Martine Jean

Martine Jean

Independent Scholar
2019-2020: Mark Claster Mamolen Fellow
Martine Jean
Martine Jean is an independent scholar and a historian of nineteenth-century Brazil. Her research explores the history of penal institutions, policing, criminal law and their intersection with slavery and anti-slavery, poverty, and race-making in the Atlantic World. She is the Founder of Ipsa Vero Consulting, a historical research company which provides effective identification, digitization, and interpretation of historical records related to the history of the African slave trade and slavery in the Americas to individual researchers, private corporations, and public institutions.  Martine’s research has been published in the Journal of Social History, Atlantic Studies: Global Currents, and the International Review of Social History. She has received research support from the Mellon Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard.

 

Project:

Martine Jean will utilize her residency year at the Hutchins Center to complete her book manuscript tentatively entitled Routine Imprisonment, Race, and Citizenship in Nineteenth-Century Brazil, 1830-1890 under contract at the University of Texas Press. The research probes the transformation of punishment in nineteenth-century Brazil and its intersections with global transformations in the labor regime of the Atlantic World. In doing so, the manuscript reveals how the Brazilian government deployed confinement and punitive labor as a means to discipline various segments of the Brazilian working class from slave detainees, liberated Africans, to legally free convicts during the foundational period of Brazilian state formation and postcolonial nation building. Routine Imprisonment critically unveils the birth of the prison in Brazil as an important site of racialization from slavery to freedom. Martine is also at work on a second book project which investigates the failed legal court case to emancipate 423 slaves from the Maria da Gloria, a slave ship apprehended by the British navy off Brazil’s coast in 1833, its return to the African continent (Sierra Leone) for adjudication with 390 captives, and its second middle passage to Brazil with less than one hundred surviving slaves in May 1834. Inquiring about the final destiny of these surviving slaves, whether any of them survived the ordeal and were eventually sold into slavery in Brazil, the research wrestles with how to make sense of the death of those buried at the bottom of the sea to stories of the nineteenth-century as the “Age of Emancipation”. The inquiry delves into the significance of the Maria da Gloria’s triple crossing of the Atlantic to the articulation of human rights, sovereignty, and international law as basic staples of a post-traffic legal order.