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Susan D. Amussen

Title: 
Professor
Phone: 
(209) 228-4590
Education: 
  • Ph.D., 1982 — Brown University
  • A.B., 1976 — Princeton University
Research Interests: 

Professor Amussen is a social and cultural historian of Britain in the early modern period (roughly 1500 to 1750). She is particularly interested in the various hierarchies and structures of power that organize society. Her published work has focused on issues of class and gender, and race and slavery. Her most recent book, Caribbean Exchanges: Slavery and the Transformation of English Society looks at what English people had to learn to become slaveowners in the Caribbean, and what they brought back to England from the island colonies. They brought more than the sugar for which the islands were known; they also brought ideas about race and work, about the organization of work, and law and punishment. Professor Amussen's current work includes:

  • A synthetic essay on gender in the early modern Atlantic world
  • A project on England as a cultural crossroads in the early modern period
  • An article on the relationship between history and literature; specifically, the historical contexts for Shakespeare
Media Contact: 
Background: 

Susan D. Amussen may be a social and cultural historian focused on Britain from 1500 to 1750, but her research makes her an expert on the various hierarchies and structures of power that organize society. In fact, her published work has focused on issues of class and gender, race and slavery.

“Caribbean Exchanges: Slavery and the Transformation of English Society,” her latest book, addresses the ideas the English gleaned from Caribbean colonies and what they had to learn to be successful slave owners on that island.