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Publications Overview

William and Mary Quarterly/Journal of Slavery and Data Preservation Companion Issue

In spring 2022, the William and Mary Quarterly and the Journal of Slavery and Data Preservation convened a workshop dedicated to the exploration of big data in slavery studies.

Convened by Joshua Piker, editor of the WMQ, and Kristina Poznan, managing editor of the JSDP, the workshop brought together eight scholars for two days of conversation online, April 7 and 8, 2022.

  • Laura Adderley (Tulane University), “Anglican Christianity and Black Family Formation in the Age of Abolition: Case Studies from Free African Villages in the Early 1800s Bahamas”
  • Stuart McManus (Chinese University of Hong Kong), “China and the Search for the Geographical Limits of the Transatlantic Slave Trade” 
  • Philip Misevich (St. Johns University) and David Eltis (Emory University), “African Origins”
  • Tessa Murphy (Syracuse University), “From Demography to Biography: Reconsidering Registries of Enslaved People as Archival Sources” 
  • Alexandre Pelegrino (Vanderbilt University), “An Indigenous Path to Freedom: Slavery and Social Dependencies in Colonial Brazil through Baptismal Records (1747-1770)”
  • Nicholas Radburn (University of Lancaster), “La longue traversée: The trans-Atlantic slave trade in Africa and Saint Domingue, c.1765- 1791”

From the Call for Proposals:

The Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture and Enslaved: Peoples of the Historical Slave Trade ( invite article proposals from scholars engaged in data-informed slavery studies to approximately 1830 across academic disciplines and ranks for a companion issue of the William and Mary Quarterly and the Journal of Slavery and Data Preservation. Contribution to the special issue will entail the submission of a dataset and accompanying brief data article to the JSDP and an analytical essay to the WMQ of 10,000-12,000 words; both components will undergo double-blind peer review.

Data-informed approaches to slavery studies across vast Early America have evolved tremendously since the cliometric turn of the 1970s. Scholars are rediscovering the ways that spreadsheets can not only facilitate the exploration of economic questions but also contribute to recovering the names and life courses of enslaved individuals. Datasets large and small, in aggregate, work together toward that larger goal. Through joint publication, we hope to showcase the various manners in which scholars are utilizing datasets and how their research in extracted data influences their historical findings.