Marcos Leitao De Almeida

Marcos Leitão De Almeida is a PhD Candidate in African History at Northwestern University. He is also part of the Program of African Studies. Using historical linguistic methods in conjunction with archaeology and documentary sources, his research traces the intellectual and social history of slavery in the lower Congo between 500 B.C.E. and the nineteenth century. His dissertation seeks to provide a detailed study of the construction and reconfiguration of this category over the longue durée in a specific region of the African continent.
He received an International Dissertation Research Fellowship of the Social Science Research Council, New York, to conduct archival research in Belgium and undertake linguistic fieldwork in Congo and Angola during the year of 2016-17.
His first-year paper, “The Language of Slavery Among Kongo-Yaka Speakers: Vulnerability, Exclusion and Enslavement in the Lower Congo Region (Early Times to C.1665),” won the George Romani Prize.

Before coming to Northwestern, Marcos specialized himself in the Social History of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade between Brazil and West-Central Africa during the 19th. He is particularly interested in the Social History of African Languages in the Americas.

He earned his B.A. in History from Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio, 2006), and got an M.A. in Social History from State University of Campinas (UNICAMP, 2012). His M.A. Thesis, “Ladinos e boçais: the language regime of the South Atlantic (1831 –c.1850)”, won The Palmares Foundation Award for the best research on Afro-Brazilian Culture (2011-2012).


  • L, de Almeida, Marcos. As Vozes Centro-Africanas no Atlântico Sul (1831-c.1850) In: Lima, Ivana & Carmo, Laura de. Historia Social da Lingua Nacional II: Diaspora Africana. Rio de Janeiro, Faperj, 2014.