World History Seminar: Ada Ferrer

April 14, 2017

"Aponte's Vision: Towards a Hemispheric History of Black Antislavery"

While most colonial societies of the western hemisphere emerged from the Age of Revolution with independence, Cuba, among the oldest of Spanish colonies, did not. This paper takes us to the Atlantic port city of Havana to explore the history of one would-be revolutionary: José Antonio Aponte. A free black carpenter, artist, and military veteran, Aponte allegedly masterminded an ambitious plot against the colonial state and slavery in Cuba. Among his tools for recruitment to the movement was a book of paintings (made by his own hand) in which he reimagined a history of the world in order to make a radical black and antislavery future.


Ada Ferrer is Julius Silver Professor of History and Latin American Caribbean Studies at New York University. She is the author of Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868-1898 (UNC Press, 1999) and Freedom's Mirror: Cuba and Haiti i the Age of Revolution (Cambridge UP, 2014) which won the multiple book prizes, including the Frederick Douglass Prize awarded by the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale for the best book on slavery, abolition, and resistance. and awards from the American Historical Association in Latin American, Atlantic, and African Diaspora History. She is currently completing a trade book tentatively titled: Cuba: An American History for Scribner.


Friday, April 14, 2017
4:30 PM in E51-275