Natasha J. Lightfoot

Natasha J. Lightfoot

Research Interest


Ph.D. — New York University 2007
M.A. — New York University 2002
B.A. — Yale University 1999

Interests and Research

Natasha Lightfoot, associate professor, specializes in slavery and emancipation studies, and black identities, politics, and cultures in the fields of Caribbean, Atlantic World, and African Diaspora History. Her forthcoming book focuses on black working class people's everyday forms of freedom in Antigua after emancipation.


  • Comparative Slavery and Abolition in the Atlantic World
  • Resistance and the Black Atlantic
  • The Modern Caribbean


  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 2020-2021
  • Endangered Archives Programme Grant, The British Library, 2019-2020, for digital preservation at the Antigua & Barbuda National Archives
  • Scholar in Residence, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, Spring 2013
  • Ford Foundation/National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2012-2013
  • Society for Caribbean Studies UK Postdoctoral Essay Prize, "Their Coats Were Tied Up Like Men," July 2009
  • Gilder-Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Abolition and Resistance Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Yale University, 2008 [in residence May 2009]
  • Kate B. and Hall J. Peterson Fellowship, The American Antiquarian Society, 2006
  • Henry Mitchell MacCracken Fellowship, New York University, 2000-2005
  • Dean's Fellowship, New York University, 2000-2005
  • Tinker Grant for Caribbean Field Research, New York University, 2002


  • Member, Association of Caribbean Historians
  • Executive Board Member, Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora
  • Member, The Conference on Latin American History
  • Member, American Historical Association
  • Member, Organization of American Historians



Troubling Freedom: Antigua and the Aftermath of British Emancipation (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015). 

Scholarly Articles

“History Can and Should Help Us Understand the Present,” Room For Debate, The New York Times online, 6 June 2016.

“The Hart Sisters of Antigua: Evangelical Activism and “Respectable” Public Politics in the Era of Black Atlantic Slavery,” Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women, eds. Mia Bay, Farah Griffin, Martha Jones & Barbara Savage (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015), 53-72. 

“Africa’s Legacy on Antigua’s Shores: The African Presence in Antiguan Cultural Identity,” in A Herança Africana no Brasil e no Caribe/The African Heritage in Brazil and the Caribbean, eds. Carlos Henrique Cardim and Rubens Gama Dias Filho (Brasilia: Fundação Alexandre de Gusmão, 2011), 17-32.

“‘Their Coats Were Tied Up Like Men’: Women Rebels in Antigua’s 1858 Uprising,”Slavery & Abolition, 31: 4 (2010), 527-545.

“A Transnational Sense of “Home”: Twentieth-Century West Indian Immigration and Institution Building in the Bronx,” in Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, 33 (2009), 25-46.

"If Not Now, When?: Lessons Learned from GSOC'S 2005-6 Strike," in The University Against Itself: The NYU Strike and the Future of the Academic Workplace, eds. Monika Krause, Mary Nolan, Michael Palm and Andrew Ross (Philadelphia: Temple University Press), 149-161.

"The History of Mary Prince as a Historical Document of Slavery in Antigua and the British Empire," in Antigua & Barbuda International Literary Festival Magazine, no. 2, 28-32.

"Sunday Marketing, Contestations over Time, and Visions of Freedom among Enslaved Antiguans after 1800," in The C.L.R. James Journal: A Review of Caribbean Ideas, Vol. 12, no. 1.