Ada Ferrer

Ada Ferrer

Professor of History, Latin American and Caribbean Studies

University of Michigan, PhD 1995

Office Address: 

King Juan Carlos Center, Room 410



Field of Study: 

Latin America and the Carribbean

Research Interests: 

Cuba; comparative slavery, nationalism, revolution

Curriculum Vitae


Ada Ferrer is Professor of History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. She holds an AB in English from Vassar College, an MA in History from the University of Texas at Austin, and PhD in History from the University of Michigan. She has been teaching at NYU since January, 1995.

Her research focuses on the history of slavery, race, and revolution in Latin America, with a particular interest in the history of Cuba, Haiti, and the Caribbean. She is also interested in questions of historical method, archives, and historical writing. Her first book, Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868-1898 (University of North Carolina Press, 1999), explored the history of racism and antiracism in Cuba’s wars of independence, in which slaves and former slaves were majority participants. It received the 2000 Berkshire Book Prize for the best first book by a woman in any field of history. A French translation was published by Pérseides (Paris) in 2010 and Spanish translation by Editorial de Ciencias Sociales (Havana) in 2011. Her second book, Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution, was published by Cambridge University Press in December 2014. The book examines the links between the Haitian Revolution in Saint-Domingue and the entrenchment of slavery in colonial Cuba. It received Honorable Mention for the PROSE Award in European and World History, 2015. She continues to work on the 1812 antislavery conspiracy led by free black carpenter in Havana, José Antonio Aponte, while also doing research on several other projects on C.L.R. James, Antonio Maceo, Cádiz, and Maine (the state, not the ship).

She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the history of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Cuba, as well as colloquia on a range of topics from comparative slavery, Afro-Latin America, the Haitian Revolution and the Atlantic World, and comparative revolution, among other topics.


John Hope Franklin Prize (Law and Society Association) for the Best Article on Race and Racism, 2013. Berkshire Conference Article Prize, 2013. Paul Vanderwood Prize, Conference on Latin American History, 2013. American Council of Learned Societes/NEH/SSRC Fellowship in Area Studies, 2011-2012, Berkshire Book Prize for Insurgent Cuba (for the best first book by a woman historian in any field of history), Spanish Ministry of Culture Fellowship, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 2003-2004, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2000-2001

Selected Works:


Freedom's Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2014)

FerrerCubaInsurgente.jpgCuba Insurgente: Raza, nación y revolución (Havana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 2011). Translation of Insurgent Cuba.

FrenchTranslationBOOK.jpgLa Guerre d'Indépendance Cubaine: Insurrection et Émancipation à Cuba! 1868-1898 (Paris: Pérseides, 2010) (French Translation of Insurgent Cuba)

RumordeHaitiBOOK.jpgEl rumor de Haití en Cuba: Temor, Raza y Rebeldía (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 2004). Coauthored with Consuelo Naranjo Orovio, Ma. Dolores González Ripoll, Gloria García, y Josef Opartny.

InsurgentCubaBOOK.jpgInsurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868-98 (University of North Carolina Press, 1999).


"Haiti, Free Soil, and Antislavery in the Revolutionary Atlantic" American Historical Review 117 (2012): 40-66.

"Speaking of Haiti: Slavery and Freedom in Cuban Slave Testimony," in David Geggus and Norman Fiering, eds. The World of the Haitian Revolution (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 2009).

"Cuban Slavery and Atlantic Antislavery," Review, Journal of the Fernand Braudel Center, 31-3-2008.

"The Archive and the Atlantic's Haitian Revolution," in Doris Lorraine Garraway, ed., Tree of Liberty: Atlantic Legacies of the Haitian Revolution (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008.)

"Noticias de Haiti en Cuba," Revista de Indias (Madrid), vol. 63, no. 229, 2003, pp. 675-694. (Reprinted in Caminos [Havana], no.31-32, 2004).

"La société esclavagiste cubaine et la révolution haïtienne," Annales, vol. 58, no 2, 2003, pp. 333-356.

"Armed Slaves, the Colonial State, and Nationalist Revolution in Nineteenth-Century Cuba," in Philip Morgan and Chris Brown, eds., Arming Slaves in World History, 2002.

"Cuba, 1898: Rethinking Race, Nation, and Empire," Radical History Review, 73 (January 1999): 22-46.

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Updated on 08/31/2015