Christina Mobley

Assistant Professor

Nau 383
Office Hours: T 2-4
PDF icon CV Mobley (August 2017).pdf

Field & Specialties

African History
Caribbean History
Atlantic History
Slave Trade


Ph.D, Duke University, 2015

M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2010

B.A. Honours, McGill University, 2007

I am a historian of Africa, the Caribbean, and the African diaspora. My research focuses on the cultural history of slavery in West Central Africa and the Caribbean the early modern period. I am particularly interested how methodologies such as sociolinguistics make it possible to write history in a way that does not silence Africans.

My book project, Vodou History: the Kongolese History of the Haitian Revolution (committed to OIEAHC/UNC Press), re-centers the history of the Haitian Revolution within the Kongolese history of the revolutionaries. Using a sociolinguistic methodology, I follow captives from enslavement in Africa across the Atlantic to freedom in independent Haiti. I query how enslaved Kongolese men and women used specific spiritual technologies and instrumental knowledge to mediate the experience of slavery on both sides of the Kongolese Atlantic world. By placing the revolution in a broader geographical and chronological framework, one including the Kongo and Saint Domingue, pre- and post- revolution, I shed new light on the intertwined processes of cultural creation and retention that characterized the major cultural institutions of post-independence Haitian society.

My research has won support from the Mellon Foundation (2017-18), the Center for Global Inquiry an Innovation at Uva (2016), the American Council of Learned Societies (2015-16 declined), the Social Science Research Council (2012-13), Fulbright Fellowship (2012-13), US Department of Education (FLAS, Haitian Kreyol, 2010-11), and Duke University Graduate School (James B. Duke Fellowship, 2012-13).

I am working on two future book projects. The first is an African history of the Haitian Revolution. The first is a history of the Kongo zone from European contact to present. I explore the response to and impact of European trade, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and European colonization in three medieval kingdoms (Loango, Tio, and Kongo). The second is an African history of the Haitian Revolution, which uses sociolinguistics and archival documents to rewrite the narrative of the only successful slave revolt in history.

Awards & Honors

Mellow Humanities Fellowship, 2017-18

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2015-16 (Declined)

SSRC IDRF, 2012-2013

Fulbright Fellowship, 2012-2013

James B. Duke International Research Travel Fellowship, 2012-2013

Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS) for Haitian Kreyol, 2010-2011

Courses Taught

HIAF 2001 History of Early Africa through the era of the Slave Trade

HIAF 3559 History of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

HIAF 1501 First Year Seminar on the African Atlantic World

HIST 4511/5559: Undergraduate/Graduate Colloquium on Atlantic Worlds

HIAF 4511: Colloquium on Africa in the Global South

HIAF 4511: Colloquium on Global South Soccer Politics

HIST 4511/5559: Mapping Atlantic World Migration, 1492-present

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts