Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Amherst College
Website URL
Slavery, Transatlantic Slave Trade, African Diaspora, Colonial Brazil, Imperial Brazil, Pre-colonial West Africa, Atlantic World, Cultural History, History of Capitalism, Labor History, Maritime History, Gender, Race
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Mary E. Hicks is currently a Mamolen Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Harvard University and an assistant professor of Black Studies and Latin American History at Amherst College (Massachusetts) where she specializes in the history of the African Diaspora, the transatlantic slave trade, histories of race, gender and sexuality, and slavery in the Americas. Her current research centers the experience of the black seamen who made up the primary maritime labor force in the Atlantic world’s third most active slave trading port: Salvador da Bahia. Uncovering unique sociocultural dynamics of Salvador, and elucidating the connections between transatlantic slaving commerce and broader processes of acculturation, intellectual exchange, and the accumulation and circulation of material wealth between the Bight of Benin and Bahia, her book manuscript, Captivity’s Commerce:Black Mariners and the World of South Atlantic Slavery, 1721-1835 is based on her prize-winning dissertation completed in 2015. Prof. Hicks has previously served as Jefferson and Ford Fellow.

Recent Publications

“Financing the Luso-Atlantic Slave Trade: Collective Investment Practices from Portugal to Brazil, 1500-1840,” Journal of Global Slavery 2:3 (2017), 273-309.

Manuscripts in Progress:

“Transatlantic Threads of Meaning: West African Textile Entrepreneurship in Salvador, Brazil, 1770- 1870,” (forthcoming, Slavery & Abolition)

“João de Oliveira’s Atlantic World: Mobility and Dislocation in Eighteenth-Century Brazil and the Bight of Benin,” invited contribution for The Many Faces of Slavery: New Perspectives on Slave Ownership and Experiences in the Americas (forthcoming, Bloomsbury Press)

“Blood and Hair: Barbers, Sangradores and the West African Corporeal Imagination in Salvador da Bahia, 1770-1870,” invited contribution for Medicine and Healing in the Age of Slavery (under review, Louisiana State University Press)

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Africa, Latin America, Spain
Expertise by Chronology
17th century, 18th century, 19th century, Early Modern
Expertise by Topic
Capitalism, Colonialism, Environment, Gender, Labor, Law, Material Culture, Medicine, Race, Rebellion & Revolution, Sexuality, Slavery, Urban History, Women