Elena Schneider

Assistant Professor Fellow
Elena Schneider Image

In 1762 British warships carrying 24,000 soldiers and sailors and almost 2,000 enslaved Africans descended on and seized the city of Havana. In her book project, “The Occupation of Havana: Slavery, War, and Empire in the Eighteenth Century,” Elena Schneider studies this momentous event as a part of the interconnected histories of British and Spanish empires. In considering why Britain went to such lengths to take Havana and why Spain agreed to give up Florida in order to get Havana and its surroundings back, Schneider explores the nature and functioning of empires in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world. Emphasizing the geopolitics of the slave trade in the grand narrative of eighteenth-century imperial transformation, Schneider shows how the role of people of African descent in these events and Spanish reliance on the British slave trade at the time inspired a series of wide-ranging Spanish imperial reforms with global implications.