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Uncommon Sense

By OI · June 15, 2023

Julia Gaffield Joins Team Q!

News/Announcements 4 min read

We are excited to announce that beginning July 17, 2023, Julia Gaffield (William & Mary) will serve as interim editor of the William and Mary Quarterly while Joshua Piker takes advantage of a year-long leave to continue research on his next book.

Joshua Piker and Julia Gaffield

Gaffield is a scholar of the Caribbean whose work has appeared in the American Historical Review, the William and Mary QuarterlySlavery & Abolition, and the Washington Post, among others. She joined W&M’s Harrison Ruffin Department of History in 2022 after eight years on the faculty of Georgia State University.

Gaffield’s book Haitian Connections in the Atlantic World: Recognition after Revolution (University of North Carolina Press, 2015) won the 2016 Mary Alice and Frederick Boucher Book Prize from the French Colonial Historical Society. She is currently at work on two book projects, including a trade biography of Jean-Jacques Dessalines (under contract with Yale University Press) and an examination of post-revolutionary Haiti’s relationship with the Holy See, tentatively titled The Abandoned Faithful: Race and International Law in the Aftermath of the Haitian Revolution (under contract with the Omohundro Institute and partner UNC Press).

Gaffield is particularly eager to begin her new role as editor of a peer-reviewed journal that is at the center of a diverse and vibrant field. “The WMQ has an outstanding history of fostering rich and productive scholarly conversations on topics that show how vast #VastEarlyAmerica really is. I am honored to help steward these conversations and very excited to work with WMQ authors this coming year.”

Piker says, “Knowing that Julia is in charge is both a relief and a delight. I am excited to see what the year will bring and look forward to reading the upcoming issues.”

Catherine E. Kelly, executive director of the OI, says, “Since her arrival at W&M just over a year ago, Julia has proven an extraordinarily able and energetic colleague. She’ll be a terrific presence at the helm of the Quarterly while Josh gets some much-needed time to return to research. We are grateful for the support of William & Mary and especially the Harrison Ruffin Department of History as we worked to realize this plan.”

Both Gaffield and Piker will be at the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic meeting in Philadelphia this July. Attendees interested in discussing possible future submissions are encouraged to stop by the book exhibit hall on Friday, July 14, between 1:00 and 2:00 pm to meet them or to email Julia Gaffield directly at

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