Associate Professor of African American Studies & History; Director of Undergraduate Studies, History
81 Wall, Room 202
Fields of interest:
Comparative slavery & abolition; Antebellum US history
A historian of slavery and abolition, Ed Rugemer grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and graduated from Fairfield University in 1993. He received his doctorate in History from Boston College in 2005 and joined the faculty at Yale in 2007. His first book The Problem of Emancipation: The Caribbean Roots of the American Civil War (Louisiana State University Press, 2008) explores how the abolition of slavery in the British Caribbean shaped 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; the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize from Yale University; and was co-winner of the Francis B. Simkins Award of the Southern Historical Association for the best first book in southern history.
His second book, Slave Law and the Politics of Resistance in the Early Atlantic World (Harvard University Press, 2018), explains how organized slave resistance shaped the formation of Atlantic slavery through a comparative history of Jamaica and South Carolina from their colonial origins until the 1830s. The book won the Jerry H. Bentley Book prize of the World History Association, and the Gustav Ranis International Book Prize of the Yale MacMillan Center.
Rugemer’s current projects include editing the Cambridge History of the Caribbean, and a book length project on Charles Douglas, a Scottish migrant to Jamaica in the 1750s who became a resident slaveholder and superintendant of the Moore Town Maroons. Rugemer has also published articles in the William and Mary Quarterly, Journal of Southern History, Slavery and Abolition, Reviews in American History, and the Journal of the Civil War Era.
At Yale, Professor Rugemer teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels on slavery and abolition in the Atlantic World from about 1500 to 1888. Previous to his career as a historian he served as a Jesuit volunteer, teaching at St. George’s College, a Jesuit high-school for boys in downtown Kingston, Jamaica, from 1994-1996. He continues to work with youth as a Little League baseball coach in New Haven.