Lawrence Celani

Lawrence Celani
PhD Candidate
PDF Documents: 
Research Area: 
19th Century United States, Politics of Slavery, History of Capitalism

M.A. American History, Providence College

B.A. History and Philosophy, University of Rhode Island (magna cum laude)


I received my B.A. in History and Philosophy from the University of Rhode Island in 2011 and completed my M.A. in American History at Providence College in 2014. My thesis, titled “Resistance in Print: New England Runaways, Loyalism, and the Coming of the American Revolution,” examined the themes of loyalism and slave resistance during the American Revolution by looking at the rich collection of runaway slave advertisements that appeared in early American newspapers.

My current interests are on the intersections of slavery, print culture, and politics in the Early Republic and I am studying with Dr. Jeffrey Pasley. My dissertation will focus on the national and international context of the Missouri Crisis, perhaps the most important sectional crisis in the antebellum United States. The crisis was the culmination of a decades long process of expansion and empire in the American West, but also marks a significant shift in American political development and a move away from Jeffersonian Democracy. Aside from my dissertation, I am also working on a public history project in conjunction with the Missouri Humanities Council to commemorate the bicentennial of Missouri’s statehood and the controversy that surrounded it.

Selected Presentations:

• “‘No Scheme More Monstrous Could Have Been Invented’: Slave Election Ceremonies and the New York Slave Conspiracy of 1741,” University of Missouri Black Studies Conference, October 2016.

• “Resistance in Print: New England Runaways and the Coming of the American Revolution,” 58th Annual Missouri Conference on History, State Historical Society of Missouri, March 2016.

• “Runaway Slave Advertisements in New England During the American Revolution,” Northeast Regional Phi Alpha Theta Conference, Roger Williams University, November 2014.

Recent Publications: 

• Review of Richard Follett, Sven Beckert, Peter Coclanis, and Barbara Hahn, Plantation Kingdom: The American South and Its Global Commodities (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016), in American Nineteenth Century History (forthcoming).

•  Review of Natasha Lightfoot, Troubling Freedom: Antigua and the Aftermath of British Emancipation (Durham: Duke University Press, 2015), in the Journal of World History (forthcoming).

• Review of Brett Rushforth, Bonds of Alliance: Indigenous and Atlantic Slaveries in New France (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012) in The New England Journal of History (Spring 2015).