Dr. Evelyn Jennings

Elizabeth Margaret Vilas Professor of Latin American History History Department
Elizabeth Margaret Vilas Professor of History History Department
Evelyn Jennings

I have been teaching at St. Lawrence since Fall 2002. In July 2017 I became the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs. From 2012 to 2017 I was the Associate Dean for Academic Advising Programs. I am also a Professor and the Margaret Vilas Chair of Latin American History.  I received my BA in Spanish Language and Literature from SUNY Oswego, an MA in Latin American history from SUNY Stony Brook, and a PhD from the University of Rochester in Modern European and Atlantic history.  My area of specialization is Spanish colonialism in Cuba with a focus on state enslavement and forced labor in Havana in the 18th and 19th centuries. I teach courses on Colonial Latin America, Imperial Spain, Slavery and Freedom in the Americas, Latin American History through Travel, the Caribbean, the US and Cuba, and Atlantic History. I also led a sophomore seminar called PALS (Promoting Active Laurentian Safety): Awareness and Activism.

I have published several articles and book chapters on forced labor in Cuban and Atlantic history, which include:

“The Sinews of Spain’s American Empire: Forced Labor in Cuba from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Century.” In Building the Atlantic Empires: Unfree Labor and Imperial States in the Political Economy of Capitalism, ca. 1500-1914. Edited by John Donoghue and Evelyn P. Jennings. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Academic Publishers, October 2015.

“All in the Family? Colonial Cuba in an Iberian Atlantic Frame,” The Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 91 vol. 1(2014): 83-104.

“Some Unhappy Indians Trafficked by Force’: Race, Status, and Work Discipline in mid-Nineteenth Century Cuba.” In  Bonded Labor in the Cultural Contact Zone, edited by Gesa Mackenthun and Raphael Hörmann, 209-225. Münster and New York: Waxmann, 2010.

“Paths to Freedom: Imperial Defense and Manumission in Havana,1762-1800.” In Paths to Freedom: Manumission in the Atlantic World, edited by Rosemary Brana-Shute and Randy Sparks, 121-141. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2009.

 “‘War as the Forcing House of Change’: The Case of Cuba in the late Eighteenth Century." William and Mary Quarterly 3rd Series, vol. 63 3 (2005): 411-440.

I am currently working on a book-length study of state enslavement and other forced labor called, Constructing the Empire in Havana: State Slavery in Defense and Public Works, 1763-1840. I have also begun a new project on the lives and times of a Cuban elite family, some of who relocated to the United States in the nineteenth century. This project is based on a collection of family letters held in the Special Collections section of the Owen D. Young Library here at St. Lawrence.

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