenth-century Jamaica will be published in Victorian Jamaica, edited by Tim Barringer and Wayne Modest (forthcoming, Duke University Press). Forrester is currently working on the visual cultures of India and the British, focussing particularly on issues of exchange, collaboration, appropriation and hybridity in relation to British and indigenous artistic production. This research will be showcased in Art and the British Empire, a major exhibition Forrester is co-curating with Tim Barringer, Paul Mellon Professor in the Department of the History of Art at Yale University, slated to take place in 2020 at the Yale Center for British Art.

Ken Gonzales-Day

Ken Gonzales-Day’s interdisciplinary and conceptually grounded projects consider the history of photography, the construction of race, and the limits of representational systems ranging from the lynching photograph to museum display. The Searching for California Hang Trees series offered a critical look at the legacies of landscape photography in the West while his most recent project considers the sculptural depiction of race. Profiled began as an exploration of the influence of eighteenth century “scientific” thought on twenty-first century institutions ranging from the museum to the prison and extended to the sculpture and portrait bust collections of several major museums including: The J. Paul Getty Museum; The Field Museum, Chicago; The Museum of Man, San Diego; L’&Eaccute;cole des beaux-arts,Paris. The Bode Museum, Berlin, Park Sanssouci, Potsdam; The National Museum of Natural History, Paris; The Yale Center for British Art, New Haven; among others. Gonzales-Day lives in Los Angeles and is Chair of the Art Department at Scripps College.

Saidiya Hartman

Saidiya Hartman is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. She is also a faculty member of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender & Sexuality. She is the author of Scenes of Subjection: Slavery, Terror and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America (Oxford, 1997) and Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007). She is completing a new book, Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, which examines the revolution of everyday life and intimate relations that occurred in the black ghetto in the first decades of the twentieth century.




Sandra Jackson-Dumont

Sandra Jackson-Dumont is the Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chairman of Education at the Metropolitan Museum of Art – the largest museum in the western hemisphere. She is responsible for the vision and management of the Education and Concerts & Lectures which encompasses a range of programs and performances designed for a diverse cross-section of audiences. Prior to that, she was the Deputy Director for Education + Public Programs/ Adjunct Curator in the Modern & Contemporary Art Department at the Seattle Art Museum. She has also worked at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Whitney Museum of American Art. A recipient of the Creative Leadership Award from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, she is also an independent curator/writer/cultural producer working across communities, disciplines and sectors.


Cyra Levenson

Cyra Levenson holds a Master’s degree in Art Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and is Associate Curator of Education at the Yale Center for British Art. She has been working in the field of museum education for over 15 years. Prior to coming to Yale, Ms. Levenson held positions at the Seattle Art Museum and the Rubin Museum of Art. She has worked closely with educators throughout her tenure and believes strongly in collaboration between museums and schools, allowing the gallery to become an extension of the classroom. Research interests include critical pedagogy, creativity and cognition, visual literacy and gallery interpretation. Publications include, “Seeing, Connecting, Writing: Developing Creativity and Narrative Writing in Children” in Handbook of Writing and “Re-presenting Slavery: Underserved Questions in Museum Collections” in Studies in Art Education. Ms. Levenson is also the co-curator of the exhibition, Figures of Empire: Slavery and Portraiture in Eighteenth Century Atlantic Britain.

Agnes Lugo-Ortiz

Agnes Lugo-Ortiz is associate professor of Latin American and Caribbean Literatures and Cultures at the University of Chicago. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, she obtained her B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Puerto Rico at R&iaccute;o Piedras, and her Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from Princeton University. She is the author of Identidades imaginadas: Biograf�a y nacionalidad en el horizonte de la guerra (Cuba, 1860-1898) (University of Puerto Rico Press, 1999) and co-editor of Herencia: The Anthology of US Hispanic Writing (Oxford University Press, 2001), En otra voz: Antolog�a de la Literatura Hispana de los Estados Unidos, and Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Hertiage, volume V (both with Arte P&uaccute;blico Press, 2002 and 2006 respectively), as well as of numerous essays on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Latin American and Caribbean literatures. She is currently working on a book-length project on the visual culture of slavery in colonial Cuba from 1727 to 1886 — the dates that frame the emergence and final collapse of the large slaveholding plantation system on the island — underlining its transamerican and transatlantic connections. Akin to this endeavor, she has recently completed an edited volume, in collaboration with Angela Rosenthal, entitled Slave Portraiture in the Atlantic World (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

Wayne Modest

Wayne Modest is the Head of the Research Centre for Material Culture at the National Museum of World Cultures, Netherlands. He was previously Head of the curatorial department at the Tropenmuseum and Keeper of Anthropology at the Horniman Museum in London. He has curated several exhibitions including Materializing Slavery (2007) and The Body Adorned (2012). His most recent publications include: Museums, Heritage and International Development (with Paul Basu, 2014); Museums and the Emotional Afterlife of Colonial Photography in Uncertain Images: Museums and the Work of Photographs (2014); Museums and Communities: Curators, Collections, Collaborations (with Viv Golding, 2013), and Slavery and the (Symbolic) Politics of Memory in Jamaica: Rethinking the Bicentenary in Representing Enslavement and Abolition in Museums (Routledge, 2011). Wayne Modest is currently in the final editorial stages of the forthcoming book Victorian Jamaica (With Tim Barringer).

Catherine A. Molineux

Catherine Molineux is an Associate Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. She holds a Ph.D. (2005) and an M. A. (2003) from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S./B.A. (Honors) from the University of Texas at Austin, summa cum laude. Her scholarship focuses on the history of the early modern British Atlantic world, with special emphasis on visual culture and on race, slavery, and empire. She published Faces of Perfect Ebony: Encountering Imperial Slavery in Imperial Britain (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012), and is working on a new book, tentatively entitled African Sovereignty in the British Atlantic World, with support from a 2013-14 ACLS Charles A. Ryskamp Fellowship. Recent essays include “False Gifts/Exotic Fictions: Epistemologies of Sovereignty and Assent in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko,” English Literary History (2013); “From Celebration to Critique of Overseas Commerce: Maritime Dimensions of Abolitionist Debate,” in Peter Mancall and Carole Shammas, eds., Governing the Sea in the Early Modern Era (San Marino: Huntington Library and University of California Press, forthcoming 2014); “Pleasures of the Smoke: ‘Black Virginians’ in Georgian London’s Tobacco Shops,” William & Mary Quarterly (2007); and “Hogarth’s Fashionable Slaves: Moral Corruption in Eighteenth-Century London,” English Literary History (2005). Molineux’s “Pleasures of the Smoke” was a co-winner of the 2008 James L. Clifford Prize, the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies annual award given for the best article on an eighteenth-century subject from any discipline.

Nell Irvin Painter

Nell Painter lives two lives. In her first life as the historian Nell Irvin Painter – author of The History of White People and Sojourner Truth, A Life, A Symbol, among her seven authored books, and the recipient of many fellowships (e.g., Guggenheim, Fulbright), honorary degrees (e.g., Yale, Dartmouth), and awards (e.g., Centennial Medal, Harvard) – she is Edwards Professor of History, Emerita, at Princeton University. In her second life she is simply Nell Painter, a painter who lives and works in Newark, New Jersey, with work currently in the Emerge 11 Show at Aljira Gallery in Newark. She works digitally and manually, with subject matter both visible and obscured, depending on the work and her inclination toward meaning.


Lucy Peltz

Dr Lucy Peltz has been Curator of 18th Century Collections at the National Portrait Gallery for the last 13 years. During that time she has led major projects to refurbish and redevelop the Regency galleries (2003) and Making Faces – Eighteenth Century Style at Beningbrough Hall (2006), Gallery and Gardens, the National Portrait Gallery’s regional partnership with the National Trust. She has also curated a number of exhibitions including: Brilliant Women: 18th Century Bluestockings (2008) and Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance (2010). She is currently working with Professor David Solkin on exhibition of Gainsborough’s family portraiture for 2018 and she is in the early stages of developing an exhibition with Dr Gus Casely-Hayford on an exhibition about the image of the black and the abolition movement. Her involvement with the portrait of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo (1733), by William Hoare, began in 2009 and is just one of many acquisitions that Lucy has taken forward during her time at the Gallery.

In addition to her curatorial work, Lucy’s research focuses on the history of print collecting and extra-illustration in the long eighteenth century. Her book, Facing the Text: Extra-illustration, Society and Print Culture in Britain, ca. 1769-1840 will be published by the Huntington Library Press in the Summer of 2015.

Steven Pincus

Steve Pincus is Bradford Durfee Professor History and co-Director of the Center for Historical Enquiry and the Social Sciences at Yale. He is currently a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library and holder of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has written widely on the cultural, political and economic history of Britain and its Empire in the 17th and 18th centuries. He is hard at work on a book on the Origins of the British Empire ca. 1650-1784 that seeks to explain why the American Revolution and the creation of the British Empire in India were simultaneous events, involving the same people, same policies, and overlapping institutions. It is a story that places a powerful state at the heart of the story from the 1650s through the 1770s. His last book was 1688: The First Modern Revolution.

Geoff Quilley

Geoff Quilley is Professor of Art History at the University of Sussex, UK. His research focuses on eighteenth-century British art and the maritime imperial nation, on which he has published widely. He was previously Curator of Fine Art at the National Maritime Museum, London, where he curated the exhibitions William Hodges 1744-1797: the Art of Exploration (2004) and Art for the Nation: the Oil Paintings Collections of the National Maritime Museum (2006), and established the research centre for the study of art and travel. His publications include the co-edited volumes An Economy of Colour: Visual Culture and the Atlantic World, 1660-1830 (with Kay Dian Kriz), Conflicting Visions: War and Visual Culture in Britain and France c.1700-1830 (with John Bonehill) and Art and the British Empire (with Tim Barringer and Douglas Fordham). His monograph Empire to Nation: Art, History and the Visualization of Maritime Britain, 1768-1829, was published by Yale University Press in 2011.

Richard Rabinowitz

Richard Rabinowitz, president of American History Workshop in Brooklyn, New York, has led creative teams of scholars, curators, educators, artists, and designers for 47 years in fashioning over 500 innovative public history programs at Old Sturbridge Village, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum; the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute; the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati; and other sites in 34 states and the District of Columbia. He curated and wrote the Slavery in New York and Revolution! The Atlantic World Reborn exhibitions at the New-York Historical Society. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Gilder Lehrman Center for Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. He was awarded the 2012 Herbert Feis Prize for distinguished contributions to public history by the American Historical Association.



Joseph Roach

Joseph Roach is Sterling Professor of Theater and English at Yale University and Principal Investigator of Interdisciplinary Performance Studies at Yale (IPSY). A theater historian, stage director, and performance studies scholar, Joseph Roach is the author of The Player’s Passion: Studies in the Science of Acting (1985), Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance (1996) and It (2007). He is the editor (with Janelle Reinelt) of Critical Theory and Performance (2nd edition, revised 2007) and Changing the Subject: Marvin Carlson and Theatre Studies, 1959-2009 (2009). His publications have been recognized by the James Russell Lowell Prize from the Modern Language Association, the Barnard Hewitt Award in Theatre History, and the Joe E. Calloway Prize for Drama. Before coming to Yale, he chaired the Department of Performing Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre at Northwestern University, and the Department of Performance Studies in the Tisch School of Arts at NYU. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Society for Theatre Research and a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which funds the World Performance Project at Yale. In 2009, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Warwick (UK) and the Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellowship from the Huntington Library.

Edward Rugemer

Edward Rugemer is Associate Professor of African American Studies and History. His first book The Problem of Emancipation: The Caribbean Roots of the American Civil War (Louisiana State University Press, 2008) argues that the abolition of slavery in the British Caribbean had a profound impact on the coming of the American Civil War. The book won the Avery Craven Award from the Organization of American Historians for the most original book on the Civil War era, and the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication or Research by a junior faculty member at Yale. The book was also co-winner of the Francis B. Simkins Award of the Southern Historical Association for the best first book in southern history. His second research project, tentatively entitled The Politics of Atlantic Slavery: Jamaica and South Carolina from the Seventeenth Century to 1838, will be a comparative history of Jamaica and South Carolina from their similar origins in the expansion of England’s empire to 1838, when slavery ended in Jamaica and South Carolina became a center of the defense of slavery. He continues to work on the Civil War era and has a forthcoming article on “The Black Atlantic and the Coming of the Civil War” in the Journal of the Civil War Era and an essay on the coming of the Civil War in comparative perspective in an edited volume forthcoming with the University of South Carolina Press. Rugemer has also published articles in the Journal of Southern History, Slavery and Abolition, and Reviews in American History.

James Walvin

James Walvin is Professor of History Emeritus at the University of York. He has published widely on the history of slavery and modern social history and has held fellowships at Yale. Walvin’s last book was Crossings. Africa, the Americas and the Atlantic Slave Trade, Reaktion Books 2013. He is currently writing Slavery in Small Things. Searching for Slavery in Western Culture.




Roxann Wheeler

Roxann Wheeler is associate professor of English at The Ohio State University, where she teaches courses in eighteenth-century British literature. She is the author of The Complexion of Race: Categories of Difference in Eighteenth-Century British Culture (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000). She has published essays on slavery, servitude, and the history of emotions in Daniel Defoe’s novels, the slave narrative of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, and the radical anti-slavery writer Quobna Ottobah Cugoano or John Stuart. Most recently, she has published on the slang term slavey in the essay “Slavey, or the New Drudge,” which appears in the collection Invoking Slavery in the Eighteenth-Century British Imagination: Literature, Politics and Culture, edited by Srividhya Swaminathan and Adam Beach (Ashgate Press, 2013). She received a year-long fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies for 2013-2014 for her book project on slaves, servants, and the languages of class and color prejudice in the eighteenth century.

Chi-ming Yang

Chi-ming Yang is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. She specializes in 18th-century British literature and culture, with interests in travel writing, empire, colonialism, and East-West relations. Her book, Performing China: Virtue, Commerce, and Orientalism in Eighteenth-century England, 1660-1760 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011), is a study of the European fascination with Asia in the early modern period. It focuses on how China becomes an intensely debated example of virtue amidst England’s new consumer culture. Her new work concerns race, chinoiserie, transatlantic slavery, and the cultural impact of global flows of silver between Latin America and East Asia.