Ryan Fontanilla

Ryan Fontanilla


Ryan Fontanilla studies the social, cultural, and environmental history of subaltern African diasporic peoples in the Americas, with a particular emphasis on Jamaica in the long nineteenth century. His current research tends to operate in two thematic registers: (1) historical permutations of anti-racist and racially ambivalent political praxis and intellectual thought; and (2) the vexed inseparability of human/non-human animal relationships and agro-ecological change from political economy and histories of technology. Before coming to Harvard, Ryan received a Bachelor of Arts in history from George Mason University in 2012 and a Master of Arts in history from George Washington University in 2016. His thesis examined the contested historical representation and meanings of the 1865 “Morant Bay Rebellion” from the standpoint of the contemporary participants and present-day Jamaicans who named and collectively remembered this event specifically as a “war.”

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