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John Harris

McDonald-Boswell Assistant Professor of History

B.A., M.A., Queen’s University; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University


Originally from Northern Ireland, John Harris earned B.A. and M.A. degrees at Queen’s University Belfast before immigrating to the United States and completing a Ph.D. in history at Johns Hopkins University. He teaches American and World History classes and was appointed McDonald-Boswell Chair in History in 2021.

Research and Publications

Dr. Harris researches U.S. connections to the wider world in the nineteenth century. His first book, The Last Slave Ships: New York and the End of the Middle Passage, was published by Yale University Press in 2020. The book has been positively reviewed in the New York Review of Books, The New Republic, The Nation, and elsewhere. The Victorian Society, New York, selected The Last Slave Ships their Book of the Year for 2020.

Harris has also published an article on financing illegal slaving voyages in the Journal of Global History, written op eds in Smithsonian Magazine, (The History Channel), and The Washington Post, and created a digital exhibit on the slave trade that has been widely used in classrooms.

The Last Slave Ships – Dr. John Harris

Telephone: 864-379-8856
Location: Erskine Building: 332

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