Mary Hicks

Mary Hicks

Assistant Professor of Black Studies and History at Amherst College
2018-2019: Mamolen Fellow
Mary Hicks

Mary Hicks is an Assistant Professor of Black Studies and History at Amherst College, her current research examines the maritime dimensions of the African Diaspora, with a particular focus on eighteenth and early nineteenth century colonial Brazil. She explores how the seafaring activities of enslaved Africans and creoles shaped the world of south Atlantic slavery. More broadly, her research seeks to interrogate the multiplicity of connections between coastal West Africa and Brazil through the lens of mutual cultural, technological, commercial, intellectual and environmental influences. Furthermore, her research seeks to redefine how historians understand experiences of enslavement and the middle passage. In addition to investigating the lives of African sailors, her current work also reveals the centrality of enslaved and freed African women’s market activities in introducing West African material culture and aesthetic values to urban Salvador. She has previously served as a Ford Foundation and Jefferson Foundation Fellow. Her work can be found in the Journal of Global Slavery.