VANCOUVER, Wash. – Sue Peabody, promoted this week to full professor of history at Washington State University Vancouver, has received a prestigious American Philosophical Society Sabbatical Fellowship for her book project, "Free Soil: Slaves and the Law in the Atlantic World."
Peabody is an internationally renowned historian whose work examines the historical origins and intersections of gender, race and slavery in the French Atlantic. She has received numerous awards and invitations to present her work at Harvard University's Atlantic History Seminar, Yale University's Gilder Lehrman Center for the History of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, and the upcoming Stanford Program in History and Philosophy of Science and Technology Colloquia. She is currently president of the French Colonial Historical Society.
Her interest in the origins of racism grew out of her experience as a White student in the then-recently integrated public schools in Washington, D.C., in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In graduate school at the University of Iowa, Peabody's unique perspective led her to examine the legal status of Blacks in 18th Century France and to question France's supposedly "colorblind" approach to racial equality.
Her latest book, "Slavery, Freedom and the Law in the Atlantic World," co-edited with Brazilian scholar Keila Grinberg from the University of Rio de Janeiro, will be published by Bedford Books this month. It contains dozens of legal texts from the French, British, Spanish and Portuguese empires in which slaves and free people of color attempted to secure their freedom through judicial actions during the Age of Revolution and Emancipation (1770-1888).