Brooke Newman, PhD
Associate Director of the Humanities Research Center, Associate Professor, the British Atlantic
Brooke Newman specializes in the legal, social, and cultural history of Britain and the British Atlantic during the age of slavery. She’s the co-editor of Native Diasporas: Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in the Americas (University of Nebraska Press, 2014), an interdisciplinary volume exploring indigenous articulations of self and community over four centuries. Her first book, A Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica (forthcoming from Yale University Press in 2018), argues that slaveholders in eighteenth-century Jamaica developed and codified a British system of racial classification rooted in notions of blood lineage, yoking the rights and privileges of English subjects under colonial law to hereditary blood status. A Dark Inheritance shows how a dwindling population of British colonists sought both to retain the inherited birthright of Englishmen as an exclusive identity and to exercise control over a majority population of enslaved Africans and their free descendants, as well as a smaller group of Jewish settlers, by policing the boundaries of whiteness. Her new project, Subjects of the Crown: Slavery, Emancipation, and the British Monarchy, 1760-1840, traces Georgian monarchial perspectives on the slave trade, slavery, and emancipation from 1760 to 1840, a transformative era encompassing the reigns of Kings George III, George IV, William IV, and Queen Victoria.
Selected publications include:
- Contributing co-editor with Gregory D. Smithers, Native Diasporas: Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in the Americas (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014)
- “Identity Articulated: British Settlers, Black Caribs, and the Politics of Indigenous Identity on St. Vincent, 1763-1797,” in Native Diasporas, ed. Smithers and Newman (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014), 109-49.
- “Contesting ‘Black’ Liberty and Subjecthood in the Anglophone Caribbean, 1730s-1780s,” Slavery and Abolition32, no. 2 (2011): 169-83.
- “Gender, Sexuality, and the Formation of Racial Identities in the Eighteenth-Century Anglo-Caribbean World,” Gender and History 22, no. 3, Special Issue: Historicizing Gender and Sexuality (2010): 585-602.