Ms Julia Lawton

Title: Graduate Teaching Assistant
Phone: 01782 733036
Location: CBB0.019
Role: Graduate Teaching Assistant
Contacting me: By email.
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I joined Keele in 2009, where I gained a first-class degree in English and History.  In 2012-2013, I completed a Masters of Research (MRes) in American History where I looked specifically at free people of colour who existed on the periphery on the slave institution in Ninteteenth-Century American South. I am currently in the third year of my doctorate which looks at the idea of agency and free people of colour in the border-states of the American South in the period just before the Civil War. I also hold the position of postgraduate director for the David Bruce Centre of American Studies.

I focus on nineteenth-century United States history, with a particular emphasis on the American South, slavery, sectional politics and groups that existed on the edge of the slave institution. I have completed projects on voluntary enslavement, indentured servitude and legislative patterns with regard to free people of colour across the South. My current research examines the notion of ‘agency’ and free people of colour in the border-states of the South. In the few decades before the Civil War, in a similar way to the other Southern states, the border-states introduced legislative acts and laws restricting the freedom of African Americans, reducing their status to little higher than that of their slave counterparts. My thesis looks at the way in which free people of colour responded to these measures; explicitly cases where they quietly challenged their position and manipulated the law in order to improve, albeit slightly, their oppressed status.




AMS-20074 Discovering America: From Empires to Revolutions
HIS-10030 Historical Research and Writing
HIS-20067 Sources and Debates




Conferences and Funding Awards



Branch Conference, University of Reading, 2014

‘Voices from the Silent Masses: Free People of Colour and Petitions for Residency’

Maryland Historical Society, 2014

‘Family Ties: Residency Requests in Baltimore’

Modern History Seminar Series, Keele University, 2015

‘The Shackles of Freedom: Free People of Colour and the Border-States of the American South’

David Bruce Centre, Keele University, 2015
Co-organiser of colloquium 'Slavery and the Civil War'

Funding and Fellowships

Maryland Historical Society, 2014 (£100)

The Research Institute, Keele University 2014 (£1650)

Santander Bursary Scheme in conjunction with Brown University  2015 (Santander £1000 and Brown £200)

Santander Research Fellowship £2500

John Heinz Historical Associatio £500

David Adams Prize for 2016 £1000