Professor Trevor Burnard

Academic Profile
  • Professor and Head of School, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne, 2011-
  • Professor of the History of the Americas, History and Comparative American Studies, University of Warwick, 2007- 10; Head of Department, History, 2009-10
  • Professor of American History and Head of Department, American Studies, University of Sussex, 2004-07
  • Reader and Professor, History, Brunel University, 2000-04, Head of Department, Politics, American Studies and History, 2001-04
  • Lecturer and Senior Lecturer, History, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 1990-99
  • Lecturer, History, University of Waikato, New Zealand, 1989
  • Lecturer, History, University of the West Indies at Mona, Kingston, Jamaica, 1987-89


I am interested in the history of early British America, including the British West Indies, before ca. 1790 and in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800. Particular interests include slavery, social history and demography, imperialism, economic and business history, and gender. My work over the last decade has been especially concerned with identity in the New World in the eighteenth century and with how settler societies have been formed, or have failed to form in plantation societies in the Caribbean and the Chesapeake. In addition, I have been concerned with recreating the social and cultural world of slaves and masters in early Jamaica, using in particular the rich diaries of Thomas Thistlewood as a primary source. My current projects are a monograph on early American historiography, a co-authored book comparing mid-eighteenth century Jamaica and Saint Domingue with John Garrigus of the University of Texas, Arlington, a social, demographic and economic history of white and black in Jamaica 1655-1780, and a historiographical study of the state of early American history in the twenty first century.

Selected Other
  • Elsa Goveia Memorial Lecture, University of West Indies, Mona, Kingston, March 2010
  • Seminar Leader, NEH Summer Seminar, July 2009, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.
  • Invited speaker, 2007 Webb Lecture Series, University of Texas-Arlington, March 2007.
  • Subject Co-ordinator, British Empire to 1780, Institute of Historical Research Annual Bibliography, 2003-
  • Invited Chair, Harvard-Cambridge Atlantic History Seminar, Cambridge, 2004.
  • Invited participant, Omohundro Institute of Early American History Needs and Opportunities Symposium on Caribbean History, John Carter Brown Library, Providence, Rhode Island, Winter, 2003.
  • Featured Consultant, Channel 4 series on Forbidden Fruit: A History of Interracial Relations, screening in November, 2003; Featured Consultant, “Who Do you Think You are?” BBC 2009.

Teaching 2013
Contact, Conflict, New Worlds
Age of Empires

Teaching 2012
Age of Empires
History for Historians
Making History

Teaching 2011
  • (with Peter McPhee) HIST10005 The Age of Revolutions
  • (with David Goodman)HIST30059 Race in America; HIST40030 History for Historians
  • HIST30060 Capstone: Making History
Research Supervision

I am interested in supervising students in the following broad areas: early modern British history; colonial and antebellum America; Caribbean history. I am also interested in supervising students with broad interests in social, cultural, economic and demographic history for the period before the mid nineteenth century.


  • DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (Johns Hopkins University, 1989)
  • MASTERS OF ARTS (Johns Hopkins University, 1985)
  • Bachelor of Arts (University of Otago, 1983)
Burnard, Trevor. "'A compound mongrel mixture': racially coded humor, satire, and the denigration of white Creoles in the British Empire 1784-1834," in Mansfield, Elizabeth and Malone. Kelly (eds.,). 'Seeing Satire in the Eighteenth Century'. Voltaire Foundation, 2013, pp. 149-166
Trevor Burnard. "Kingston, Jamaica: Crucible of Modernity," in Cañizares-Esguerra, Jorge; Childs, Matt and Sidbury, James (eds.,). 'The Black Urban Atlantic in the Age of the Slave Trade'. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013, pp. 123-146
Trevor Burnard. "Ending with a whimper, not a bang: The relationship between Atlantic History and the Study of the Nineteenth-Century South," in Ward, Brian; Bone, Martyn and Link, William (eds.,). 'The American South and the Atlantic World'. University Press of Florida, 2013, pp. 129-148
Trevor Burnard. "A serious business: Slave prices in Jamaica, 1674-1784," in de Cauna, Jacques and Révauger, Cécile.  'La Societe des plantations esclavagistes: Caraibes francophone, anglophone, hispanophone - Regards croises' (The Company of Slave Plantations). Editions Les Indes savantes, 2013, pp. 59-80
Trevor Burnard. "Placing British Settlement in the Americas in Comparative Perspective," in Bowen, H., Mancke, Elizabeth. and Reid, John (eds.,). Britain's Oceanic Empire: Atlantic and Indian Ocean Worlds, c.1550-1850. Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp. 407-432
Trevor Burnard. "Collecting and Accounting: Representing Slaves as Commodities in Jamaica, 1674-1784," in Bleichmar, Daniela and Mancall, Peter (eds.,). 'Collecting Across Cultures: Material Exchanges in the Early Modern World'. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011
Trevor Burnard. "From Periphery to Periphery: The Pennants' Jamaican Plantations, 1771-1812 and Industrialization in North Wales," in Bowen, H. (ed.,). 'Wales and the British overseas empire Interactions and influences, 1650–1830'. Manchester University Press, 2011, pp. 174-219
Burnard, Trevor and Heuman, Gad (eds.,). 'The Routledge History of Slavery'. London and New York: Routledge, October, 2010
Trevor Burnard. "British West Indies and Bermuda," in Paquette, Robert L. and Smith, Mark M. (eds.,). 'The Oxford Handbook of Slavery in the America'. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010
Trevor Burnard. "'Impatient of Sub-Ordination and Liable to Sudden Transports of Anger': White Masculinity and Homosocial Relations with Black Men in Eighteenth-Century Jamaica," in Foster, Thomas (ed.,). 'New Men: Manliness in Early America'. New York University Press, 2010
Trevor Burnard. "White West Indian Identity in the Eighteenth Century," in Garrigus, John D. et al (eds.,). 'Assumed Identities: Race and the National Imagination in the Atlantic World'. Texas A&M University Press, 2010
Trevor Burnard. "The British Atlantic," in Greene, Jack and Morgan, Philiip (eds.,). 'Atlantic History: A critical appraisal'. Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 111-136

Member of

  • Claremont McKenna History Department. External Review Committee. 2006-
  • European Early American Studies Association. President. 2007-2010
  • AHRC Peer Review College. Review Committee Member. 2006-2008
  • Centre for Imperial and Maritime Studies (CIMS), National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Board Member. 2006-2010
  • American Studies & European Studies Programmes, University of Dundee. Review Committee Member. 2010-


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Grant information


Additional grant information

Mellon Grant, 2010-11
AHRC Netwrok Grant, 2008-10
Leverhulme Grant 2002-4


Available for supervision.