Assistant Professor of History, Georgia State University

Julia Gaffield is Assistant Professor of History at Georgia State University and author of "Haitian Connections in the Atlantic World" (University of North Carolina Press, 2015). She is currently writing a biography of Jean-Jacques Dessalines.

Her research focuses on the ways in which Haitian leaders were able—despite uniform international diplomatic rejection—to build a viable economic, ideological, and legal foundation for their independence and sovereignty at a time when the colonial plantation society and economy were central to global power structures. I am currently working on two book projects: first, The Abandoned Faithful: Sovereignty, Diplomacy, and Religious Dominion in the Aftermath of the Haitian Revolution, analyzes the role of domestic and international Catholicism within Haiti’s pursuit of comprehensive state formation in the decades following the Declaration of Independence in 1804; second, Avenging America: Jean-Jacques Dessalines and Haitian Universalism, is an intellectual biography of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Haiti’s first head of state.

Follow her on Twitter, @JuliaGaffield.


  • –present
    Assistant Professor of History, Georgia State University


  • 2012 
    Duke University, PhD History