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Matthew Pursell

  • Position: Assistant Professor
  • Department: History and Philosophy
  • Office Location: Building 50, Room 143
  • Campus: 850.474.2684


Matthew Pursell is an assistant professor in the Department of History.

Degrees & Institutions:

Ph.D., American Civilization, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, 2005; M.A., American Civilization, Brown University, 1998; M.A., History, University of Maryland at College Park, 1991; B.A., History, Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon, 1988


Indentured servitude in the British mainland and Caribbean colonies

Classes Taught: 

Atlantic World, Colonial America, Africans in the Atlantic World, Introduction to United States History, Revolutions in the Americas

Special Interests:

Early Modern Atlantic World, Social and cultural history of British North America


Review of A Tale of Two Colonies: What Really Happened in Bermuda and Virginia, by Virginia Bernhard. Journal of Southern History, 79, no. 2(2013)
Article, “Colonial Servitude and the ‘Unfree’ Origins of America,” Southern Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the South 21, no. 1 (2014)
Article, “’That Odious Name Sold’: Narratives of the Servant Trade,” Coriolis: Interdisciplinary Journal of Maritime Studies, 5, no. 1 (2015)
Review, The Biography of Mahommah Gardo BaquaquaHis Passage from Slavery to Freedom," eds., Robin Law and Paul E. Lovejoy; Hispanic American Historical Review (August 2003)
Revising dissertation titled, "Changing Conceptions of Servitude in the British Atlantic, 1640 to 1780," a study of indentured servants in Colonial America