Current Institutional Affiliation
Assistant Professor, Anthropology, DePauw University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2007
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, University of Virginia
Fugitive Slave Communities: Group Formation and Economic Organization in the Coastal Hinterland of 19th-Century Kenya

This project centers on the archaeological investigation of settlements founded in 19th-century Kenya by people escaping slavery. Its goal is to delineate how fugitives’ positions as refugees from enslavement shaped the economic, social, and cultural organization of their villages. Specifically, I intend to contrast the cultural cohesion and economic strategies of fugitive slave groups with those of the local hinterland communities that neighbored them. Most broadly, this project will contribute to cross-disciplinary understandings of communities improvised under shifting power dynamics. By expanding the comparative perspective already fostered by fugitive slave archaeology in Mauritius, Brazil, the Caribbean, and the mainland U.S, this research will also promote cross-cultural understandings of slavery and slave resistance. Finally, like other recent studies of how slavery and the slave trade affected Africans remaining within Africa, my project aligns with a multidisciplinary effort to include the continent within African Diasporic studies.