Dr David Doddington
Lecturer in North American History
David Doddington is Lecturer in North American History at Cardiff University, and received his PhD from the University of Warwick in February 2013. Prior to his arrival at Cardiff in 2014, he held teaching and research positions at the University of Warwick, the University of Leicester, and the University of York. David has been awarded research awards from the British Association of American Studies, the Eccles Centre at the British Library, British American Nineteenth Century Historians (BrANCH). His research interests centre on slavery, race, and gender in the antebellum South, with a particular interest in examining resistance and solidarity within slave communities. He has publications in journals such as Gender & History, and in edited collections, including Paul Lovejoy and Vanessa Oliviera (Eds), Slavery, Memory and Citizenship (New Jersey: Africa World Press, 2016). He is working on a book entitled Contesting Slave Masculinity in the American South, which is under contract with Cambridge University Press, as well as a book entitled Writing the History of Slavery, to be published by Bloomsbury in 2019.
David has broader interests in the history of U.S. expansion during the nineteenth century, noting the conflict and violence that marked such expansion, as well as wider issues associated with migration, movement, and colonisation. He welcomes enquiries over teaching and supervision on slavery, gender, and race in American history.
Impact and engagement
03/2017 - PhD Masterclass on Slavery in the Americas, Leiden University. Organized by the N.W. Posthumus Institute, Research School for Economic and Social History in the Netherlands and Flanders.
10/2015 - 'Secession and the U.S. Civil War', Lecture delivered to KS5 Students of Fitzalan High School, Cardiff
'A "Promissory Note": The U.S. Constitution and the legacy of slavery',Race in the Americas: Legacy of Martin Luther King: 'I have a dream' 50 Years On, http://www.raceintheamericas.com/home/rita-events-and-projects/the-legacy-of-martin-luther-king-i-have-a-dream-fifty-years-on/a-promissory-note-the-us-constitution-and-the-legacy-of-slavery
'Slavery and dogs in the antebellum South', Sniffing the Past,February 23, 2013, http://sniffingthepast.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/slavery-and-dogs-in-the-antebellum-south/. See more in Henry Gates Jr., Did Dogs Really Eat Slaves, Like in 'Django'?
03/2010 - The Westwood School: Technology College, Coventry: Workshop and lecture series, 'Race, gender and sexuality in North America', part of the University of Warwick's Centre for the History of Medicine Sexual Health Awareness Week community outreach project.
Education and qualifications
2005-2008 – BA (Hons), First Class, History, the University of Warwick
2008-2009 – MA in the History of Race in the Americas, the University of Warwick
2009-2013 – PhD in History, the University of Warwick
2009 – 2013 – Seminar Tutor, the University of Warwick
2012-2013 – Lecturer in U.S. History (fixed term), the University of Leicester
2012-2013 – Early Career Fellow, the Institute of Advanced Studies, the University of Warwick
2013-2014 – Lecturer in U.S. History (fixed term), the University of York
Honours and awards
12/2013 – Centre for the Americas at York, Award for a conference entitled, Representing and Remembering Slavery in the Americas
05/2013 – Travel Award, Humanities Research Centre and the Institute of Advanced Study, the University of Warwick
02/2013 – Warwick Transatlantic Fellowship, Humanities Research Centre
08/2011 – Conference Bursary, Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples, York University Toronto
06/2011 - The Eccles Centre Postgraduate Award in North American Studies at the British Library: awarded for the best proposal in research at the British Library, Eccles Centre.
02/2011 – The University of Warwick American Study and Student Exchange Committee Travel Award.
09/2010 - Peter J. Parish Memorial Award – British American Nineteenth Century Historians.
2009/2012 - The Richard and Anne Crossman Award for doctoral research, the University of Warwick.
- British Association for American Studies (BAAS).
- The Association of British American Nineteenth Century Historians (BrANCH).
- The Southern Historical Association (SHA).
- Society for the History of Women in the Americas (SHAW).
- Reviewer, Oxford University Press
- Book reviews for journals, including Nineteenth Century American History
- Contributor to AQA A Level History Textbook, The Making of a Superpower: USA, 1865-1975
03/2017 - Age, Identity, and Solidary in American Slave Communities', Invited speaker, Beyond the Slave Community and Resistance Paradigms: Alternative Approaches to the Social Lives of Bondpeople in the Atlantic World.
02/2016 – “Old Fellows”: Age and Manhood among Slaves in the Antebellum South’, Invited speaker, American Studies Seminar Series, Canterbury Christ Church University.
02/2015 - Contesting Manhood in Slave Communities of the Antebellum South', Invited speaker, Modern History Seminar Series, the University of York
04/2014 – 'Aged Manhood among the Enslaved', BrANCH Special Conference, Rice University, Houston.
04/2014 – 'Men at Home: Domestic Economies and Masculine Hierarchies in antebellum Slave Communities of the U.S. South, Men at Home: Authority, Domesticity, Sexuality, and Household Production, the University of Urbino, Italy.
04/2013 – "I never seen such a worker as my father": Work and Masculine Responsibility among the Enslaved', British Association for American Studies Annual Conference 2013, The University of Exeter.
10/2012 - 'Marronage and the Slave Community', BrANCH Annual Conference, The University of Northumbria.
06/2012 - "My Daddy was much of a man, yessir!" Sex and Masculinity among the Enslaved', Comparative Approaches to Slavery in Worlds Old and New, The University of Warwick.
10/2011 - "Them as won't fight, is called poke-easy": Violence and resistance among male slaves in the antebellum South', BrANCH Annual Conference, The University of Cambridge.
09/2011 - 'Conspiracy and the "Slave Community", Conspiracies Real and Imagined: York Cultural History Conference, The University of York.
08/2011 – 'Masculinity and Slavery', Slavery, Memory and Citizenship Workshop, the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples, York University, Toronto.
04/2011 – 'Honour and Violence in the Slave Community', British Association for American Studies Annual Conference 2011, The University of Central Lancashire.
02/2011 - 'Hierarchies and Honour among Enslaved Men in the Antebellum South', Intersecting Identities in African American History and Culture, New Perspectives on African American History and Culture Conference, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
07/2010 – 'Slave Work and Masculinities in the Antebellum South: Homosocial Hierarchies', Masculine Identifications: An Interdisciplinary Conference, The University of Huddersfield.
05/2010 – "As many treacherous colored as white": Runaways and the Slave Community', Historical Perspectives: Conflict and Conformity, The University of Dundee.
"Are you men?" Contested Manhood in Slave Communities of the United States, 1800-1865 (Under contract with Cambridge University Press)
This monograph demonstrates that masculine identity was a site of contest and comparison within slave communities of the antebellum South. In exploring how enslaved people negotiated identities in relation to one another, and not simply with white society in mind, I help to demonstrate the fluidity of gender as a social and cultural construct and the limitations to any monolithic model of black solidarity.
Writing the History of Slavery (Under contract with Bloomsbury Academic Press)
Writing the History of Slavery explores major historiographical, theoretical, and methodological approaches that have shaped studies on slavery, highlighting the varied ways historians have approached the fluid and complex systems of human bondage, domination, and exploitation that have developed in societies across the world.
"Old Fellows": Age, Identity, and the Antebellum Slave Community
In this project I will explore how enslaved men experienced "old age" in bondage, examining how ideas on physical and/or mental decline impacted upon their sense of self, their relationships with others in their communities, and their responses to slavery. The past few decades have seen a significant amount of work on enslaved manhood, demonstrating that enslaved men fought against the emasculating effects of slavery with public performances of power, authority, self-reliance, and assistances to others. Yet such depictions often represent manhood and men's responses to slavery as static; as enslaved men grew older, though, the performances expected of them and the possibilities afforded them shifted - both from within the slave community but also from outside - and this affected how enslaved men perceived of themselves and others. This project will, therefore, explore how enslaved men dealt with the process and pressures of ageing while enslaved.
This project will make an important impact in terms of: (i) furthering our understanding of the diverse identities forged in enslavement, the dynamic relations that marked slave communities and the tense negotiations between individuals ostensibly united by oppression; (ii) challenging monolithic depictions of black masculinity and allowing for a more nuanced treatment of gender as a social and cultural construct; (iii) showing how experiences of slavery, including abstract notions like "resistance", "accommodation", and "agency" were interpreted, negotiated, and shaped by reference to age and identity.