Marcos Leitao de Almeida

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in African History at Northwestern University. I’m also a Presidential Fellow and part of the Program of African Studies.  Using historical linguistic methods in conjunction with archaeology and documentary sources, my research traces the intellectual and social history of slavery in the lower Congo between 500 B.C.E. and the nineteenth century. My dissertation, “Speaking of Slavery: Slaving Strategies and Moral Imaginations in the Lower Congo,” will provide a detailed study of the construction and reconfiguration of this category over the Longue durée in a specific region of the African continent.
I received an International Dissertation Research Fellowship of the Social Science Research Council, New York, to conduct archival research in Belgium and undertake linguistic fieldwork in Congo and Angola during the year of 2016-17.

Before coming to Northwestern, I specialized myself in the Social History of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade between Brazil and West-Central Africa during the 19th. My M.A. Thesis, “Ladinos e boçais: the language regime of the South Atlantic (1831 –c.1850)”(UNICAMP, 2012), won The Palmares Foundation Award for the best research on Afro-Brazilian Culture (2011-2012).