Go to USC home page USC Logo





Matt D. Childs

Associate Professor of History
Office: 121 Gambrell Hall
(803) 777-3189

B.S. Central Michigan University (1992)
M. A. University of California at Los Angeles (1994)
Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin (2001)

Matt D. Childs is Director of the History Center at the University of South Carolina. He stared teaching at the University of South Carolina in the Fall of 2009. Before joining the History Department at USC, Childs taught at Florida State University from 2001-2008. His primary research and teaching interests are Latin American, Caribbean, and Atlantic history with a particular emphasis on the importance of understanding the historical legacies of slavery and racism in shaping the modern world.

Professor Childs is the author of The 1812 Aponte Rebellion in Cuba and the Struggle against Atlantic Slavery (2006), which was a finalist for the 2007 Frederick Douglass Book Prize and translated and published in Cuba in 2012. Matt Childs has co-edited with Toyin Falola The Yoruba Diaspora in the Atlantic World (2005) and The Changing Worlds of Atlantic Africa: Essay in Honor or Robin Law (2009). Childs served as an Associate Editor for the 6 volume Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture (2008). Two edited books will be forthcoming over the next year: The Urban Black Atlantic during the Era of the Slave Trade, co-edited book with James Sidbury and Jorge Canizares-Esguerra (University of Pennsylvania Press, Spring 2013) - which consists of thirteen chapters that focus on the urban Black Atlantic experience in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, the United States, and Europe; and Igbos in the Atlantic World: Slavery and Cultural Adaptation in the African Diaspora, Co-edited book with Toyin Falola (Rochester University Press, forthcoming Fall 2013) - which consist of 21 chapters covering the Igbo experience in Africa and the Diaspora from cultural and historical perspectives.

Childs currently serves as the Humanities editor for the Cuban section of the Library of Congress Handbook of Latin American Studies, co-editor for the journal Notes and Records: An International Journal of African and African Diaspora Studies , and he is member of the editorial boards of The Americas and Atlantic History and African History for Oxford University Press' Oxford Bibliographies Online. Professor Childs has published articles in The Journal of Latin American Studies, The Americas, The Historian, The History Workshop Journal, and the Latin American Research Review among other journals. Childs has received research grants from the Social Science Research Council, the Ford Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Fulbright-Hays Program, and other agencies to conduct research in Cuba, Spain, Great Britain, and the United States.

Current Activities

I am currently working on a book length monograph that place the historical experiences of Cuba's population of African descent in wider Atlantic World contexts tentatively titled: "An African City in the Americas: The trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Havana, Cuba, 1762-1867" that examines the role of enslaved and free Africans in Havana, Cuba with particular attention on African origins and racial and ethnic identity. Recent publications since 2010 include the following articles and chapters: "'The Revolution Against the French': Race and Patriotism in the 1809 Riot in Havana," in Christophe Belaubre, Jordana Dym, and John Savage, eds., Napoleon's Atlantic: The Impact of Napoleonic Empire in the Atlantic World; "Cuban Slavery," [Co-authored with Manuel Barcia Paz], in Mark M. Smith and Robert Paquette, eds. Oxford Handbook of Slavery; "Slave Culture," in Trevor Burnard and Gad Human, eds., The Routledge History of Slavery; "The 1812 Aponte Rebellion," in Laurent Dubois and Julius S. Scott, eds. Origins of the Black Atlantic; "El actual periodo es muy delicado: La esclavitud en Cuba y el cambiante mundo Atlántico, 1750-1850," Caminos: Revista Cubana de pensamiento socioteologico, vol. 52-53; "Retaining and Recreating African Ethnic Identities in Cuba: The Relocation of Havana's Cabildos de Nación," in The Urban Black Atlantic during the Era of the Slave Trade; "Gendering the African Diaspora in the Iberian Atlantic: Religious Brotherhoods and the Cabildos de Nación," in Sarah E. Owens and Jane E. Mangan, eds., Women of the Iberian Atlantic. A current and past list of graduate students and their topics of study can be found on my CV by clinking on the link below.  

For PDFs of some of my writings see the University of South Carolina Scholar Commons page, go here.

Professor Child's C.V. is located here.