The OI holds up to six colloquia per semester to discuss projects (usually a postdoctoral book chapter or article) in progress. The paper is pre-circulated and available by request. Although only postdoctoral work is presented, graduate students at all levels are warmly encouraged to attend the sessions and participate in the discussions. To receive copies of the pre-circulated papers please email Beverly Smith ( Discussion of the paper will follow a brief introduction of the presenter and their project. Participants are asked to refrain from sharing the papers with others. We thank you for your observance of this request.

Call for Proposals for 2022-2023

During the 2021-2022 academic year, all colloquia will be held online. As in previous years, we will meet on Tuesday evenings (6:30 pm to 8:00 pm). Registration for colloq sessions are limited to 40 participants with preference given to scholars in the W&M and Williamsburg-adjacent communities. 


DEADLINE EXTENDED: Scholars interested in sharing their work at a colloquium next year should contact the OI ( by April 4, 2022  April 8, 2022 with a short proposal.

Colloquia presenters for the 2021–2022 academic year

September 21, 2021
Kenneth Banks, Wofford College
“Mobilizing Illicit Trade when Immobilized by War: A Connecticut Sea Captain in Dutch Statia, 1756-58”

October 26, 2021
Amanda Moniz, Smithsonian Institution
“Marriage, Motherhood, Slaveholding: Isabella Graham in North America, 1767-1772”

November 9, 2021
Kerry Sinanan, University of Texas, San Antonio
“‘Scrapeing the world for money’: Nicholas Owen’s Manuscript Journal, 1746-1757”

December 7, 2021
Randy Browne, Xavier University
“Drivers in Revolt: Slavery, Leadership, and the Berbice Conspiracy of 1814”

January 25, 2022
Casey Schmitt, Cornell University
“‘They brought them from the Palenque’: Captivity and Smuggling in Jamaica, ca. 1660”

February 8, 2022
Steve Hackel, University of California, Riverside
“Towards a New Population History of Colonial California: Mortality and Fertility among Natives and Colonists in Alta California, 1769-1850”

February 22, 2022
Lila O’Leary Chambers, New York University
“Transforming Waste into Wealth: The Political Economy of Alcohol in the Leeward Islands, 1670-1737”

March 15, 2022
Meghan Roberts, Bowdoin College and Laurie Wood, Florida State University
“Botany, Race, and Gender in Enlightenment Saint-Domingue and Guyane”

March 22, 2022
Nicole Aljoe, Northeastern University
“A Secret History of the Sable Venus: Digital Analysis, Narrative Authority, and the Language of Race in European Novels with Afro-Caribbean Female Protagonists, 1808-1827”

March 29, 2022
Andrea Guerrero-Mosquera, Red Iberoamericana de Historiadoras, and Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National School of Anthropology and History)
“Commercializing blackness: color and race in New Spain (1784-1794)”