Maria Barreiros Almeida Reis

PhD Candidate

Latin America and the Caribbean

My work focuses on the transition from indigenous to African slavery in the seventeenth and eighteenth-century Portuguese Amazonia. My dissertation looks at the ways that settler perceptions of indigenous versus African relative skill, capacity, and knowledge factored into arguments about who should be enslaved. I am interested in the way that settlers operated with racial frameworks that distinguished between Amerindian and African skill and capacity, as well as how these colonists used this language of relative skill to argue for changes in the institution of slavery and for the colonial project more broadly. I work with sources in Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch. 

Research Interests

  • Slavery
  • Early Modern Atlantic Empires
  • Race and Racial Thinking
  • Environmental History 

Prizes and Awards

FLAS Academic Year Award (Dutch), University of California, Berkeley, 2019

IIS Pre-Dissertation Summer Research Grant, University of California, Berkeley, 2019

CLAS Summer Field Research Award, University of California, Berkeley, 2019

Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, University of California, Berkeley, 2019

Graduate Dean’s Summer Research Grant, University of California, Berkeley, 2018

Laidlaw Undergraduate Research Scholarship, University of St Andrews, 2016

University Scholarship for Research and Leadership, University of St Andrews, 2016