Professor Jenny Shaw will explore the lives of two women: one an indentured Irish servant (the “whore”); one an enslaved woman (the “wench”) who labored in the household of Irish merchant John Blake in Barbados 1675. She explores the techniques historians use to write the lives of ordinary people, even when their stories are only available through a handful of letters, and demonstrates how race, gender, and status combined to shape the role of Irish Catholic elites in the early modern English Caribbean.
Professor Jenny Shaw
Shaw received her Ph.D. from New York University in Atlantic History in 2009. Her first book, Everyday Life in the Early English Caribbean: Irish, Africans, and the Construction of Difference is forthcoming this autumn with the University of Georgia’s Early American Places series. She is the co-author (with Kristen Block) of an article entitled Subjects without an Empire: The Irish in the Early Caribbean, which appeared in Past and Present in 2011, and she has received funding for her work from (among others) the Lewis L. Glucksman Foundation at University College, Cork, the Doris G. Quinn Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.