Jared Staller

Jared Staller teaches world history at St. Francis Episcopal School of Houston, Texas. He earned his PhD from the University of Virginia and taught African and world history at Rice University. His research has appeared in History in Africa, Research in African Literatures, and elsewhere.

Listed in: African Studies · Slavery and Slave Trade · African History

Converging on Cannibals · Terrors of Slaving in Atlantic Africa, 1509–1670
By Jared Staller

In Converging on Cannibals, Jared Staller demonstrates that one of the most terrifying discourses used during the era of transatlantic slaving—cannibalism—was co-produced by Europeans and Africans. When these people from vastly different cultures first came into contact, they shared a fear of potential cannibals. Some Africans and European slavers allowed these rumors of themselves as man-eaters to stand unchallenged.

“In a major contribution to historical methodology, Staller revisits sixteenth and seventeenth century accounts for what they can reveal, despite their biases and eurocentrism, about Africans’ understandings of and interactions with Portuguese invasion and the associated violence. Cannibalism rumors are taken seriously in this analysis as a way to unpack traumatic episodes associated with the expansion of the transatlantic slave trade.”

Mariana Candido, author of An African Slaving Port and the Atlantic World: Benguela and its Hinterland