B.A., University of Tennessee (Knoxville); M.A., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin (Madison)
Ryan Alexander QuintanaAssociate Professor of History
Historian of race, slavery, space, and the state in the late colonial and early national eras.
I am an historian of race, slavery, space, and the state in the late colonial and early national eras. My current research focuses on the intersections between the everyday practices of enslaved South Carolinians and the spatial discourse of elite planters and statesmen in early national South Carolina. I am currently completing my manuscript, entitled: Planners, Planters, and Slaves: The Social Construction of Early National South Carolina. Using slave and travel narratives, plantations diaries, natural histories, legislation and political commentary, and maps and property surveys this work reassesses the social and spatial dynamics of the most entrenched slave society in the early United States. In so doing, I critically engage our paradigmatic understanding of slavery and the rise of the liberal state in the early national era.
In addition to the history of slavery in the early nation, I am broadly interested in the history of race, liberalism, capitalism, and the rise of the modern state throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. At Wellesley, these interests are made manifest in my courses, all of which cover the period between the Revolutionary War and the Great Depression. These include courses on the American South, the trans-Mississippi West, and the social history of American Capitalism. I also teach a research seminar on race and identity in the long nineteenth century, and will soon offer a seminar on the history of geography and cartography.