Marcela Echeverri is an interdisciplinary scholar with a background in Anthropology and Political Theory. She received her PhD in Latin American and Caribbean History from New York University (NYU) in 2008, and taught at the City University of New York (CUNY) before joining Yale in 2013. She has written about Anthropology, gender, and nationalism in mid-twentieth century Colombia; slavery and the law in the Spanish empire; and the history of Indian and black royalists in Latin America’s independence wars. Her research and teaching interests focus on the relationship between political subjectivities and social transformation in Latin America from colonial times to the present.
A MacMillan Research Fellow at Yale, Echeverri was part of the 2015-2018 Leverhulme Network “War and Nation in South America.” She has won fellowships from the Instituto Colombiano de Antropología e Historia (Bogotá, Colombia); the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and Fundación Mapfre (Madrid, Spain); the John Carter Brown Library; and NYU’s Humanities Initiative. She also received research grants from Harvard’s Atlantic History Seminar, CUNY’s Research Foundation, and the Dean of Humanities at the College of Staten Island/CUNY. She was an associate fellow in fall 2008 at Rutger’s Center for Historical Analysis; a participant in Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Africana Studies 2009 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute; a postdoctoral fellow at University of Maryland’s Latin American Studies Center in fall 2009; and a Mellon Residential fellow at the Center for the Humanities in CUNY’s Graduate Center during 2011-2012.
Echeverri is at work on a book-length research project that seeks to recast Gran Colombian slavery and anti-slavery between 1820 and 1860 in the hemispheric dimensions of its time. This study will show that, rather than seeing mainland Spanish America as peripheral to the history of Atlantic slavery and anti-slavery, historians should consider the region as the epicenter of larger historical dynamics that shaped the meaning of freedom in the American continent.
She has co-edited two journal special issues that grow out of this current project, starting a debate about new interpretations on Gran Colombian history and in the field of Spanish American abolition. The first is “La invención de la república: la Gran Colombia,” with Francisco Ortega (Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá) and Tomás Straka (Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, Caracas, Venezuela) in Anuario Colombiano de Historia Social y de la Cultura (Journal of Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá) 45, no. 2 (2018). The second, “Los ecos atlánticos de las aboliciones hispanoamericanas,” with Celso Castilho (Vanderbilt University), will appear in Historia Mexicana (2019), published out of El Colegio de México.
At Yale, Professor Echeverri is the co-coordinator of the Race and Slavery in the Atlantic World Working Group and the Early Modern Empires Workshop.