Dr Shantel George
- Lecturer (History)
My current book project, “The Yoruba Are on a Rock”: Liberated Africans and African Work in Grenada, focuses on the 2,700 recaptives that were sent to Grenada between 1836 and 1863. One of their key cultural legacies of was Orisha worship—a combination of dance, music, healing, divination, animal sacrifice, spirit possession, and feasts—which originated among the Yoruba people of western Africa. Over time, this practice became known as “African work” in Grenada. My book provides a new way of interpreting African work in Grenada, arguing that rather than being a survival of a homogenous group of liberated Yoruba, it has been recreated through exchanges within the island, the wider Eastern Caribbean, as well as across the Atlantic world.
I am also working on a global history of the kola nut. The aim of my project is to foreground the role of Africans in the production, distribution and consumption of the kola nut. To do so, it charts the history and influence of the nut in Africa, the circum-Caribbean, Europe, and North America between 1500 and 1900, and uses this investigation of the kola nut as a case study to highlight and explain the long-neglected role of Africans as distributors and consumers of global commodities.
2019 Library Fellowship, The John Carter Brown Library, Brown University
2019 Post-Doctoral Fellowship, The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, Yale University