Dr. Vanessa S. Oliveira is a specialist in African history. She teaches courses on early and modern Africa, European colonialism and and women, gender and sexualities. Dr. Oliveira earned a PhD in history from York University and was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at the University of Toronto before joining RMC. Her book Slave Trade and Abolition: Gender, Commerce, and Economic Transition in Luanda was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in January 2021. She is the editor (with Paul E. Lovejoy) of Slavery, Memory and Citizenship (Africa World Press, 2016) and has published several articles and book chapters in English and Portuguese on women merchants, intercultural marriages and slavery in Luanda, the capital of Angola.
Dr. Oliveira is currently working on two projects. The first project titled “A Social History of Slavery in Luanda” focuses on the experiences of the enslaved population of Luanda and its hinterland during the era of “legitimate” commerce (1850-1870). The second, “A War against the Illegal Slave Trade in West Central Africa” looks at the activities of the British Mixed Commission and the Portuguese Prize Court to terminate the illegal shipment of captives from West Central Africa between 1836 and 1870.
Dr. Oliveira has conducted fieldwork and archival research in Angola, Portugal, Brazil and Canada. Her research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Defense Academy, the Portuguese Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and the Brazilian Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPQ).
Dr. Oliveira is currently a member of the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of African Studies. She is also a member of the Harriet Tubman Institute (York University).
- PhD: York University
- MA: Universidade Federal de Sergipe
- BA: Universidade Federal de Sergipe
- African History
- Southern Atlantic
- African Women’s History
- Gender and Sexualities
- Slavery in Brazil
- Africa and Europe in the Age of Colonialism
- Africa in the Era of the Slave Trade
- Military History and Strategic Thought
- European Imperialism – Fifteenth to Eighteenth Century
- European Imperialism – Nineteenth and Twentieth Century
- Conflict in Modern Africa
- The Historical Origins of the Contemporary World
- Methods of Historical Enquiry
- Issues in Women, War and Society
- Gender Dimensions of War
- Slave Trade and Abolition: Gender, Commerce, and Economic Transition in Luanda (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2021).
Edited Collection and special issues in academic journals
- Women, Trade and Landed Property in Africa Canadian Journal of African Studies 54:2 (2020).
- [with Paul E. Lovejoy] Slavery, Memory and Citizenship (Trenton: Africa World Press, 2016).
Refereed Journal Articles
- Forthcoming “Luanda: An Atlantic Port City,” Oxford Encyclopedia of African History.
- 2021 “The Status of Enslaved Women in West Central Africa, 1800-1830” African Economic History 49, no. 1 (2021): 127-153.
- 2020 “Baskets, Stalls, and Shops: Experiences and Strategies of Women in Retail Sales in Nineteenth Century Luanda,” Canadian Journal of African Studies 54:3 (2020), 419-436.
- 2018 “Donas, escravas e pretas livres em Luanda (séc. XIX),” Estudos Ibero-Americanos 44:3 (2018): 447-456.
- 2015 “The Gendered Dimension of Trade: Female Traders in Nineteenth Century Luanda,” Portuguese Studies Review 23:2 (2015): 93-121.
- 2015 “Gender, Foodstuff Production and Trade in Late-Eighteenth Century Luanda,” African Economic History, 43 (2015): 57-81.
- 2014 “Devoção e Distinção Étnica na Irmandade do Homens Pretos do Rosário da Cidade de São Cristóvão-Sergipe,”Portuguese Studies Review 22:2 (2014): 79-112.
- 2014 “A devoção a Nossa Senhora do Rosário em Sergipe del Rey (séc. XIX),” Revista do Instituto Histórico e Geográfico de Sergipe 44:2, 313-338.
- 2013 “An Index to the Slavery and Slave Trade Enquiry: The British Parliamentary House of Commons Sessional Papers, 1788-1792,” History in Africa 40, 1-63 [with Paul E. Lovejoy].
- 2009 “Monumentos Restaurados e Histórias em Ruínas: As intervenções arqueológicas no sobrado do IPHAN em São Cristóvão-SE,” Revista Vestígios 3:2, pp. 21-41 [with Marcos Santana Sousa e Jenilton Ferreira].
- 2008 “Identidade e religiosidade no universo católico da cidade de São Cristóvão-SE (1860-1880),” Cadernos UFS – História 9, pp. 23-31.
- 2008 “Devoção com Diversão: A Festa de Nossa Senhora do Rosário na Cidade de São Cristóvão-SE, século XIX,” Revista do Instituto Histórico e Geográfico de Sergipe 37, pp. 51-70 [with Hippolyte Brice Sogbossi].
- 2008 “A Festa do Rosário dos Homens Pretos na cidade São Cristóvão/SE,” Cadernos de História 4:2, pp. 14-24 [with Verônica Maria M. Nunes].
- 2007 “A África no Brasil: as irmandades religiosas como símbolos de resistência,” Caderno do Estudante,Universidade Federal de Sergipe 1, pp. 75 - 81.
- 2007 “Identidade, Religiosidade e Cotidiano Escravo: Inserção social de africanos no campo religioso da cidade de São Cristóvão-SE, Século XIX,” Revista Scientia Plena 3, pp. 49 - 53.
- 2005 “Conflitos Internos em Sergipe: a instabilidade política e a consolidação da autonomia,” Revista do Instituto Histórico e Geográfico de Sergipe 34, pp. 85-101.
- 2021 "Slave Labour and the Vulnerability of Enslaved Women in Mid-Nineteenth Century Luanda," in José C. Curto, ed. (with the assistance of Maryann Buri), New Perspectives on Angola: From Slaving Colony to Nation State (Peterborough: Editions Baywolf Press, 2021), pp. 120-145.
- 2020 “The Business of Self-Endowment: Women Merchants, Wealth, and Marriage in Nineteenth Century Luanda,” in Catherine Bishop and Jennifer Aston, eds., Female Entrepreneurs in the Long Nineteenth Century: Towards a Global Perspective (Pelgrave Macmillan, 2019), 219-242.
- 2019 “Spouses and Commercial Partners: Immigrant Men and Locally Born Women in Luanda 1831-1859,” in Mariana C. Candido e Adam Jones, eds., African Women in the Atlantic World: Property, Vulnerably and Mobility, 1660-1880 (Woodbridge: James Currey, 2019), 217-32.
- 2016 “Mulher e comércio: A participação feminina nas redes comerciais em Luanda (século XIX),” in Edvaldo Bergamo, Selma Pantoja, and Ana Claudia Silva, eds., Angola e as Angolanas: Memória, Sociedade e Cultura (São Paulo: Intermeios, 2016), 133-152.
- 2016 “Slavery and the Forgotten Women Slave Owners of Luanda (1846-1876),” in Paul E. Lovejoy and Vanessa S. Oliveira, eds., Slavery, Memory and Citizenship (Trenton: Africa World Press, 2016), 129-148.
- 2014 “Trabalho escravo e ocupações urbanas em Luanda na segunda metade do século XIX,” in Selma Pantoja e Estevam C. Thompson, eds., Em torno de Angola: narrativas, identidades e as conexões atlânticas (São Paulo: Intermeios, 2014), 265-67.
- 2013 “Notas Preliminares Sobre Punição de Escravos em Luanda (Século XIX),” in Ana Cristina Roque e Maria Manuel Torrão, ed., O Colonialismo Português: Novos Rumos da historiografia dos PALOP (Porto: Ediçõs Húmus, 2013), 155-176.
- Forthcoming “Gender and the Study of Slavery and the Slave Trades in Africa,” Oxford Encyclopedia of African History.
- 2022 “Luanda: An Atlantic Port City,” Oxford Encyclopedia of African History. Article published August 15, 2022.
- 2022 [with Mariana P. Candido], “Slavery in Luanda and Benguela,” Oxford Encyclopedia of African History. Article published on 20 April 2022.
2014: “Mulheres e comércio em Luanda no século XIX,” Por dentro da África, March 8