Jenny  Shaw

Jenny Shaw

Associate Professor


  • PhD, New York University, 2009

Research Areas

  • History of the Atlantic World
  • History of the Early Modern English Caribbean
  • Race and Slavery in the Americas
  • Approaches to the Archive


Current Projects

I am currently completing my second book manuscript which examines the interracial family born to wealthy planter John Peers in seventeenth-century Barbados. Provisionally entitled, Next of Kin: A Transatlantic Story of Family and Slavery, this project traces the lives of five women with whom John fathered children (including two English wives, two enslaved women, and a white servant woman), his eighteen offspring (enslaved and free), and their descendants. Mining legal records, deeds, wills, plantation registers, estate inventories, shipping logs and ecclesiastical documents from England and the Caribbean, Next of Kin reveals how the forces of empire shaped the lives of the women and their children, and how in turn the women and children navigated racial and gendered hierarchies in both Barbados and London. By making connections between micro-level familial relationships and the macro-level political machinations of empire, Next of Kin demonstrates the ways that family, patriarchy, and the rise of racial slavery built the early modern English world.

Courses Taught

  • History of American Civilization to 1865 (HY 103)
  • Nineteenth-Century Black History (AAST/HY 319)
  • From Columbus to Castro: Caribbean History Since 1492 (HY368)
  • A History of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800 (HY370)
  • Comparative Slavery and Emancipation (HY 411)
  • Undergraduate Research Seminar: Slavery in the S.E.C. (HY 430)
  • Undergraduate Research Seminar: Slavery at the University of Alabama (HY430)
  • Graduate Proseminar: Comparative Slavery and Emancipation (HY 606)
  • Graduate Proseminar: United States History to 1865, Atlantic Perspectives (HY 606)
  • Graduate Writing Seminar (HY 651)

Selected Publications


Articles & Essays