Professor Manuel Barcia

Professor Manuel Barcia

Professor of Latin American History

Pro-Dean International. Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

0113 343 4476

Summary: African slavery and slave trade in the Atlantic World; forms of slave resistance in the Americas (particularly Cuba and Brazil).

Manuel studied History at undergraduate level at the University of Havana. He then took a MA in Comparative History and a PhD in History at the University of Essex. After concluding his PhD he went on to teach at the universities of Essex and Nottingham before coming to Leeds in 2006. Manuel's research focuses on the history of slavery and the slave trade in the nineteenth-century Atlantic world. Manuel is also a contributor to The Washington SpectatorThe Huffington Post, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, and Al Jazeera in English. In 2014 he was awarded a prestigious Philip Leverhume Prize in History, given every year to researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising. Manuel is currently a Non-resident fellow at the Hutchins Center's Afro-Latin American Institute (Harvard University) and in the Spring 2017 he was a Visiting fellow at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition (Yale University).


The Yellow Demon of Fever: Fighting Disease in the Illegal Slave Trade, 1820-1867 (under contract with Yale University Press).

West African Warfare in Bahia and Cuba: Soldier Slaves in the Atlantic World, 1807-1844 (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2014); Sponsored by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship.

The Great African Slave Revolt of 1825: Cuba and the Fight for Freedom in Matanzas (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2012).

Seeds of Insurrection: Domination and Slave Resistance on Cuban Plantations (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2008).

Articles and Book chapters (selected)

'"To Kill all Whites": The Ethics of African Warfare in Bahia and Cuba, 1807-1844', Journal of African Military History 1, no. 1 (2017): 72-92.

'Innovation and Entrepreneurship as strategies for success among Cuban-based firms in the late years of the transatlantic slave trade' (with Effie Kesidou), Business History (2017). DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1332044

'Going Back Home: Slave Suicide in Nineteenth-Century Cuba', Millars: Espai I Història 42, no. 1 (2017): 49-73.

'Cuba in and after 2016: Some Initial Reflections', Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies 26, no. 1 (2017): 3-5. 

'Fully Capable of any Iniquity: The Atlantic Human Trafficking Network of the Zangroniz Family’, The Americas 73, no. 3 (2016): 303-324.

‘Powerful Subjects: The Duplicity of Slave Owners in Nineteenth-Century Cuba’, International Journal of Cuban Studies 7, no. 1 (2015): 99-112.

‘West African Islam in Colonial Cuba’, Slavery & Abolition 35, no. 2 (2014): 292-305.

‘An Atlantic Islamic Revolution: Dan Fodio’s Jihād and Slave Rebellion in Bahia and Cuba, 1804-844’, Journal of African Diaspora Archaeology and Heritage 2, no.1 (2013): 6-18.

‘Un coloso sobre la arena: Definiendo el camino hacia la plantación esclavista en Cuba, 1792-1825’, Revista de Indias 71, no. 251 (2011): 53-76.

‘Cuba’ [co-authored with Matt D. Childs], in Mark Smith and Robert Paquette, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Slavery in the Americas (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 90-110.

‘El Conde de Villanueva y la alternativa de la Cuba Grande: una aproximación a la labor de Claudio Martínez de Pinillos al frente de la Intendencia de Hacienda de la isla de Cuba, 1825-1851’, in Ma. Dolores González-Ripoll and Izaskun Álvarez Cuartero, eds., Francisco de Arango y la invención de la Cuba azucarera (Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca, 2009), 289-300.

‘Rebeliones de esclavos, rebeliones de “libres de color”: una comparación entre Bahía y la Habana-Matanzas, 1795-1844’, in José A. Piqueras, ed., Trabajo libre y coactivo en sociedades de plantación (Madrid: Siglo XXI, 2009), 345-368. 

‘Locking Horns with the Northern Empire: Anti-American Imperialism at the Conference of 1966 in Havana’, The Journal of Transatlantic Studies 7, no. 3 (2009): 208-217.

‘A Not-so-Common Wind: Slave Revolts in the Age of Revolutions in Cuba and Brazil’, Review: The Journal of the Fernand Braudel Center 31, no. 2 (2008): 169-194.

‘Middle Passage Afflictions in the Work of Francisco Barrera y Domingo: Literature, Politics and Disease’, in Naana Opoku-Agyemang, Paul E. Lovejoy and David V. Trotman, eds., African and Trans-Atlantic Memories: Literary and Aesthetic Manifestations of Diaspora and History (Trenton and Asmara: Africa World Press, 2008), 53-64.

‘Les Epines de la Truite: Les juntes anti-françaises de La Havane en 1809’, Nuevo Mundo-Mundos Nuevos 8 (2008), online at:

‘Havana’, ‘Sierra Leone’ and ‘Suicide’, in Toyin Falola and Amanda Warnock, eds., Encyclopaedia of the Middle Passage: Greenwood Milestones in African American History (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2007), 208-210, 344-345, and 363-364.

‘Sugar, Slavery, and Bourgeoisie: The Emergence of the Cuban Sugar Industry’, in Ulbe Bosma, Juan Giusti-Cordero, and G. Roger Knight, eds., Sugarlandia Revisited: Sugar and Colonialism in Asia and the Americas (Oxford and New York: Berghahn, 2007), 145-158.

‘Fighting with the Enemy’s Weapons: The Usage of the Colonial Legal Framework by Nineteenth Cuban Slaves’, Atlantic Studies 3, no. 2 (2006): 159-181.

‘Exorcising the Storm: Revisiting the Origins of the Repression of the Conspiracy of La Escalera in Cuba’, Colonial Latin America Historical Review 15, no. 3 (2006): 311-326.

‘Revolts amongst Enslaved Africans in Nineteenth-Century Cuba: A New Look to an Old Problem’, The Journal of Caribbean History 39, no. 2 (2005): 173-200.

Editorial Work

Editor. Atlantic Studies: Global Currents

Editorial Board. Voyages: The Transatlantic Slave Trade Database.

Editorial Board. Cuban Studies.

External Positions

Yale University Gilder Lehrman Center Visiting Fellow (2017).  

Harvard University Hutchins Center Non-residential Fellow (2016-2017) 

Fellow. Royal Historical Society.

Honorary Fellow. Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE). University of Hull.

Advisory Board. Atlantic Slave Database Network.

Teaching (on research leave till September 2017)

HIST2600 Brazil and Colonies from Colonies to Republics (co-ordinator)

HIST3396 The Hidden Atlantic: Pirates, Sailors, and Slave Traders, 1807-1867

HIST5880M Approaches to the History of Health and Medicine

PhD Supervision

Dr Francisco Tudela (2009-2013), “Cuba’s Love Affair with Violence: 1940s Revolutionary Groups”

Dr Jose Diaz Rodriguez (2009-2013), “Revisiting Empire: The Poetics and Politics of Contemporary Spanish Representations of the Philippines”

Dr Jennifer L. Nelson (2011-2015), “Emancipados in the Atlantic World:  The Courts of Mixed Commission in Havana and Rio de Janeiro 1819-1845” 

Joanna Allan (2013-2017), "Gender and Resistance in Spanish-Speaking Africa"

Jesús Sanjurjo Ramos (2014- ) "Liberalism, Slavery and the Abolition of the Slave Trade in the Hispanic World: British Influence in the Construction of Spanish anti-Slave Trade Discourses"

Claudia Rogers (2014- ) "Encountering Difference in the Age of Discovery: Understanding Indigenous Perceptions of Europeans"

Liam Physick (2016- ) "The Experience of Slave Soldiers in the Wars of Independence in New York State and the Mexican Region of Cordoba." 

Areas of supervision for possible Postgraduate Research students

Latin American History, Caribbean History, Atlantic History, African Diasporas, Slave Trade, Slavery and Resistance.