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College of Arts & Sciences

Mariana Dantas

Mariana Dantas

Associate Professor

Bentley Annex

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  • Ph.D. in History from The Johns Hopkins University


  • African Diaspora in the Americas
  • Atlantic World
  • Colonial British and Latin America

Mariana Dantas  is Associate Professor in the Department of History. She is a specialist in the history of slavery and African diasporic peoples in the Atlantic World. 

Her first book, Black Townsmen: Urban Slavery and Freedom in the Eighteenth-Century Americas (Palgrave 2008), provides a comparative analysis of blacks, slave and free, as urbanizing agents in the Americas. She has also published chapters in edited volumes, and articles in the Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, Colonial Latin American Historical Review and Journal of Family History. Her reviews of other works in her field have appeared in journals such as the Journal of American History, the Journal of Urban History, and the American Historical Review. She is currently working on a book project that will examine the social meaning of racial categories to three generations of members of families of mixed African and European descent in a colonial Brazilian mining town.

Mariana Dantas and her colleague Emma Hart, of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, received in 2014 an International Research Network Grant from the United Kingdom’s Arts and Humanities Research Council in support of the “Global City: Past and Present” project. The grant helped to fund three international workshops and sponsor the development of an international network of urban scholars and professionals who explore the intersection between urban and global history.


Mariana Dantas is on leave during the 2016-17 academic year, while on a fellowship at the National Humanities Center in Durham, North Carolina.

Her main teaching interests are colonial Latin America, the history of slavery, and race formation and race relations in the African Diaspora. Her courses include:

  • HIST 1330: Introduction to World History since 1750
  • HIST 3230: Latin American History: The Colonial Era
  • HIST 3232: History of Brazil
  • HIST 3270: Slavery in the Americas
  • HIST 6902: Graduate Colloquium in Latin American History

Mariana Dantas has also advised graduate and undergraduate theses in the fields of the history of slavery and colonial Latin America.

Recent Publications

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