Graduate Student Bios

Portrait (head shot photo)
Christopher Blakley
Current Research: Colonial, STEH, Early Modern European History

Christopher Blakley is a doctoral candidate focusing on environmental history in colonial North America, Atlantic Africa, and the British Caribbean in the early modern period. Their dissertation, "Inhuman Empire", examines how human-animal entanglements generated by the Atlantic slave trade constituted a decisive factor in expanding the political, scientific, and economic networks of the burgeoning British Empire between 1672 and 1808. Furthermore, their research illuminates how animal pests undermined plantations, and how enslaved people forged their own networks and alliances with nonhuman animals in resistance to their enslavement. Archival research for this project has been supported by fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, The John Carter Brown Library, The Huntington Library, and the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan. During the 2018-19 academic year they will be a Consortium Dissertation Fellow at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.