Ana Lucia Araujo *

Elizabeth Clark-Lewis *

Balaram Dey

Jeffrey Kerr-Ritchie *

Jean-Michel Mabeko-Tali *

Edna G. Medford *

Petronella Kigochi

Joseph Reidy

Daryl Scott *

Quito Swan *

Emory Tolbert *

Jeanne M. Toungara

Christopher Tozzi *

In memoriam:

Aziz Batran (1941-2011)

* Graduate Faculty, authorized by the Graduate School to supervise MA thesis and PhD dissertations.


Ana Lucia Araujo

As a cultural historian, my work is greatly influenced by the approach of historical anthropology. My research deals with the history and the memory of the Atlantic slave trade and slavery and their present social and cultural legacies. I am particularly interested in the public memory, heritage, and visual culture of slavery.

Over the last years, I conducted fieldwork and archival research in Brazil, Republic of Benin, Canada, France, England, and the United States. My research was supported by various national and international agencies including the Fonds de recherche Société et Culture (Canada), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES, Brazil) and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq, Brazil). This work resulted into various publications, including four monographs, four edited books, one co-edited book, in addition to several articles and book chapters published in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

My most recent book Brazil Through French Eyes: A Nineteenth-Century Artist in the Tropics (2015) is a revised and expanded English version of my book Romantisme tropical (2008). The book examines the representations of Brazil by the French painter François-Auguste Biard. I argue that Biard, along with other French artists who published travelogues on Brazil during the nineteenth century, developed a particular vision of the country which I call "tropical romanticism."

My third book Shadows of the Slave Past: Memory, Heritage and Slavery (2014) examines the processes that led to the memorialization of slavery and the Atlantic slave trade in the second half of the twentieth century. Relying on examples from the United States, Brazil, and the Caribbean, I discuss how different groups and social actors have competed to occupy the public arena by associating the slave past with other human atrocities, especially the Holocaust. I look at how the populations of African descent, white elites, and national governments, very often carrying particular political agendas, appropriated the slave past by fighting to make it visible or conceal it in the public space of former slave societies.

My second book Public Memory of Slavery: Victims and Perpetrators in the South Atlantic (2010) is a study of the recent resurgence of the public memory of slavery in Brazil (Bahia) and the Republic of Benin, two regions deeply connected during the period of the Atlantic slave trade. The book examines several local and international initiatives that impacted these two areas by resulting in the construction of monuments, memorials, and museums focusing on various aspects of the African presence in Brazil and the Luso-Brazilian presence in Benin. I argue that the construction of the public memory of slavery in this zone is not only the result of the surviving memories from the period of the Atlantic slave trade but also the outcome of a transnational movement.

In my first book Romantisme tropical: l'aventure illustrée d'un peintre français au Brésil(2008), I explored visual and written representations of Brazil in nineteenth-century travelogues, especially the book Deux années au Brésil, by the French painter François-Auguste Biard. The book examines how this travelogue developed the idea of tropical romanticism by opposing the French civilization, represented by the painter, and the "savage" Brazil, represented by the country's populations of color and wildlife.

I also edited a number of books: African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic (2015), Politics of Memory: Making Slavery Visible in the Public Space (2012), Paths of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Interactions, Identities and Images (2011), and Living History: Encountering the Memory of the Heirs of Slavery (2009). With Paul E. Lovejoy and Mariana P. Candido, I co-edited Crossing Memories: Slavery and African Diaspora (2011).

Currently, I am working on several book projects. The first, Reparations for Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Transnational and Comparative History examines from a transnational perspective the history of reparations for slavery and the Atlantic slave trade in the Americas and Africa. The second project, Bonded Lives: South Atlantic Life Stories in the Era of the Slave Trade, explores the biographies of various individuals (West African kings, slave merchants, and enslaved men and women), whose life stories were marked by the Atlantic slave trade. Other projects include Picturing Slavery in the Americas, a study of visual images of slavery in the Americas. I use images portraying slavery in Latin America and the United States as a window to establish connections among various geographical areas, cultures, and time periods. My fourth book project, Black Purgatory: Enslaved Women Resistance in Nineteenth-Century Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) focuses on the history of resistence among enslaved women in Brazil. Based on criminal records located in the archives of Rio Grande do Sul (south of Brazil), I am looking at the various ways enslaved women developed violent forms of resistance during the period of slavery, by committing suicide and infanticide, and by killing their masters and mistresses and their children.

I am willing to supervise M.A and Ph.D. dissertations focusing on the following areas: history, memory, and heritage of slavery; visual culture of slavery; Africans and populations of African descent; identities, and race relations. An overview of my publications and other activities can be found on my personal website.

Curriculum Vitae
Download Ana Lucia Araujo's Curriculum Vitae in PDF Format

Single-authored books

Edited and co-edited books


Ana Lucia Araujo
Professor of History
Ph. D. Université Laval and EHESS
Phone : (202) 806-6815
Fax : (202) 806 4471

Undergraduate courses
Introduction to Latin America and the Caribbean           
Latin America to 1825
Latin America since 1825
Colloquium on History of Brazil
History of Brazil
Africans in Early Latin America
Seminar in Latin American History

Graduate courses
Seminar on the History of Afro-Latinos
Seminar in Comparative History: Memory and Heritage of Slavery
Readings in Latin America: Afro-Brazil
Race Relations in Latin America and the Caribbean

Personal website

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