Tessa Murphy’s research and teaching interests lie in the history of the colonial Americas, broadly defined to include the Caribbean, Central and South America, and what are now Canada and the United States. Her research has been supported by a number of institutions, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, France’s Institut National d’Études Démographiques, the John Carter Brown Library, the David Library of the American Revolution, and the Clements Library.
This support allowed her to pursue work on her first book, “The Creole Archipelago: Race and Borders in the Colonial Caribbean” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021). The book traces British and French attempts to assimilate or remake colonial societies that evolved beyond the boundaries of European empire in the early modern Americas. She is now at work on a second book-length project that uses British colonial registries to shed light on the lives and genealogies of people enslaved on the frontiers of the British empire during the age of abolition. She offers courses on the colonial, revolutionary and early republican Americas; the Atlantic World; and comparative slavery and emancipation.