Department of History
Old Horticulture
506 E. Circle Dr
Room 256
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Main: 517.355.7500
Fax: 517.353.5599
Email: history [at] msu [dot] edu
Hours: 8:00-5:00 M-F

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David Wheat (Ph.D. Vanderbilt University, 2009) is a historian of Colonial Latin America, the Caribbean, and the early modern Iberian Atlantic world. His research interests include migration and diaspora, ports and maritime networks, and cross-cultural exchange. Wheat’s first book project, Atlantic Africa & the Spanish Caribbean, 1570-1640, is forthcoming with UNC Press, published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture. His research has been supported by the Fulbright Institute of International Education, the Conference on Latin American History, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Selected Publications

  • “The Spanish Caribbean in the Colonial Period.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Latin American Studies, ed. Ben Vinson (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). (web link)
  • “Garcia Mendes Castelo Branco, fidalgo de Angola y mercader de esclavos en Veracruz y el Caribe a principios del siglo XVII.” In Debates históricos contemporáneos: africanos y afrodescendientes en México y Centroamérica, coord. María Elisa Velázquez, 85-107 (México, D.F.: INAH; CEMCA; UNAM-CIALC; IRD, 2011). (Open Access web link)
  • “The First Great Waves: African Provenance Zones for the Transatlantic Slave Trade to Cartagena de Indias, 1570-1640.” The Journal of African History 52:1 (2011): 1-22.
  • “Mediterranean Slavery, New World Transformations: Galley Slaves in the Spanish Caribbean, 1578-1635.” Slavery & Abolition 31:3 (2010): 327-344.  Reprinted in Maritime Slavery, ed. Philip D. Morgan (London: Routledge, 2012).
  • “Iberian Roots of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1640.” The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, History Now: American History Online, Issue 25: “Three Worlds Meet: Africa, Europe, and the Americas” (Sept 2010).  (web link)
  • Nharas and Morenas Horras: A Luso-African Model for the Social History of the Spanish Caribbean, c.1570-1640.” The Journal of Early Modern History 14:1-2 (2010): 119-150.
  • “A Spanish Caribbean Captivity Narrative: African Sailors and Puritan Slavers, 1635.” In Afro-Latino Voices: Narratives from the Early Modern Ibero-Atlantic World, 1550-1812, eds. Kathryn Joy McKnight and Leo Garofalo, 195-213 (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2009).

David Wheat

Position: Assistant Professor

Field: Early Modern, Cultural, Migration, Social

Region: Africa, Latin American & Caribbean

Contact Info

Office: 217 Old Horticulture


Phone: (517) 884-4921