Michael Becker


My research explores enslaved people's politics and legal strategies in Jamaica between the 1780s and the abolition of slavery in 1834 through the use of slave and quarter sessions court records, plantation diaries and account books, and contemporaneous newspapers and correspondence. I have previously conducted research on marronage and the political ideas of enslaved people in southwestern Haiti at the start of the Haitian Revolution. My scholarly interests include the history of slavery and emancipation in the Atlantic world, legal history of the British empire, theories of the state and state Formation and the history of capitalism.

I have received grants and fellowship support from the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, Friends of the Princeton Libraries, the American Historical Association, the US Department of Education's Foreign Language & Area Studies program and the Us State Department's Fulbright Program. I have also been supported by departments and centers at Duke, including the Center for International and Area Studies, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and the Departments of History and African and African-American Studies.