John Garrison Marks

Ph.D. Rice University, 2016
M.A. Rice University, 2012
B.A. Lynchburg College, 2010
Fields of Study: 

- United States

- Latin America

- Atlantic World

- Race, Slavery, and African Diaspora

Research Interests: 

Dissertation: "Race and Freedom in the African Americas: Free People of Color and Social Mobility in Cartagena and Charleston"

My research examines the social and cultural worlds of African-descended people in the Americas and Atlantic World. In my dissertation, I investigate the daily lives and identities of free people of color in the urban Americas with a particular focus on their efforts to achieve social mobility. I argue that as free people of color sought to distinguish themselves from the black popular classes throughout the Atlantic World, they engaged white authorities in ways that challenged the logic of American racial hierarchies. Though the challenges and opportunities they faced could differ widely between Latin America and the United States, free people of color often navigated social life and the boundaries of racial difference in remarkably similar ways throughout the early modern Atlantic World.