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Former Member of Staff: Professor Trevor Burnard

Academic Profile

  • Professor of History, University of Melbourne, 2011-present
  • Professor of the History of the Americas, History and Comparative American Studies, University of Warwick, 2007-11
  • Professor of American History and Head of Department, American Studies, University of Sussex, 2004-07
  • Reader and Professor, History, Brunel University, 2000-04, Head of Department, Politics, American Studies and History, 2001-04
  • Lecturer and Senior Lecturer, History, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 1990-99
  • Lecturer, History, University of Waikato, New Zealand, 1989
  • Lecturer, History, University of the West Indies at Mona, Kingston, Jamaica, 1987-89
  • PhD, History, The Johns Hopkins University, 1988
  • MA, History, The Johns Hopkins University, 1985
  • BA, History, University of Otago, New Zealand, 1983

Modules Taught

Selected Publications

  • Creole Gentlemen: The Maryland Elite, 1691-1776 (Routledge: New York, 2002)
  • Mastery, Tyranny and Desire: Thomas Thistlewood and His Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World (University of North Carolina Press and The Press University of the West Indies: Chapel Hill, London and Kingston, 2004).
  • "The Dynamics of the Slave Market and Slave Purchasing Patterns in Jamaica, 1655-1788," (with Kenneth Morgan), William and Mary Quarterly, 3d Ser., LVIII (January, 2001), 205-228.
  • "E Pluribus Plures: Ethnicities in Early Jamaica," Jamaican Historical Review XXI (2001), 8-22, 56-59.
  • "`A Prodigious Mine': The Wealth of Jamaica Before the American Revolution Once Again," Economic History Review, LIV, 3 (August, 2001), 505-23.
  • "Slave Naming Patterns: Onomastics and the Taxonomy of Race in Eighteenth-Century Jamaica," The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, XXXI:3 (Winter, 2001), 325-46.
  • "`Rioting in Goatish Embraces: Marriage and Improvement in Early British Jamaica, 1660-1780," The History of the Family, 12, 1 (2007).
  • "`Gay and Agreeable Ladies': White Women in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Kingston, Jamaica," Wadabagei, 9, 3 (2006), 27-49
  • "The Founding Fathers in Early American Historiography: A View from Abroad," William and Mary Quarterly, 3d Ser. LXII (2005), 745-64.
  • "Hearing Slave Voices: The Fiscal's Reports of Berbice and Demerara-Essequebo," (with John Lean) Archives 27, no. 106 (2002), 37-50
  • "`Passengers Only:' The Extent and Significance of Absenteeism in Eighteenth-Century Jamaica," Atlantic Studies, 1, 2 (2004), 178-195.
  • "Empire Matters? The historiography of imperialism in early America, 1492-1830," History of European Ideas, 33, 1 (2007), 87-107.
  • "Evaluating Gender in Early Jamaica, 1674-1784," The History of the Family, 12, 2 (2007), 81-91.
  • “The British Atlantic World,” in Jack P. Greene and Philip D. Morgan, eds., Atlantic History: A Critical Appraisal (Oxford University Press, 2009).
  • “The Atlantic Slave Trade and African Ethnicities in Seventeenth Century Jamaica,” in David Richardson, Suzanne Schwarz and Anthony J. Tibbles, eds., Liverpool and Transatlantic Slavery (Liverpool University Press: Liverpool, 2007), 139-64.
  • “Where the Boy’s aren’t: Women as Reluctant Migrants but Rational Actors in Early America,” (with Ann Little) in Jay Kleinberg ed., Revisioning Women’s History, (Rutgers University Press, 2007).
  • “Freedom, Migration and the Negative Example of the American Revolution: The Changing Status of Unfree Labor in the Second British Empire and the New American Republic,” in Eliga H. Gould and Peter S. Onuf, eds., Empire and Nation: The American Revolution in the Atlantic World (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, December 2004), 295-314.
  • "`Do Thou in Gentle Phibia Smile': Scenes from an Interracial Marriage, Jamaica, 1754-1786," in David Barry Gaspar and Darlene C. Hine, eds., Free Women of Color in the Americas (University of Illinois Press, 2004).
  • "`The Grand Mart of the Island': Kingston, Jamaica in the mid-eighteenth century and the Question of Urbanisation in Plantation Societies," in Kathleen Monteith and Glen Richards, eds., A History of Jamaica, From Indigenous Settlement to the Present (University of West Indies Press: Kingston, 2002)
  • "Not a Place for Whites? Demographic Failure and Settlement in Comparative Context, Jamaica, 1655-1780," in Kathleen Monteith and Glen Richards, eds., A History of Jamaica, From Indigenous Settlement to the Present (University of West Indies Press: Kingston, 2002).
  • "`A Matron in Rank, a Prostitute in Manners ...': The Manning Divorce of 1741 and Class, Race, Gender, and the Law in Eighteenth-Century Jamaica," in Verene Shepherd, ed., Working Out Slavery, Pricing Freedom: Perspectives from the Caribbean, Africa and the African Diaspora (St Martin’s Press: London, 2002).


I am interested in the history of early British America, including the British West Indies, before ca. 1790 and in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800. Particular interests include slavery, social history and demography, imperialism, economic and business history, and gender. My work over the last decade has been especially concerned with identity in the New World in the eighteenth century and with how settler societies have been formed, or have failed to form in plantation societies in the Caribbean and the Chesapeake. In addition, I have been concerned with recreating the social and cultural world of slaves and masters in early Jamaica, using in particular the rich diaries of Thomas Thistlewood as a primary source. My current projects are a monograph on early American historiography, a co-authored book comparing mid-eighteenth century Jamaica and Saint Domingue with John Garrigus of the University of Texas, Arlington, the Routledge History of Slavery, co-edited with Gad Heuman, of Warwick, and a social, demographic and economic history of white and black in Jamaica 1655-1780.


Trevor Burnard