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Gunja SenGupta
Position: Professor of History - Brooklyn College; Andrew W. Mellon Fellow-in-Residence, 2012-13, Center for the Humanities
Campus Affiliation: Brooklyn College|Graduate Center
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D, Tulane University
Research Interests: African American history; U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction; Race and Welfare; History, Memory and Films of the Black Atlantic; Comparative/Transnational Perspectives on Slavery, Poverty and Abolition in the North Atlantic and Indian Ocean Worlds

Selected Publications


From Slavery to Poverty: The Racial Origins of Welfare in New York, 1840-1918 (New York: New York University Press, 2009)

For God and Mammon: Evangelicals and Entrepreneurs, Masters and Slaves in Territorial Kansas, 1854-1860 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996)

Selected Articles/ Book Chapters

 "The Blackamoor as Voyager: Re-Significations in Transit from Old Worlds to Estevanico, Abraham Lincoln, Bayou Ballads, and William Attaway," in Awam Amkpa ed., Re-Significations: European Blackamoors, Africana Readings (Rome: Postcart, 2016), 75-93.

(With Awam Amkpa) "History in Ousmane Sembène's Guelwaar and Ceddo," Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art (forthcoming, 2010).

(With Awam Amkpa) “Picturing Homes and Border Crossings: The Slavery Trope in Films of the Black Atlantic,” in Ana-Lucia Araujo ed.,  Paths of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Interactions, Identities, and Images (New York: Cambria Press, 2011), 359-387.

(With Awam Amkpa) “ History in Ousmane Sembène’s Guelwaar and Ceddo,” Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art (Fall 2010), 14-21.

"Elites, Subalterns, and American Identities: A Case Study of African American Benevolence," American Historical Review 109 (October 2004): 1104-1139.

"Bleeding Kansas: A Review Essay," in Virgil Dean ed., Territorial Kansas Reader (Topeka, KS: Kansas State Historical Society, 2005), revised and updated version of 2001 article in Kansas History, part of award-winning Review Essay series honored by American Association of State and Local History

"Black and 'Dangerous'? African-American Working Poor Perspectives on Juvenile Reform and Welfare in Victorian New York, 1840-1890," Journal of Negro History LXXXVI (Spring 2001): 99-131.

"'A Model New England State': Northeastern Antislavery in Territorial Kansas, 1854-1860," Civil War History 29 (March 1993): 31-46.

"Servants for Freedom: Christian Abolitionists in Territorial Kansas, 1854-1858," Kansas History 16 (Autumn 1993): 200-213.

Book Reviews/Review Essays

American Historical Review, Annals of Iowa, Georgia Historical Quarterly; Great Plains Quarterly; History: Review of New Books; Journal of American Ethnic History;Journal of the Civil War Era; Journal of Southern History; Journal of the West; Kansas History; Presidential Studies Quarterly.

Entries/Short Essays under contract in Peter Parish ed., Reader's Guide to American History (1997), and Hasia R. Diner ed., Enclyclopedia of American Women's History (2010).

Works in Progress

1. Book manuscript (co-authored with Awam Amkpa), "Picturing Homes and Border Crossings: History, Memory, and Films of the Black Atlantic."

2. Book-length study of comparative and transnational perspectives on slavery and abolition in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds.

Other Current Activity


Scholarly advisor, In Pursuit of Freedom, a collaborative, multi media project of Brooklyn Historical Society, Irondale Ensemble Project and Weeksville Heritage Center