As those of you with more exciting social calendars than mine may not know, this past Friday PBS aired a documentary about the making of the Broadway hit Hamilton: An American Musical. The documentary, entitled Hamilton’s America, provides Hamilfans and relative newcomers alike with backstage passes to the drama we may never get to see…. Read more →
Hannah is a PhD candidate at the College of William and Mary. She studies the interconnectivity between developing notions of race and the expansion of the African slave trade in the early modern French Atlantic. Hannah uses published and unpublished accounts of West Africa written by individuals like Jean-Baptiste Labat who compared West African nations and polities to France (and elsewhere in the French Atlantic world) in order to make them more relatable to their readers. Despite these authors’ best efforts to juggle conflicting stories about West African political, economic, religious, and social systems into one cohesive narrative for their readership, what emerges from these accounts instead is an extremely diverse picture of the people and polities of the sub-Saharan African continent. Hannah hopes to help explain how Africans themselves shaped these identities throughout the Atlantic world.