Dr Joseph Yannielli

Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in History 

Image of Dr Joseph Yannielli for Staff Profile

Joseph joined Aston as a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Modern History in June 2018. Before this, he was a postdoctoral associate at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition and a Lecturer in History at Yale University. He also served as a Perkins Fellow at Princeton University, affiliated with the Princeton Humanities Center and the Center for Digital Humanities (2015-2017). Prior to his arrival in the UK, he designed and taught courses on African, American, and transnational history at a number of universities in the United States.

Joseph’s main fields of interest are slavery and abolition, with a special focus on America, West Africa, and the wider world during the nineteenth century. Other areas of interest include political and social movements, missionaries and religion, capitalism and globalization, and the United States in the world. He is also interested in digital history and has developed several public projects, most recently Princeton & Slavery. More information can be found on his blog.

Currently, Joseph is completing a book about the Mendi Mission and the role of Africa in the American abolition of slavery (Harvard University Press). Established in the wake of the Amistad revolt, the mission was a transatlantic extension of the Underground Railroad and a key site of action and imagination in the global contest over chattel slavery. He is also developing new digital projects, including an interactive, comparative database of runaway advertisements.

He invites students, members of the media and the public to contact him about any of these topics.

Room: NW 820d
Phone: 0121 204 3712
Email: j.yannielli@aston.ac.uk


PhD, Yale University
  • Making Histories I: Methods, Theories, Controversies
  • The Atlantic World: Slavery and Emancipation

“Mo Tappan: Transnational Abolitionism and the Making of a Mende-American Town,” Journal of the Civil War Era, Vol. 8 (June 2018): 190-214.

“Géographies de l’abolition: la mission Mendi,” in Claire Bourhis-Mariotti et al. (eds.), Couleurs, Esclavages, Libérations Coloniales, 1804-1860: Réorientation des Empires, Nouvelles Colonisations Amériques, Europe, Afrique (Les Perséides, 2013), 245-264.

“A Yahgan for the Killing: Murder, Memory and Charles Darwin,” British Journal for the History of Science, Vol. 46 (Sept. 2013), 415-443.

“The Nationalist International, or What American History Can Teach Us about the Fascist Revolution,” European Journal of Political Theory, Vol. 11 (Oct. 2012), 438- 458.

“George Thompson among the Africans: Empathy, Authority, and Insanity in the Age of Abolition,” Journal of American History, Vol. 96 (March 2010), 979-1000.

“Cinqué the Slave Trader: Some New Evidence on an Old Controversy,” Common- Place, Vol. 10 (Oct. 2009), http://www.common-place.org/vol-10/no-01/yannielli/.*

*A revised and expanded version of this essay was published in pamphlet form as Cinqué the Slave Trader: Some New Evidence on an Old Controversy (Amistad Committee, Inc., 2010).