History Department
History Department

Brooks Winfree


Contact

Interests


Slavery, Texas history, the US South, Native American history, borderlands, environmental history

Biography


Brooks Winfree is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a scholar of slavery in the United States. His dissertation, "Black Slaves and Indians: Violence, Labor, and Family in the Texas Cotton Country,” examines how enslaved African Americans interacted with indigenous people in Texas. It asks how the presence of Native Americans in Texas shaped life for enslaved people. Indigenous people welcomed runaway slaves into their societies, occasionally married enslaved people and gave birth to part-indigenous children, and formed families with enslaved people. Yet indigenous groups also raided the farms and plantations where enslaved people lived, often killing them or carrying them away from their families and communities. Ultimately, while the presence of indigenous people in Texas provided enslaved people with opportunities for freedom, they could also violently foreclose opportunities.  

Brooks is also a public scholar. He is the cofounder of a blog entitled Fourth Part of the World: A Journal of Black and Native History, (https://fourthpartoftheworld.wordpress.com), which is dedicated to examining intersections of African American and indigenous history in the United States. He is also an interviewer on 15 Minute History, the podcast for the Department of History. Since 2018, he has been the assistant editor of the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and the Texas State Historical Association Press. 

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