Head of School and Professor of History, University of Melbourne

I am interested in the history of early British America, including the British West Indies, before ca. 1790 and in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800. Particular interests include slavery, social history and demography, imperialism, economic and business history, and gender. My work over the last decade has been especially concerned with identity in the New World in the eighteenth century and with how settler societies have been formed, or have failed to form in plantation societies in the Caribbean and the Chesapeake. In addition, I have been concerned with recreating the social and cultural world of slaves and masters in early Jamaica, using in particular the rich diaries of Thomas Thistlewood as a primary source. My current projects are a monograph on early American historiography, a co-authored book comparing mid-eighteenth century Jamaica and Saint Domingue with John Garrigus of the University of Texas, Arlington, a social, demographic and economic history of white and black in Jamaica 1655-1780, and a historiographical study of the state of early American history in the twenty first century.

Experience

  • –present
    Head of School and Professor of History, University of Melbourne