2018-2019 Lapidus Center Fellows

We are pleased to announce the 2018-2019 Lapidus Center Fellows.The Lapidus residency program is designed to (1) encourage research and writing on the slave trade, slavery, and anti-slavery in the Atlantic world, (2) to promote and facilitate interaction among the participants including fellows funded by other sources, and (3) to facilitate the dissemination of the researchers’ findings through lectures and publications.


2018-2019 Long-Term Fellows

Lisa Earl-Castillo, Independent Scholar, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Ph.D., Letters and Linguistics (Cultural Studies concentration), Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, 2006.  Book Project: Children of Iyá Nassô:
African Agency and Mobility in the Rise of an Afro-Brazilian Temple (Bahia, Brazil, c. 1800-1910). Short Description: “Candomblé, the most widely practiced Afro-Brazilian religion, arose in Bahia in the 1800s. At one of its oldest temples, oral traditions speak of a voyage to Africa by the founder, Iyá Nassô, a Yoruba-speaking freedwoman. This remained unproven for decades, but recently, the proponent discovered Brazilian documents confirming her journey and revealing the existence of others in the temple’s history. This project uses archival, digital, and bibliographic sources in the Schomburg’s collection to complement data previously obtained, producing a book that frames the temple’s story in the context of the slave trade and political events in Bahia and Yorubaland.” 

Christopher Willoughby, Postdoctoral Fellow, Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Emory University. Ph.D., History, Tulane University, 2016. Book Project: The Masters of Health: Racial Science and Slavery in American Medical Schools. Short Description: “Based on reading over 4,000 medical student theses, my current manuscript examines the racial worldview of the average American medical student before the Civil War, and it is the first systematic study of the history of slavery and medical schools. This book maps out the emergence of a white, masculine medical identity built around the shared experiences of attending medical schools and learning about black bodies as anatomically distinct and suited for hard labor in hot climates.”


2018-2019 Short-Term Fellows

Michele Reid-Vazquez, Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Africana Studies. Ph.D, University of Texas, History, 2004. Book Project: Caribbean Crossings: Comparative Black Emigration and Freedom in the Age of Revolution. Short Description: “This study explores the comparative migration experiences of free people of color and slaves to and within the Caribbean during the Haitian, and the Latin American revolutions (1770 to 1830). I argue that their identities and struggles in the midst of slavery fostered ideological and political linkages beyond established colonial boundaries. My study highlights the nuanced and complex ways in which individuals of African-descent linked emigration, resistance, and equality during the revolutionary era.”

Kay Wright-Lewis, Assistant Professor, Howard University. Ph.D, History, Rutgers University, 2011. Project: Africa for Africans. Short Description: “The scope of this project is broad as it looks at what happens to black American ideas about resettlement in Africa after the American Revolution, before and after the Civil War, after Reconstruction, and into the twentieth century. What do they discern about the nature of African slavery, African leaders, and European settlers in these time periods? How do African Americans view the subsequent partitioning of Africa between 1881 and 1914? And, importantly, how do West Africans view the potential for African American settlement on their land, and early European interests in commerce and their intentions to colonize Africa? I would like to begin to do research for two chapters that explore how black and West Indian Americans viewed African labor and African slavery.”