Shauna Sweeney

Assistant Professor

Cross Appointments: Department of History


Phone: 416-946-5473

Areas of Interest

  • Slavery and Emancipation
  • Gender and Slavery
  • Histories of Capitalism
  • Gender and Reproduction
  • Caribbean History
  • Atlantic World History
  • Environmental History

I welcome applications from graduate students interested in the following topics: Race and Gender in the Caribbean, Slavery and Emancipation in the Atlantic World, Gender and the Economy, Racial Capitalism, Art and Culture in the African Diaspora, Afro-Diasporic Religion and Spirituality.


Shauna Sweeney is a historian of the African Diaspora. Her research interests focus on slavery and freedom in the Caribbean, Latin America, and North America, early modern political economy and the development of racial capitalism, and transnational feminisms. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled “A Free Enterprise: Market Women, Insurgent Economies and the Making of Caribbean Freedom.” The manuscript traces the ways in which, from their ascendance in the late seventeenth century to their institutionalization in the eighteenth century, Caribbean market-women —enslaved, free, and fugitive—constructed physical pathways and social spaces that served as counter-hegemonic sites of black self-determination. She is author of “Market Marronage: Fugitive Women and the Internal Marketing System in Jamaica, 1781-1834” in the William & Mary Quarterly (April 2019). She was also co-editor of a special issue of Social Text entitled “The Question of Recovery: Slavery, Freedom, and the Archive,” (2015) which critically engaged with the limitations and possibilities of recovering black history through traditional archival practices. She was most recently a recipient of the Connaught New Researcher Award (2019) and a National Endowment for the Humanities and Omohundro Institute Postdoctoral Fellow at the College of William & Mary (2016-2018). 


PhD, New York University 

MA, New York University 

MA, University of Toronto 

BA, University of Toronto 

Selected Works

“Market Marronage: Fugitive Women and Jamaica’s Internal Marketing System, 1781-1834″ William & Mary Quarterly vol. 76, no.2, April 2019, 197-222. 

Honours and Awards


Connaught New Researcher Award, Connaught Fund, University of Toronto


Undergraduate Courses:

Making Knowledge in a World that Matters (Women and Gender Studies)

Climate Change and Colonialism (History)

Capitalism & Slavery (History)

Graduate Courses:

Gendering Racial Capitalism (Women’s and Gender Studies)