Skip to main content

Marcos Leitão De Almeida

  • Field(s):  Africa
  • Specialization: Early African History, Slavery and methodological and interdisciplinary approaches to write longue durée history of oral societies
  • Dissertation Title: “Speaking of Slavery: Slaving Strategies and Moral Imagination in the Lower Congo (1000 BCE - 1850 CE)”
  • Advisor(s):  David Schoenbrun


Marcos Leitão De Almeida is a 5th-year Ph.D. Candidate in African History. Almeida is a Presidential Fellow in the Society of Fellows, the highest honor bestowed on a graduate student at Northwestern. He also participates as a Mellon Cluster Fellow in the Program of African Studies.

Using historical linguistic methods in conjunction with archaeology and documentary sources, Almeida research traces the intellectual and social history of slavery in the lower Congo between 1000 B.C.E. and the nineteenth century. The dissertation will provide a detailed study of the construction and reconfiguration of this category over the Longue durée in a specific region of the African continent.

Almeida 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 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, Almeida specialized himself in the Social History of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade between Brazil and West-Central Africa during the 19th. 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).


  • Almeida, Marcos L. 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.
  • Agostini, Camilla & Almeida, Marcos L. De Mvika à Cabiúna: a dinâmica social de pessoas e lugares no processo de escravização durante o segundo escravismo in V. Santos, L. Symanski and A. Holl. Arqueologia e história da cultura material na África e na diáspora africana. (Editora Prismas, Forthcoming)
  • “Review of Giacomo Macola, The Gun in Central Africa: A History of Technology and Politics (Ohio Univ.Press, 2016).” The Journal of African Military History (Forthcoming)
Back to top