I study the history of slavery and abolition, with a special focus on America, West Africa, and the wider world during the nineteenth century. Other areas of interest include political and social movements, missionaries and religion, capitalism and globalization, and the United States in the world. My dissertation focused on the Mendi Mission and the role of Africa in the American abolition of slavery. Established in the wake of the Amistad revolt, the mission was a transatlantic extension of the Underground Railroad and a key site of action and imagination in the global contest over chattel slavery.
My book on the Mendi Mission is under contract with Harvard University Press, and my scholarly work on a variety of subjects can be found in the Journal of American History, Common-Place, Slavery & Abolition, the Journal of Social History, the British Journal for the History of Science, the European Journal of Political Theory, and elsewhere.
At Yale, I established the History from Below colloquium to explore grassroots perspectives on the past. I also created Digital Histories @ Yale to promote the use of new and emerging technologies for research and teaching. The site features several dozen essays on topics such as open access, course design, software hacks, human rights, runaways, and zombies.