Tessa Murphy


Tessa Murphy

Assistant Professor of History

Organizer of:


Tessa Murphy is Assistant Professor History at Syracuse University. Her first book, "The Creole Archipelago: Race and Borders in the Colonial Caribbean," was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2021. The book traces how generations of Indigenous Kalinagos, free and enslaved Africans, and settlers from a variety of European nations used maritime routes to forge social, economic, and informal political connections that spanned the eastern Caribbean. Focusing on a chain of volcanic islands, each one visible from the next, whose societies developed outside the sphere of European rule until the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763, Murphy argues that the imperial frameworks typically used to analyze the early colonial Caribbean are at odds with the geographic realities that shaped daily life in the region. She is now at work on two related projects. The first is a collaborative digital history project that will make information about enslaved people in the nineteenth-century Caribbean available to students, researchers, and members of descendent communities. The second is a book project that will use this information in order to center the experiences of enslaved people in the British Caribbean during the age of abolition.