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Jeffrey Kerr-Ritchie


  • History
  • College of Arts & Sciences


Born in London, United Kingdom, Jeffrey Kerr-Ritchie earned his first history degree at Kingston University. He completed his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania and went on to teach at Wesleyan, Columbia, Penn, SUNY-Binghamton, and UNC-Greensboro. He has been teaching the African Diaspora field at Howard University since 2006. He has been Director of Graduate Studies since 2015, during which time the program has moved up to 79th in the nation. His research interests include slavery, abolition, and post-emancipation societies, especially in North America and the Caribbean during the nineteenth century. He has spoken on these topics in numerous countries, including Cuba, the Netherlands, Egypt, and Vietnam. He has written three monographs on the post-emancipation US tobacco economy, transnational connections between African American and British abolitionist movements, and the comparative dimensions of abolition and post-emancipation in the nineteenth-century Atlantic world. His latest book,   Rebellious Passage: The Creole Revolt and America’s Coastal Slave Trade, published by Cambridge reveals the continuation of maritime trading in bodies and its contestation by shipboard captives aided by the British anti-slavery state during the 1830s and 1840s. His current book project examines orations, speeches, poems, and songs to unearth the international dimensions of anti-slavery words and actions. Dr. Kerr-Ritchie believes that history is an argument without end, and that students are best attracted to its study when the educator exudes a love of learning.