Position Assistant Professor of History
Institution Aston University
Discipline History, Africana Studies, American Studies, Digital Humanities
Affiliations Amistad Committee, Inc.Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and AbolitionGlobal Movement for a Culture of Peace
Other links University Profile
Contact  j.yannielli@aston.ac.uk

Personal Bio

DSC_6571.jpgDr. Yannielli received his PhD from Yale University and is currently an Assistant Professor of History at Aston University in Birmingham, UK. Before this, he was a postdoctoral associate at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition and a Lecturer in History at Yale. He also served as a Perkins Fellow at Princeton University, affiliated with the Princeton Humanities Council and the Center for Digital Humanities.

He studies slavery and abolition, with a special focus on America and West Africa during the nineteenth century. Other areas of interest include political and social movements, missionaries and religion, capitalism and globalization, and the United States in the world.

Research Profile

Dr. Yannielli is completing a book about the Mendi Mission and the role of Africa in the American abolition of slavery. Established in the wake of the Amistad revolt, the mission was a transatlantic extension of the Underground Railroad and a key site of action and imagination in the global contest over chattel slavery.

He is also involved in several digital history projects (see below).

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Princeton & Slavery

A multimodal resource on the impact and legacy of slavery, featuring over 90 original essays.

Digital Histories

An academic blog exploring the impact of new technologies on the study and teaching of history and the humanities.

Runaway Connecticut

An interactive database of over 850 runaway advertisements from the 18th and 19th centuries.

History Leaks

A non-profit educational initiative that publishes rare and underappreciated documents and artefacts of general interest to the world.

Yale Slavery and Abolition Portal

A guide to primary sources, databases, and other research material on slavery and its legacies.


“Mo Tappan: Transnational Abolitionism and the Making of a Mende-American Town,” Journal of the Civil War Era, Vol. 8 (June 2018): 190-214.

“Géographies de l’abolition: la mission Mendi,” in Claire Bourhis-Mariotti et al. (eds.), Couleurs, Esclavages, Libérations Coloniales, 1804-1860: Réorientation des Empires, Nouvelles Colonisations Amériques, Europe, Afrique (Les Perséides, 2013), 245-264.

“A Yahgan for the Killing: Murder, Memory and Charles Darwin,” British Journal for the History of Science, Vol. 46 (Sept. 2013), 415-443.

“The Nationalist International, or What American History Can Teach Us about the Fascist Revolution,” European Journal of Political Theory, Vol. 11 (Oct. 2012), 438- 458.

“George Thompson among the Africans: Empathy, Authority, and Insanity in the Age of Abolition,” Journal of American History, Vol. 96 (March 2010), 979-1000.

“Cinqué the Slave Trader: Some New Evidence on an Old Controversy,” Common-Place, Vol. 10 (Oct. 2009), http://www.common-place.org/vol-10/no-01/yannielli/