Yesenia Barragan is a historian of race, slavery, and emancipation in Colombia, Afro-Latin America, and the Atlantic/Pacific worlds. She received a B.A. (Magna Cum Laude) in Philosophy and History from Brown University, where she was a Mellon Mays Fellow and Beinecke Scholar, and a Ph.D. in Latin American and Caribbean History from Columbia University. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Dartmouth College.
Dr. Barragan is currently completing her book manuscript, tentatively titled, The Darkest Place: Slavery and Emancipation on the Colombian Pacific, which is the first detailed study of the gradual abolition of slavery (1821-1852) and the immediate aftermath of emancipation in the Pacific lowlands of Colombia. She is the author of Selling Our Death Masks: Cash-for-Gold in the Age of Austerity (Zero Books, 2014), a creative historical ethnography of cash-for-gold shops in the wake of the latest economic crisis based on fieldwork in Spain, Greece, and Colombia. Yesenia is also a longtime activist and has served as a legal expert for asylum cases related to Colombia. She was previously a monthly opinion columnist for the Latin American news agency Telesur, where she published several pieces on the historical memory of slavery in the Americas, Black Lives Matter, and Colombian politics. For more on her public intellectual work, follow her on Twitter @Y__Barragan.