Dr Jake Subryan Richards

Assistant Professor

Department of International History

+44 (0)20 7955 6121
Room No
Office Hours
Tuesday, 2pm to 3.50pm on Zoom (book via Student Hub where you can find the Zoom link)
English, French, Italian, Portuguese
Key Expertise
African Diaspora, Legal History, West Africa, Latin America, Caribbean

About me

Jake Subryan Richards is a historian of law, empire, and the African diaspora in the Atlantic world. His first book project analyzes the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade as a violent legal regime. In this story, confrontations between African captives and elites, British imperial agents, and the governments of Brazil and Spanish colonial Cuba – the two powers most involved in the nineteenth-century slave trade – drove abolition.

The first article from this project, in Past and Present, won the Royal Historical Society’s Alexander Prize (2019). Related research has won the D. C. Watt Prize from the Transatlantic Studies Association (2017) and the Morris L. Cohen Prize from the American Association of Law Libraries (2019). A second article was published in Comparative Studies in Society and History (2020).

Other research projects include using museum collections to tell histories of power and enslavement in the Atlantic world and the intellectual history of post-emancipation societies.

Richards was previously Assistant Professor of Modern British History at Durham University. He earned his PhD at the University of Cambridge (2020) and was a Visiting Fellow in the Department of African and African-American Studies at Harvard University on a US-UK Fulbright Commission Postgraduate Scholarship (2016-2017).

Other titles: Undergraduate Programmes Admissions Advisor

Expertise Details

Slavery; Empire; Sovereignty; Exchange; Violence; Comparative Methods; Ethnography

Teaching & supervision

Dr Jake Subryan Richards usually teaches the following courses in the Department:

At undergraduate level:

HY333: Enslavement, commerce, and political formations in West Africa, c. 1550-1836

At masters level:

HY486: Practicing Abolition in the Atlantic World, c. 1807-1870