Michele Reid-Vazquez

  • Assistant Professor of Africana Studies


4156 Wesley W. Posvar Hall



  • BA, Emory University, Music and Spanish
  • MA, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Latin American and Caribbean History
  • M.M., University of Maryland, College Park, Ethnomusicology and Jazz Studies
  • PhD, University of Texas at Austin at Austin, Latin American and Caribbean History

Dr. Michele Reid-Vazquez is an advanced Assistant Professor in the Department of Africana Studies. Her research and teaching focus on the African Diaspora in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Atlantic World.  Her current research specializes in comparative Hispanic and British Caribbean, issues of freedom within slavery, colonial race and gender relations, and immigration and identity during the age of revolution.  Projects in development explore family history, memory, and digital humanities; Caribbean migration to the Rustbelt; and the politics of salsa music, race, and transnationalism.  In addition, she has served as a Faculty Mentor for independent student research projects in the Honors College addressing African Diaspora history and culture in Cuba, Trinidad, and England.  Currently, Professor Reid-Vazquez is the Director of the Afro-Cuban History and Culture Study Abroad Program to Havana and the Faculty Advisor for the Caribbean and Latin American Student Association.

"Documenting Diasporas Symposium"


Recent Publications


  • 2011. The Year of the Lash: Free People of Color in Cuba and the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World, Athens: University of Georgia Press, Early American Places Series, 2011. 


  • Forthcoming 2016. "Formidable Rebels: Slave and Free Women of Color in Cuba's Conspiracy of La Escalera, 1843-1844," Afro-Latin America: Rethinking Identity, Politics and Culture, Volume 1, Cuba 1790-1920, Aisha Finch and Fannie Rushing, editors, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Press.
  • 2012. "Tensions of Race, Gender and Midwifery in Colonial Cuba," Africans to Colonial Spanish America: Expanding the Diaspora, Rachel O'Toole, Sherwin Bryant, Ben Vinson III, editors. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2012, 186-205.
  • 2010. "Empire, Loyalty, and Race: Militiamen of Color in Nineteenth-Century Cuba," Documenting Latin America: Gender and Race, Empire and Nation, Volume 1, Erin E. O'Connor and Leo J. Garofalo, editors, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2010, 498-513.
  • 2005. "The Yoruba in Cuba: Origins, Identities, and Transformations," The Yoruba Diaspora in the Atlantic World, Toyin Falola and Matt Childs, editors. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005, 111-129.
  • 2004. "Protesting Service: Free Black Response to Cuba's Reestablished Militia of Color, 1854-1865," Special Issue, "Introducing the "New" African Diasporic Military History in Latin America," Ben Vinson III and Stewart King, editors, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 5, no. 2 (Fall 2004): 1-22.

Book Reviews:

  • Forthcoming 2016. Review of Aisha Finch, Rethinking Slave Rebellion in Cuba: La Escalera and the Insurgencies of 1841-1844. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015). American Historical Review.
  • 2015. Review of Kwame Dixon and John Burdick, editors, Comparative Perspectives on Afro Latin America (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2012), Journal of Latin American Studies, 47 (2015): 876-878.
  • 2015. Review of David Sartorius, Ever Faithful: Race, Loyality, and the Ends of Empire in Spanish Cuba (Durham: Duke University Press, 2014), The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Latin American History, 72 no. 2 (April 2015): 333-335.
  • 2012. Review of Frank T. Proctor, III, Damned Notions of Liberty: Slavery, Culture, and Power in Colonial Mexico. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2010), Hispanic American Historical Review, 92, no. 4 (November 2012): 755-757.
  • 2007. Review of Teresa Prados-Torriera. Mambisas: Rebel Women in Nineteenth-Century Cuba. (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2005), Hispanic American Historical Review, 87, no. 4 (2007): 753-754.
  • 2003. Review of Ada Ferrer. Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation and Revolution, 1868-1898. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999), Journal pf Caribbean History 37, no. 1 (2003): 117-119.

Works in Progress:

  • Books
  1. ​​Caribbean Crossings: Comparative Black Emigration and Freedom in the Age of Revolution.​ This project explores the ways in which the Haitian and Spanish American revolutions sparked multiple black emigration movements.  As waves of geopolitical struggle engulfed the Atlantic World, the Caribbean absorbed refugees, exiles, loyalists and rebels.  Free people of color and slaves stood at an ideological and political crossroads, bound by their legal, racial, and economic circumstances, yet determined to stabilize, protect, and transform their lives.  My completed study will highlight the nuanced and complex ways in which individuals of African descent linked emigration, resistance, and equality during the revolutionary era.  Research archival sites include Cuba, England, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Spain, Trinidad, and the U.S.
  2. Where Are Your People From?: Family History, Migration, and Memory from the Caribbean to South Carolina.  This study is the story of the racially mixed Pezeant Family and their migration from Haiti and Cuba to South Carolina between 1800 and 1845, propelled in large part by the Haitian revolution and Cuba's La Escalera rebellions.  Tracing the family's path over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as some settled in Charleston while others moved to Alabama, sheds light on the intersections of race, freedom, gender, family, citizenship, and mobility from the age of emancipation to the Civil Rights era.  Research sources include archives in Cuba and South Carolina and oral interviews.
  • Articles:
  1. ​"Gendered Suspicions: Black Women Migrants in Puerto Rico in the Age of Revolution."
  2. "Afro-Atlantic Discourses of Race, Liberty, and Equality in the Age of Revolution."
  3. "Loyal Subject or 'Alien of Dangerous Description': Race, Gender and Citizenship in Colonial Jamaica, 1798-1825."

Recent ​​​Invited Talks and Conference Presentations:

  • 2016. Invited Talk, "Conspiracies of Liberty: Cuba and Jamaica in the Age of Revolution," Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies Program Lecture Series, Gettysburg College, September 2016.
  • 2016. Invited Talk, "Researching the Year of the Lash in Cuba, Spain, and the U.S," Course: Colonial Latin American history, Instructor: Dr. Shelton, Department of History, Franklin & Marshall College, April 2016.
  • 2016. Invited Talk, "'To Stand Like St. Domingo': Caribbean Networks of Rebellion in the Age of Revolution," New Histories of Slave Rebellion Series: Virginia, Louisiana and Cuba, Additional Series Participants: Vanessa Holden and Sylviane Diouf; Guest Workshop on Digital Humanities and Slave Rebellion, Course: Historical Methods, Instructor: Dr. Roseanne Adderley, Tulane University, April 2016.
  • 2016. Panelist, "Race and the Caribbean: Exploring Black x Latin Lives," with Dr. Regionald Royston and Ms. Tara Sherry-Torres, Session for Undergraduate Students in Black Mass Communications, Global Diasporas, and Caribbean History, University of Pittsburgh, March 2016.
  • 2015. Commentator, Panel Title: "Constructing Diasporic Identities Under Slavery," Panelists: Manuel Barcia, Leeds University; Matt Childs, University of South Carolina; William Van Norman, James Madison University; Marie Rodet, SOAS University of London, ASWAD Conference, Charleston, November 2015.
  • 2015. Invited Roundtable Panelist, "Space and Region in the African Diaspora and Latin America: Connections, Comparisons, and Dialogues Across National Borders," additional members of roundtable: Jason McGraw, Indiana University; Mariana Dantas, Ohio University; Reid Andrews, University of Pittsburgh; Locating and Connecting Latin American Diaspora Conference, UNC-Charlotte, May 2015.
  • 2015. Commentator, Panel Title: "Race, Culture, and the Limits of Internationalism (19th-20th century)," Panelists: Kelly Brignac, Vanderbilt University; Paraska Tolan-Szkilnik, University of Pennsylvania; Keisha Brown, University of South Carolina Beyond Boundaries: Atlantic, Transnational, and World History Graduate Student Conference, University of Pittsburgh, April 2015. 
  • 2015. Invited Talk, "Caribbean Crossings: Comparative Black Emigration and Freedom in the Age of Revolution," Department of Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, CUNY-Hunter College, April 2015.
  • 2015. Invited Talk, "Foreigners of a Dangerous Description: Black Migrants in Jamaica in the Age of Revolution," New Directions in Hemispheric Studies: A Reunion Conference Celebrating Postdoctoral Programs, Center for the Americas, Wesleyan University, March 2015.