Jared Staller

Ph.D. University of Virginia, 2013
M.A. University of Virginia, 2008
B.A. Indiana University, 2005
304 Humanities
Areas of Interest: 
  • Early African History
  • Southern Atlantic History
  • Representations of Africa
  • Witchcraft & Cannibalism
Research and Teaching: 

Jared Staller received his dissertation in African History from the University of Virginia in 2013. His specialty is the history of the Gulf of Guinea region during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries particularly São Tomé and Príncipe, the Kingdom of Kongo, and Angola. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on African History, Written and Visual Representations of Africa, Slavery in Africa, and World History since 1492. He is developing an undergraduate course on Technology, Environment, and Africa.

Staller is currently drafting a manuscript for Ohio University Press that investigates the historical accounts of alleged cannibalism in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Kongo and Angola. This research project analyzes allegations of cannibalism as one particular form of scapegoating within the historical dynamics of cultural, intellectual, religious, and political misunderstandings and misrepresentations among various groups of Africans and Europeans. These historical accusations of cannibalism, by both Africans and Europeans, continue to echo in modern misrepresentations of Africans as savages and, sometimes, flesh-eaters.

Staller is also interested in the use, modifications, and representations of the environment in colonial and modern African history. He is beginning to revise his dissertation with research that considers the historical co-production of identity and environment in São Tomé Island

Selected Publications: 
  • “Rivalry and Allegory: Reflections on Andrew Battell’s Jaga Materials Printed by Samuel Purchas from 1613 to 1625” History in Africa 43 (June 2016): 7-28.
  • “Ossobó: Myth, History, and Intertextuality in Santomean Literature,” Research in African Literatures 47, no. 4 (Winter 2016)