Professor Emily West
Areas of interest
I am broadly interested in issues of race and gender in American history and my research focusses on US slavery in the US South, especially the lives of enslaved women, the relationships between enslaved spouses, family life under enslavement, and affective ties between enslaved people and free people of colour. I am also interested in the history of infant and child feeding, including wet nursing.
- Bill Smith (2020-) ‘The Weaponization of Dogs by US enslavers’.
- Erin Shearer (AHRC SWW DTP funded studentship, 2019-), ‘Women of Violence: Challenging Perceptions of Enslaved Women’s Resistance in the Antebellum United States, 1815-1861
Previous PhD supervision:
- “Slave Breeding” in the Antebellum United States’.
- Dr Liz Barnes (AHRC SWW DTP funded studentship, 2016-2019), ‘Race and Sexual Assaults in the US South in Slavery and Reconstruction’. Selected to present the University Wide Annual PGR Fairbrother Public Lecture, ‘Women’s Voices, from Slavery to #MeToo’, May 2019.
- Dr R.J. Knight (funded GTA studentship, 2014-2017), ‘Mother, Home, and Mammy: Motherhood, Race and Power in the Antebellum South’. Now a permanent lecturer at the University of Sheffield.
- Dr Daniel Hale (p/t, 2011-2016), ‘Executive Clemency in Texas, 1849-1865’.
- Dr Mike Luff (p/t, 2009-2014), ‘The Haitian Revolution and South Carolinian Statutes on Slavery and Free People of Colour, 1791-1823’.
Foundation Year: Contribution to ‘Ethics and Empathy’
Part One: Contribution to core modules; Part 1 Option: ‘Women in American History: From Slavery to Second Wave’
Part Two: Contribution to HS2HAD on enslaved people’s autobiographies, Part 2 Option: ‘'Race', Ethnicity and Citizenship in America’
Part 3: Special Subject: ‘Slavery in America’, Dissertation Supervision
I have supervised four Undergraduate Research Opportunities (UROP) studentships (R. J. Knight, Erin Shearer, Sian David, Jude Reeves)
Postgraduate MA (postgraduate taught)
Contribution to the MA in History: core modules: ‘Archival Silences’ and ‘Plantation Archaeology’; MA Option: ‘Slavery and Gender in the US’
Research centres and groups
- Chair, British American Nineteenth Century Historians: https://branchuk.wordpress.com/
- Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
- Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy
Awards and honours
2022: BA Small grant for archival research trip to South Carolina
2021: Leverhulme Visiting Professorship Scheme (with Professor Maria Helena Machado, University of São Paulo).
2021: BA postdoctoral fellowship (with Dr Beth Wilson)
2020: Archie K. David Fellowship, North Caroliniana Society
2020: Mellon Fellowship: Virginia Historical Society
2020: Fellowship: Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, Monticello, Virginia
2020: Summersell Centre for the Study of the South (University of Alabama)
2019: Kentucky Historical Society Research Fellowship
2019: Filson Historical Society (Kentucky) Research Fellowship
2019: BAAS Founders Award Research Travel Grant (for research in US)
2019: BAAS Conference Support to host annual SHAW (Society for the History of Women in the Americas) annual conference
2014: AHRC International Network Grant: Mothering Slaves: Comparative Perspectives on Motherhood, Childlessness, and the Care of Children in Atlantic Slave Societies. PI: Diana Paton (Edinburgh). Co-I Emily West (Reading). Steering group of Maria Helena P.T. Machado (São Paulo) and Camillia Cowling (Warwick). The network involved three conferences (Newcastle and São Paulo in 2015 and Reading, April 2016). The network’s outputs included two journal special editions, for which I am co-editor: https://research.ncl.ac.uk/motheringslaves/
2013: Eccles Centre for American Studies Fellowship (based at the British Library)
2007: Leverhulme Trust Award to employ postdoctoral research assistant (Dr Laura Sandy)
2002: AHRB (research leave scheme)
2022: Invited member of Editorial Board, Journal of Southern History
2020: Contributor and member of editorial board: University of Oxford’s ‘America and Race: A Bibliography for UK History Undergraduates’. https://www.rai.ox.ac.uk/america-and-race-bibliography
2020: Invited member of Editorial Board, Gilder Lehrman Institute
2020: Invited member of Editorial Board, Journal of American Studies
2019-22: Invited member: Southern Historical Association Membership Committee
2017-18: Committee member, IHR Doctoral Fellowships Scheme
2015-: Invited member of Editorial Board, Civil War History
2014-: Invited member of Editorial Board, Slavery & Abolition
2014: Prize winner: Reading Students' Union award for the best research-inspired teaching