My research examines the environmental and social history of the Atlantic world beginning in the fifteenth century. I focus on the human and non-human spectrum of interactions, from violence to alliance, that brought into contact the diverse societies and ecosystems of Atlantic Africa, Iberia and the Greater Caribbean.
I am currently completing a book manuscript titled "Empire from the Commons: Political Ecologies of Colonialism and Slavery in the Early Atlantic World", which examines how popular struggles over shared property and collective resources contributed to the formation of the Portuguese and Spanish Atlantic empires over the long sixteenth century. The book offers an account of the early modern global commons from micro-historical perspectives: delving into Columbus-era spats over fishing off the coast of Morocco, the fiscalization of hunting fowl in the 16th-century Azores and the entanglement of ranching and slavery in early colonial Puerto Rico. Attentive to the politics of nature in the rhythms of settler colonialism and imperial expansion, my scholarship situates the origins of transnational environmental regulatory norms today in the conflictive socio-ecological landscape of the early modern Atlantic.
At Drexel, I offer courses in global environmental history, empires in world history and the Black Atlantic.