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Zachary R. Morgan

Zachary R. Morgan

Zachary R. Morgan

Associate Professor


Areas of Expertise

  • Race, Slavery, Abolition, Afro-Latin American Studies, Brazil


  • Ph.D. Brown University, Department of History

Trained as a modern Latin American historian, I work on race, abolition, and slavery focusing primarily on Brazil in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as well as the African diaspora throughout the Americas.  My first book, Legacy of the Lash: Race and Corporal Punishment in the Brazilian Navy and the Atlantic World (Indiana University Press, “Blacks in the Diaspora” series, 2014), is an examination of organized resistance among Afro-Brazilian sailors to the ongoing abuse they endured in the navy at the hands of the Brazilian state. The book’s cornerstone is an exploration of the four-day Revolta da Chibata (Revolt of the Lash) of November 1910, during which nearly half of Rio de Janeiro’s enlisted men rebelled against the use of corporal punishment in the navy. I argue that the uprising is best understood in the context of Atlantic slave rebellions rather than exclusively as a modern military revolt.

I am currently engaged in a research project (tentatively titled Forced Labor in the Age of Abolition: Masking Segregation in Brazil’s Long Nineteenth Century) examining the means by which the Brazilian state (in conjunction with state-run institutions such as the army, navy, legislature, police force and orphanages) coerced Brazil’s growing free-black population into continued labor both preceding and during the breakdown of Atlantic slavery in the nineteenth century.

My research is published in The Journal of Black Studies, The Americas, The Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, Oxford Bibliographies Online, and in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Brazilian History and Culture. I was also part of the senior editorial team that brought the Hispanic American Historical Review to Penn State from 2017-2022, and served as the Editor-in Chief of that journal during the 2022-23 academic year.

Before arriving in the Comparative Studies Department at Ohio State in 2023, I taught in the History and African American Studies Departments at Penn State University, Boston College, and William Paterson University, and the American Studies Department at University of New Mexico.