Roquinaldo Ferreira is Henry Charles Lea Professor of History, specializing in African, Atlantic and Brazilian History. Before coming to Upenn in 2018, he taught at the University of Virginia (2005-2012) and then at Brown University, where he held the Vasco da Gama chair and was associate director of the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ). Ferreira has held visiting professorships at the Universidade Agostinho Neto (Luanda, Angola), the Institut de Hautes Études Internationales et du Développement (Geneva, Switzerland), and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris, France). His research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), The Portuguese Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and Brazil’s Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPQ). He is the author of Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Atlantic World: Angola and Brazil during the Era of the Slave Trade (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012). His latest book (The Costs of Freedom: Central Africa in the Age of Abolition, 1820 ca.-1880 ca) is forthcoming with Princeton University Press.
Ferreira is at work on two book projects. Working with French, British, Portuguese, Brazilian, and Dutch archives, the first book project places the West African kingdoms of Dahomey and Whydah in their African and Atlantic contexts, while also paying attention to socio-cultural ties between Brazil and the Bight of Benin in the first half of the eighteenth century. The second book project is a Global History of the Indian Textile trade (Carreira da India). By investigating the Carreira da India's trading networks, this project seeks to further scholarly understanding of the place of Africa in the early modern world economy, while also using the Indian textile trade to develop an integrated and trans-imperial view of Portuguese possessions in Africa, Asia, and Brazil.