Prof Richard Follett
|Post:||Professor of American History (American Studies, Documenting Louisiana Sugar 1845-1917, Marcus Cunliffe Centre for the Study of the American South, History)|
|Location:||Arts A A149|
|International:||+44 1273 877365|
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Richard Follett is a historian of slavery and emancipation. Brought up in North Wales and Bristol, England, Follett attended the University of Wales, Swansea and the University of Illinois for his BA degree. He obtained an MA from the University of London in 1991 before receiving a Fulbright scholarship to support his doctoral work on American slavery at Louisiana State University. Before moving to Sussex in 1999, he taught at the National University of Ireland, Galway.
Professor of American History
Community and Business
12 Years a Slave opened in the UK on Friday 10th January with media coverage in print, radio and screen. Both director Steve McQueen and lead actor Chiwetel Ejiofor were quoted as saying that Solomon Northup's autobiography (first published in New York in 1853) should be on the National Curriculum for British school-children.
Sky News: Should Slavery Be Made Essential Reading?
Sky News covered the story with a special report, aired on Saturday 11th January, which is available here: Slavery 'Should Be Made Essential Reading', which they followed up by interviewing Richard Follett of Sussex University and then Miranda Kaufmann, historian and freelance journalist.
Cultural Heritage of Slavery
Richard Follett is currently writing White Fright: Slave Revolts in American Memory, a history of slave rebellions and their legacies from the 18th to early 20th centuries. He is also completing A Global History of Southern Commodities, co-authored with Sven Beckert, Peter Coclanis, and Barbara Hahn. Both books are under contract with Johns Hopkins University Press. He holds a British Academy Senior Research Fellowship for 2013-2014.
Follett's earlier work focused on sugar and slavery. It centered on Louisiana, the last of the New World sugar colonies where nineteenth century slavery reached its most modern, advanced form. The principal outputs included a major, publicly accessible digital resource on the American sugar economy (2008, AHRC Project Grant), award-winning The Sugar Masters: Planters and Slaves in Louisiana's Cane World, 1820-1860 (2005), Slavery's Ghost: The Problem of Freedom in the Age of Emancipation (2011) co-authored with Eric Foner and Walter Johnson, and a range of articles on slave and post-emancipation societies. These include published essays on slavery & emancipation, plantation societies, demography & public health, and the history of Brazilian football. Video film clips on Twelve Years a Slave are also available. Follett co-founded the Routledge quarterly Atlantic Studies and edited it from 2003-2013.
He currently supervises doctoral students working on slavery and emancipation along Louisiana's Red River (Carin Peller Semmens), the history of Creole New Orleans (Darryl Barthe), Language and Politics in twentieth century Louisiana (Christophe Landry). He is interested in supervising graduate work on the history of the eighteenth to mid-twentieth century American South and Caribbean. Links to all available publications are included below.
“Agricultural History talks with Richard Follett,” Agricultural History 88 (Spring 2014).
Richard Follett, “Old South, New South: The Strange Career of Pierre Champomier” in The Enigmatic South: Reflections in Southern Identity, ed. Samuel Hyde and James M. McPherson (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2014).
Books & Digital Resources:
Richard Follett, Eric Foner, and Walter Johnson, Slavery's Ghost: The Problem of Freedom in the Age of Emancipation (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011).
Richard Follett, The Sugar Masters: Planters and Slaves in Louisiana’s Cane World, 1820-1860. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2005; paperback, 2007) * Gulf South History Book Award 2006; * Louisiana Literary Award 2006; * British Association for American Studies Book Prize 2006; * Finalist, 2006 Frederick Douglass Prize * Choice Outstanding Academic Title.
Articles & Book Chapters:
- Trevor Burnard and Richard Follett, “Caribbean Slavery, British Abolition and the Cultural Politics of Venereal Disease in the Atlantic World,” The Historical Journal 55 No. 2 (June 2012): 427-451. Reprinted in Slavery: Critical Concepts in Historical Studies, ed. Gad Heuman and Trevor Burnard (New York; Routledge, 2014).
- Richard Follett, "The Demography of Slavery," in Trevor Burnard and Gad Heuman eds., The Routledge History of Slavery (New York: Routledge, 2010), 119-137.
- Richard Follett, "Slavery and Technology in Louisiana's Sugar Bowl" in Susanna Delfino and Michele Gillespie eds., Technology, Innovation and Southern Industrialization: From the Antebellum Era to the Computer Age (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2008), 68-96.
- Richard Follett, Rick Halpern, Alison Bambridge, Alex Lichtenstein, "Documenting the Louisiana Sugar Economy, 1845-1917: An on-line Database Project," Journal of Peasant Studies 35 (October 2008): 801-810.
- Richard Follett, "Slavery and Plantation Capitalism in Louisiana's Sugar Country," in J. William Harris ed., The Old South: New Studies of Society and Culture (New York: Routledge, 2008), 37-57.
- Richard Follett, "'The Spirit of Brazil': Football and the Politics of Afro-Brazilian Cultural Identity," in Annalisa Oboe and Anna Scacchi eds., Recharting the Black Atlantic: Modern Cultures, Local Communities, Global Connections (New York: Routledge, 2008), 71-92.
- Richard Follett, "'Gloomy Melancholy': Sexual Reproduction among Louisiana Slave Women, 1840-1860," in Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, Joseph C. Miller eds., Women in Slavery Vol.II - The Americas (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2008), 54-75.
- Richard Follett, "The Sugar Masters," Louisiana Cultural Vistas 18 (Summer 2007): 44-55.
- Richard Follett, "'Lives of Living Death': The Reproductive Lives of Slave Women in the Cane World of Louisiana," Slavery & Abolition 26 (August 2005): 289-304.
- Richard Follett, "'Give to the Labor of America, the Market of America': Marketing the Old South's Sugar Crop, 1800-1860," Revista de Indias (Special Issue: 'The Sugar Industry in the Americas') LXV, 233 (January-April 2005): 117-147.
- Richard Follett and Rick Halpern, "From Slavery to Freedom in Louisiana's Sugar Country: Changing Labour Systems and Workers' Power," in Bernard Moitt, ed., Sugar, Slavery, and Society (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2004), 135-156.
- Richard Follett, "Heat, Sex, and Sugar: Childbearing in the Slave Quarters," Journal of Family History 28 (October 2003): 510-539. Reprinted in Slavery: Critical Concepts in Historical Studies, ed. Gad Heuman and Trevor Burnard (New York; Routledge, 2014).
- Richard Follett, "On the Edge of Modernity: Louisiana's Landed Elites in the Nineteenth Century Sugar Country," in Enrico Dal Lago and Rick Halpern eds., The American South and Italian Mezzogiorno: Essays in Comparative History (London: Palgrave, 2002), 73-94.
- Richard Follett, "Slavery and Plantation Capitalism in Louisiana's Sugar Country," American Nineteenth Century History 1 (Autumn 2000): 1-27.
Richard Follett, Narratives of Slavery (November 2009)
Editorial, Peer and Scholarly Review.
Editor: Atlantic Studies (Routledge) Founding Editor (2003-2013)
Book Reviews in Journal of American History; American Historical Review; Slavery and Abolition; Journal of Southern History; Journal of American Studies; Textual Practice; Times Higher Education.
Latest Reviews: Scott P. Marler, The Merchant's Capital: New Orleans and the Political Economy of the Nineteenth Century South (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) in Journal of Southern History; Christopher Hager, Word by Word: Emancipation and the Act of Writing (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013) in Times Higher Education Review (London); Eugene D. Genovese and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Fatal Self-Deception: Slaveholding Paternalism in the Old South (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011) in Journal of American History; L. Diane Barnes et al., The Old South’s Modern Worlds: Slavery, Region, and Race in the Age of Progress (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) in American Historical Review.
2013-14: British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship for White Fright: Slave Revolts in American Memory
2013-14: Fellow Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
2012-14: British Academy/Leverhulme Research Grant: White Fright: Slave Revolts in American Memory.
2003-2008: Arts and Humanities Research Council. Project Grant: Race and Labour in the Cane Fields: Louisiana Sugar, 1845-1917.
2003-2006: Social Science and History Research Council of Canada. Project Grant: Documenting Louisiana Sugar, 1845-1917.
Recent Presentations (2009-13):
- Roundtable: "The Political Economy of the South," Southern Historical Association Annual Meeting, St Louis, October 2013.
- “Slavery and Freedom in Louisiana’s Cane World,” Public History Keynote Lecture, Edward Gay Symposium, Baton Rouge, March 2013.
- “Slavery and Venereal Disease in the Tropics,” Department of Primary Care, University of Sussex and Brighton Primary Health Care Trust Seminars, March 2012.
- “The Politics of Vice: Jamaican Slavery in the British Atlantic World,” Atlantic Studies Plenary Lecture, Louisiana State University, October 2011.
- "Creolization and Caribbean Discourse," City University of Hong Kong, April 2011.
- "Venereal Disease in Jamaica, 1750-1790," Life and Death in the Tropics, University of Warwick, March 2011.
- Comment: "Gendered Economies of Slavery and Freedom: Women as Agents in the Perpetuation and Demise of the Peculiar Institution," American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Boston, January 2011.
- "The State of Atlantic Studies," Plenary Roundtable: MESEA, Pecs, Hungary, July 2010.
- "The Persistence of Paternalism-Planter Ideologies in the Era of Reconstruction," Southern Historical Association Annual Meeting, Louisville, November 2009.
- "Legacies of Enslavement: Plantation Identities and the Question of Freedom," Marcus Cunliffe Lecture, University of Sussex, May 2009.
- “Plantation Economies in the American South: Database Design and Southern Agricultural History,” Guest Lecture: British Agricultural History Society, Northampton, April 2009.
- “Documenting Louisiana Sugar, 1845-1917: An On-Line Database Project,” Louisiana Historical Association Annual Meeting, Monroe, March 2009.
- Comment: "Re-imagining the African American Diaspora: Trauma, Representation and the Great American Forced Migration," BAAS Annual Meeting, Nottingham, April 2009.
- "The Sound of Silence: Slavery and its Soundscape," American Historical Association Annual Meeting, New York, January 2009.
During 2013-2014, Richard Follett is on academic leave and is thus not offering any undergraduate or postgraduate modules at Sussex.
Follett is External Examiner for the BA History degree at Queen's University Belfast with responsibility for American and Modern European History.
Burnard, Trevor and Follett, Richard (2013) Caribbean slavery, British anti-slavery and the cultural politics of venereal disease. In: Slavery. Critical concepts in historical studies, 2 . Routledge, Abingdon. ISBN 9780415500371
Follett, Richard (2013) Heat, sex, and sugar: pregnancy and childbearing in the slave quarters. In: Slavery. Critical concepts in historical studies, 2 . Routledge, Abingdon. ISBN 9780415500371
Burnard, Trevor and Follett, Richard (2012) Caribbean slavery, British abolition and the cultural politics of venereal disease in the Atlantic world. The Historical Journal, 55 (2). pp. 427-451. ISSN 0018-246X
Follett, Richard, Foner, Eric and Johnson, Walter (2011) Slavery's Ghost: The Problem of Freedom in the Age of Emancipation. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 9781421402369
Follett, Richard (2010) The Demography of Slavery. In: The Routledge History of Slavery. The Routledge Histories . Routledge, pp. 119-137. ISBN 9780415466899
Follett, Richard, Halpern, Rick, Lichtenstein, Alex and Bambridge, Alison (2008) Documenting the Louisiana Sugar Economy, 1845-1917: An on-line Database Project. Journal of Peasant Studies, 35 (4). pp. 801-810. ISSN 0306-6150
Follett, Richard (2008) Slavery and technology in Louisiana's sugar bowl. In: Technology, innovation, and Southern industrialization: from the antebellum era to the computer age. University of Missouri Press, pp. 68-96. ISBN 9780826217950
Follett, Richard (2008) The Spirit of Brazil: Football and the Politics of Afro-Brazilian Cultural Identity. In: Recharting the black Atlantic : modern cultures, local communitities, global connections. Routledge Research in Atlantic Studies . Routledge, pp. 71-92. ISBN 9780415961110
Follett, Richard and Halpern, Rick (2008) Documenting the American Sugar Economy 1845-1914. [Dataset]
Follett, Richard (2008) Race and labour in the cane fields: documenting Louisiana sugar, 1845-1917. [Dataset]
Follett, Richard (2007) Gloomy Melancholy: Sexual Reproduction among Louisiana Slave Women, 1840-1860. In: Women and Slavery, Vol. 2: The Modern Atlantic. Ohio University Press, pp. 54-75. ISBN 9780821417263
Follett, Richard (2007) Slavery and plantation capitalism in Louisiana's sugar country. In: The Old South: New Studies of Society and Culture. Rewriting Histories . Routledge. ISBN 9780415957281
Follett, Richard (2005) ‘Lives of living death’: The reproductive lives of slave women in the cane world of Louisiana. Slavery and Abolition, 26 (2). pp. 289-304. ISSN 0144-039X
Follett, Richard (2005) The Sugar Masters: Planters and Slaves in Louisiana's Cane World 1820 - 1860. Louisiana State University Press. ISBN 9780807130384
Follett, Richard (2005) 'Give to the Labor of America, the Market of America': Marketing the Old South's Sugar Crop, 1800-1860. Revista de Indias, 65 (233). pp. 117-146. ISSN 0034-8341
Follett, Richard and Halpern, Rick (2004) From Slavery to Freedom in Louisiana's Sugar Country: Changing Labour Systems and Workers' Power. In: Symposium on Sugarcane and Society, Univ Toronto, New Coll, Toronto, CANADA.
Follett, Richard (2003) Heat, sex, and sugar: pregnancy and childbearing in the slave quarters. Journal of Family History, 28 (4). pp. 510-539. ISSN 0363-1990
Follett, Richard (2001) On the edge of modernity: Louisiana's landed elites in the nineteenth nentury sugar country. In: The American South and Italian Mezzogiorno: essays in comparative history. Palgrave, pp. 73-94. ISBN 9780333739716
Follett, Richard (2000) Slavery and Plantation Capitalism in Louisiana's Sugar Country. American Nineteenth Century History, 1 (3). pp. 1-27. ISSN 1466-4658