Postcolonial world order, Decolonization, Reappraisal of the colonial past
Dr. Asli Berktay is a historian of the enslaved experience, of the slave trade and of comparative slavery in both Africa and in the African Diaspora. The dissertation that she completed at Tulane University in 2015, which is also her current book project, analyzed the wills left behind by African-born and formerly enslaved individuals in nineteenth-century Salvador, Brazil and how these documents shed light upon the lives that they led in the Bahian capital upon their arrival as slaves from Africa, as well as upon the (re-) acquisition of their freedom. While this study was the result of two years of archival research in Bahia, Asli has also conducted archival research in various other settings, including archives located in parts of Brazil other than Bahia, as well as in Portugal, Angola, Cuba, Haiti, Senegal, Jamaica and the Bahamas. In addition to her research and publications in the field of comparative slavery, she has also worked and published on race and race relations, social change, youth movements, and agency through popular culture in West Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean. Fluent in 14 languages, she has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in different disciplines since 2006. Currently, she is a teaching fellow at New York University Shanghai.