Yuko Miki is a historian of the Iberian Atlantic World. Her work explores the ways in which slavery and freedom bound together the lives of women and men in nineteenth-century Brazil with various corners of the Atlantic, from the Americas to Europe and Africa.
Professor Miki is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Insurgent Geographies: Blacks, Indians, and the Making of Postcolonial Brazil, which studies Brazilian nation-building between the state and the frontier, based on territorial consolidation, slavery expansion, and violent indigenous conquest. The project demonstrates how, from the last years of Portuguese colonial rule to the abolition of slavery in the late nineteenth century, the incorporation of the nation’s frontier territories was inseparable from the construction of unequal citizenship regimes of its black and indigenous inhabitants. Through stories slaves and maroons, Indians and settlers, the book also reveals how black and indigenous people shaped Brazil's postcolonial history by expressing their own stakes in the new nation's social, political, legal, and economic terrain.
Professor Miki’s next project is tentatively entitled Brazilian Atlantic: Slavery and Freedom in the Age of Abolition. It investigates the overlapping geographies of the Middle Passage, capitalism, abolitionism, and internal migration in the mid-nineteenth century, focusing on the persistence of slavery and the precariousness of freedom during the age of Atlantic World abolitions. Travelling between Brazil, Portugal, England, the U.S., Nigeria, and Angola, this project integrates the history of slavery and abolition in postcolonial Brazil with that of the Lusophone and Anglophone Atlantic worlds. A fellowship from Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition supported Professor Miki’s research in Spring 2015.
Her publications include "Fleeing into Slavery: The Insurgent Geographies of Brazilian Quilombolas (Maroons), 1880-1881" (2012). This article received the Best Article Prize from the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Brazil Section and the Nupur Chaudhuri Best First Article Prize from the Coordinating Council for Women in History (CCWH). She is also the author of "Slave and Citizen in Black and Red: Reconsidering the Intersection of African and Indigenous Slavery in Postcolonial Brazil," in Slavery and Abolition (2014). Prior to joining the Fordham history faculty, Professor Miki was on the history faculty of Washington University in St. Louis. At Fordham, she is also a member of the Latin American and Latino Studies (LALSI) faculty.
Dr. Miki was recently interviewed about her new book Frontiers of Citizenship in Fordham News. Read Historian Broadens Narrative of Slavery in the Americas.