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Dr David Doddington

Dr David Doddington

Senior Lecturer in North American History

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

Email
doddingtond@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)20 2087 4251
Campuses
5.38, John Percival Building
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

Research interests

I am Senior Lecturer in North American History at Cardiff University, and received my PhD from the University of Warwick in February 2013. Before taking up post at Cardiff in 2014, I held teaching and research positions at the University of Warwick, the University of Leicester, and the University of York. 

My research interests centre on slavery, race, and gender in the antebellum South, with a particular interest in examining resistance and solidarity within slave communities. I have published in journals such as Gender & History, Slavery & AbolitionJournal of Southern History, and in edited collections, including Daina Ramey Berry and Leslie Harris (Eds.) Sexuality and Slavery: Reclaiming Intimate Histories in the Americas (Athens: Univeristy of Georgia Press, 2018). My first book, Contesting Slave Masculinity in the American South, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2018.

Alongside Professor Enrico Dal Lago (NUI Galway), I am working on an edited collection entitled Writing the History of Slavery, to be published by Bloomsbury in 2021. My second monograph, Old Age and American Slavery,has been generously supported with a research fellowship awarded by the Leverhulme Trust, as well as funding provided by the British Association of American Studies, the Eccles Centre at the British Library, and the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies, Middelburg.

I have 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. I welcome enquiries over teaching and supervision on slavery, gender, and race in American history.

External activity:

I have given a range of public lectures to academic, school-level, and public audiences, both in the UK and abroad, have engaged in workshop activities, and written for student magazines, academic and popular blog forums. Examples include:

05/2018 - 'Decentering History' - Invited lecture at Tredegar House, National Trust

04/2018 - 'Reconstruction, Redemption, and Retreat' - Invited lecture at Howell's School, Llandaff, Cardiff

01/2018 - 'Was slavery the main cause of the US Civil War?' - Invited lecture at Malvern St James, Girls' School

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'?

Biography

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

Career overview

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

My research to date has been generously supported with fellowships and awards from the Leverhulme Trust, the British Association of American Studies, the Eccles Centre at the British Library, British American Nineteenth Century Historians, the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies, Middelburg, the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Warwick. 

Professional memberships

  • British Association for American Studies (BAAS).
  • The Association of British American Nineteenth Century Historians (BrANCH).
  • The Southern Historical Association (SHA).

Speaking engagements

03/07/2019 – ‘The summer of my life was passing away’: Age, Masculinity, and Resistance in the US Slave South’, Invited speaker, Historicising Masculinities Conference, Newcastle University.

10/04/19 – ‘Violence and Honour in Slave Communities of the US South’, Invited speaker, Slavery and Honour in the Ancient Greek World, University of Edinburgh.

01/2019 – ‘Old Age and American Slavery’, Invited speaker, Life-Cycles, Institute for Historical Research.

11/2018 – ‘Age, Identity, Selfhood and Slavery’, Invited speaker, Gender, Body, & Selfhood, University of Essex.

06/2017 – ‘Resistance, Survival, and Subjectivity in Studies of U.S. Slavery’, International Society for Cultural History Conference, Umeå University.

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.

Committees and reviewing

  • Solicited book and peer reviews, including: Slavery & Abolition, Nineteenth Century American History, Gender & History, Journal of Global Slavery, Journal of the Early Republic, Reviews in History, Oxford University Press, De Gruyter, Journal of Social History, Social Sciences.

  • Outreach and engagement with ECR and PhD students. Includes invitation to deliver 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. Presentations at ECR events for BrANCH, BGEAH, and BAAS; publication for BAAS online relating to job applications.

  • Outreach and engagement with schools and community organizations. Includes publications targeted at secondary school-level students, namely AQA A-Level History Textbook, The Making of a Superpower: USA, 1865-1975, Modern History Review. Providing workshops at secondary schools in Cardiff, Kent, Coventry, Malvern, Monmouth. Delivering public lecture at National Trust property, Tredegar House, Newport.

Publications

2022

2021

2019

  • Doddington, D. 2019. Slavery and the family. In: Burnard, T. ed. Oxford Bibliographies in Atlantic History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. -.

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

Teaching

My teaching at Cardiff includes:

  • Year 1: Making of the Modern World.
  • Year 1: History in Practice.
  • Year 1: Projecting the Past.
  • Year 2: Approaches to History
  • Year 2: Exploring Historical Debate.
  • Year 2: “An Empire for Liberty”: Race, Space, and Power in the United States, 1775-1898.
  • Year 3: Dissertation.
  • Year 3: Slavery and Slave Life in North America, 1619-1865.
  • PGT: Skills in Historical Research.
  • PGT: Trends in Historical Research.
  • PGT: Slavery, Resistance, and Survival in the U.S. South, 1815-1865.

I am supervising PhD students on the following topics:

  • Co-supervisor (50%) for Elizabeth Maeve Barnes, 'Rape, Power, and Race: Black Women’s Responses to Sexual Violence in the Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction US South.’  COMPLETED
  • Co-supervisor (50%) for Erin Shearer, 'Women of Violence: Challenging Perceptions of Enslaved Women’s Resistance in the Antebellum United States, 1815-1861.'
  • Co-supervisor (50%) for Pamela Price, 'Who holds the book? The Rise of the Eighteenth-Century Child and the Contemporary Young Adult Reader.'

I welcome enquiries for supervision in topics relating to slavery, gender, and race in American history.

Research projects

Contesting Slave Masculinity in the American South (New York; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018)

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 (London: Bloomsbury, 2021)

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 (Supported with Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust, £50,148)

In Old Age and American Slavery, I explore perceptions of old age and attitudes towards “old” people in the American South. I focus on the experiences and identities of enslavers and enslaved alike and reveal the implications of aging on the institutional and ideological structures underpinning the “Peculiar Institution.” Slavery was a system of economic exploitation and a contested site of personal domination: both elements were shaped and affected by concerns with age. The question of what happened to enslaved people who were “quite crooked with years and labour” spoke to economic, ideological, and political debates; such decisions also had very real impact for the people so labeled. Contemporaries noted how having “turned the hill” influenced enslaved peoples’ strategies for survival; attention to age and identity therefore provides insight into the complex dynamics of resistance and solidarity among the enslaved. Concerns with “getting too old and weak” affected enslavers’ hopes for mastery and control – whether over enslaved people, in their families, or in front of the white community. In revealing how enslavers and enslaved people felt about, and dealt with, pressures associated with aging, Old Age and American Slavery develops vital and ongoing debates on power, resistance, and survival in the American South. It deepens our understanding of both the structures and the most personal experiences of slavery.

Supervision

I welcome enquiries over teaching and supervision on slavery, gender, and race in American history.

Past projects

  • Co-supervisor (50%) for Elizabeth Maeve Barnes, 'Rape, Power, and Race: Black Women’s Responses to Sexual Violence in the Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction US South.’  COMPLETED
  • Co-supervisor (50%) for Erin Shearer, 'Women of Violence: Challenging Perceptions of Enslaved Women’s Resistance in the Antebellum United States, 1815-1861.'
  • Co-supervisor (50%) for Pamela Price, 'Who holds the book? The Rise of the Eighteenth-Century Child and the Contemporary Young Adult Reader.'