Personal profile

Research interests

Committed to interdisciplinary study, Anita Rupprecht’s primary research focuses on interconnected histories and representations of British transatlantic enslavement, resistance and abolition during the Age of Revolution. She is also interested in global labour history, postcolonial literatures, theory and the politics of contemporary cultural memory.

Supervisory Interests

She has supervised doctoral students since 2008 and would be delighted to support research projects related to the histories and cultures of British transatlantic enslavment and resistance, histories, cultures and representations of 18C and 19C abolitionism, transatlantic enslavement and the archive, Caribbean, diasporic and Black Atlantic literatures, Postcolonial theory, identity and culture, cultural memory and the legacies of transatlantic enslavement, empire and colonialism

Scholarly biography

Anita Rupprecht’s research is situated at the intersection of social and cultural history, literary and cultural studies. Her primary interests are on the 18C and 19C Atlantic World, transatlantic enslavement, resistance and empire. She is interested in the politics of the archive, history making, representation and cultural memory as they relate to these contexts. She has published widely on resistance by the enslaved, the British abolition campaigns, the shaping of British emancipation in the Caribbean and the development of maritime financial insurance in the context of the transatlantic slave trade as well as on related contemporary questions of reparation and ‘reparative history’.

She is currently completing a book project about the ways in which colonial labour relations were reconfigured in Caribbean slave societies after the 1807 abolition of the British slave trade. By focusing on archival traces of the lives of so-called indentured 'Re-captured Africans', the study analyses how the movement from slavery to freedom can be understood both 'from below' and in relation to the global and imperial continuum of coerced labour forms.

She is also engaged in a collaborative research project (with Cathy Bergin) exploring the idea of 'reparative history’. In particular, the project focuses on how claims on the past are determined by the contemporary politics of 'race', and the particular ways in which those claims tend to occlude the centrality of the black radical tradition. In this context, the project examines how we might conceptualise and trace the historical legacies of transatlantic slavery both within the history of capitalism and as challenges to dominant liberal paradigms of ‘freedom’. 

As well as these historical and conceptual concerns, Rupprecht also researches and teaches on contemporary literary revisitings of enslavement and its legacies in Black Atlantic contexts, on the history and politics of postcolonial and cultural theory and related critical engagement and practice including the project of decolonising the curriculum.

Anita Rupprecht completed a BA (Hons.) degree in English Literature and an MA in Culture and Social Change at the University of Southampton before studying for a D.Phil. at the University of Sussex. Her AHRB funded doctoral thesis focused on the anti-slavery campaigns, the Enlightenment culture of sentiment and the slave narrative. Prior to teaching at the University of Brighton she held posts at the University of Sussex and the University of Winchester. She is a member of the Steering Group of the Centre for Memory, Narrative and Histories and leads the ‘Race’ and Representation: The politics of history, memory and reparation’ research area. She is the co-founder and co-convenor of the research seminar series, 'Politics, Philosophy and Aesthetics'. 

She was a Visiting Fellow at the Gilder Lehman Centre for the Study of Slavery, Abolition and Resistance, Yale University, in Spring 2018 and was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship during 2019-2020 to work on her book project, ‘Indenturing Re-Captured Africans in the Caribbean, 1807-1828’.




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