Dr Selina Patel Nascimento

Lecturer in the History of the Global South

Research Interests

My research is deeply embedded in the intersectional experiences of enslaved and marginalised women, particularly in their positions in global systems of concubinage as concubines. Structures of concubinage have a long history stretching back many millennia, and although they have differed over time and space, their continuity into the present day provides a fascinating and under-researched lens into the intricate relationship between sex, slavery, and empire in global perspective. I am an expert in relationships of concubinage in the Atlantic world and am currently preparing a monograph entitled Colonial Concubines: Sex, Slavery, and Transitioning Empires in Brazil's Northeast, 1750-1831. This book analyses the ways in which concubines as a social group maintained a tense and contradictory relationship with imperial rule as Brazil declared independence from Portugal and transitioned into its own empire.

My current research project seeks to define concubinage as a discrete Atlantic world phenomenon that can be conceptually useful in comparative analyses of concubinary systems across the Americas. Clear definitions of Atlantic world concubinage and a degree of conceptual resolution provides a vital platform to build on future global comparisons that can draw together African, Asian, Middle Eastern, European, and American concubinary systems in meaningful and insightful ways.