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Department of History
Tufts University
East Hall, Room 008
Medford, MA 02155

Email Prof. Nowara

Christopher Schmidt-Nowara
Prince of Asturias Chair in Spanish Culture & Civilization


I joined the Tufts History Department in 2011 after teaching for more than ten years at Fordham University. My research concentrates on two broad areas: the history of slavery and emancipation in the Hispanic world and the history of politics and ideas in the Spanish empire, especially during the imperial crises of the nineteenth century. I have recently embarked on a new work, a study of Spanish prisoners of war during the resistance against French rule (1808-1814) and the independence struggles in Spanish America (1810-1830). My hope is that this study of captivity on both sides of the Atlantic will bring new insights into Spanish ideas of freedom in imperial and national frameworks, a theme that I have pursued since my first book on Spanish abolitionism. Presently, I am editing and annotating the 400-page unpublished diary of the Spanish prisoner of war Fernando Blanco y Crespo, who recounted his dramatic escape from captivity in France during the waning days of Napoleon Bonaparte's rule.

Over the years I have developed several courses on Spanish, Caribbean, and Atlantic history. Since arriving at Tufts, I have offered surveys of Spanish history from the era of overseas expansion until the present day (HIST 66 & 67), an upper-level course on Caribbean history (HIST 118), and a research seminar on Slavery & Freedom in the Atlantic World (HIST 190), which I will also offer as a thematic course in the coming years. On the graduate level, I look forward to working with students interested in approaching Spanish, Caribbean, and Latin American history from Atlantic and global perspectives. Learn about the Ph.D. in Global History program.

I serve on the editorial board of three journals: the recently founded Bulletin for Spanish & Portuguese Historical Studies, Illes i Imperis/Islands and Empires (published at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona), and Social History, for which I have edited two special issues, one on contemporary Spanish historiography (August 2004) and the other on emancipation in the Caribbean (August 2011).

I hosted the annual conference of the Association for Spanish & Portuguese Historical Studies at Tufts, March 22-25, 2012. The program can be found here.


  • Ph.D. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 1995
  • B.A. Kenyon College, 1988

Selected Publications

  • Slavery and Antislavery in Spain's Atlantic Empire. Co-edited with Josep M. Fradera. New York: Berghahn Books, 2013.
  • Slavery, Freedom, and Abolition in Latin America and the Atlantic World. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2011.
  • "Caribbean Emancipations." Social History 36 (August 2011): 257-59.
  • The Conquest of History: Spanish Colonialism and National Histories in the Nineteenth Century. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006.
  • "Imperio y crisis colonial." Más se perdió en Cuba: España, 1898 y el fin de siglo. Ed. Juan Pan-Montojo. Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1998, 2nd ed. 2006.
  • Co-edited with John Nieto-Phillips. Interpreting Spanish Colonialism: Empires, Nations, and Legends. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2005.
  • "'La España ultramarina: Colonialism and Nation-building in Nineteenth-Century Spain." European History Quarterly 34 (2004).
  • Empire and Antislavery: Spain, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, 1833-1874. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999.

Forthcoming Publications

  • "The Transition from Slavery to Freedom." The Cambridge World History of Slavery, volume 4: 1804-2000. Eds. Seymour Drescher, David Eltis, Stanley Engerman, and David Richardson.
  • "Democractic Revolutions, The Age of." Princeton Companion to Atlantic History. Ed. Joseph C. Miller.
  • "Los colonialismos caribeños desde la conquista española hasta el reino de azúcar estadounidense." Historia de Antillas. Ed. José Antonio Piqueras. Ediciones Doce Calles.


  • HIST 66 Spain and its Empire (Fall 2014)
  • HIST 67 Spain from Global Empire to European Union (Spring 2015)
  • HIST 102 Slavery and Freedom in the Atlantic World (Fall 2014)
  • HIST 210 Approaches to Global History (Spring 2015)

Research Links