Christina Mobley

Assistant Professor
2016-17 Co-Director, Mellon Humanities Laboratory "Global South: Concept & Practice," Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures

Nau 383
Office Hours: W 11-1

Field & Specialties

African History
Caribbean History
Digital History


Ph.D, Duke University, 2015

M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2010

B.A. Honours, McGill University, 2007

Diplôme d’Études Françaises (2é), Université Montpellier III: Paul Valéry, 2006


"Documentary Sources and Methods for Precolonial African History." In The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Histories: Methods, Sources, and Historiographies, ed. Spear, Thomas (Oxford: Oxford University Press, March 2019), available online at:

Current Research

I am a scholar of west central Africa and the Caribbean as well as a committed digital humanist. In my current book project, entitled Vodou History: the Kongo History of the Haitian Revolution (committed to the OIEAHC/UNC Press), I investigate the trans-Atlantic history of the Kongo men, women, and children who endured slavery in Saint Domingue, helped win the most successful slave revolution in history – the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804) – and founded the first black republic, Haiti.  The research for my first manuscript has generated my next book project which will be a history of West Kikongo speakers of Loango -- present-day Angolan Cabinda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Republic of Congo – from early Bantu settlement until the present day.

I am co-principal investigator with Dr. Sally Pusede (Environmental Science) on a collaborative, interdisciplinary that uses digital humanities and data science tools to to investigate the impact of historical policies, institutions, and structures on present-day social and environmental problems in Africa. We seek to develop a new digital humanities technique to integrate historical sources with present-day scientific measurements to produce new knowledge about the historical drivers of one of the greatest public health problems facing Africa’s urban dwellers: air pollution. We are using in Dakar, Senegal as a case study to explore the impact of colonialism, tracing the way colonial policies of urban planning and segregation contribute to present-day air pollution.

I am also a committed digital humanist with experience participating in and administering digital humanities projects. In 2016-2017, I was a founding co-director of the Mellon Humanities Lab "Global South: Concept & Practice," where I directed multidisciplinary collaborative projects and taught digital humanities courses in seminars with graduate and undergraduate students. I co-organized two major international conferences, Global South: A Colloquium in November 2016 and Enduring Questions/New Methods in Haitian Studies in April 2018. As graduate research assistant at the Duke Haiti Lab, I was research assistant for the collaborative art project with Edouard Duval Carrié entitled Haiti: History Embedded in Amber and the Haiti Digital Library, which continues to be an important source of historical evidence for Haitian and non-Haitian scholars. I was also a participant on Laurent Dubois and Ben Hebblethwaite successful NEH grant application for the Vodou Archive.


Awards & Honors

Sustainability Research Grant, “High-resolution observations of urban metabolism: Charlottesville to Dakar, Senegal,” UVa Committee on Sustainability, 2018-19

Mellow Humanities Fellowship, UVa Institute for Global Cultures in the Humanities, 2017-18

Learning Technology Incubator Grant, “Developing Effective Geo-Spatial Digital Pedagogy,” UVa Arts & Sciences Learning Design & Technology, 2017-18

Faculty Summer Stipend for Research in the Humanities, UVa College of Arts & Sciences, 2017

Faculty Global Research with Undergraduates, “Investigating the Spread of Global Christianity,” UVa Center for Global Inquiry and Innovation, 2016-17

Teaching Award, 26th Annual Monticello Dinner, UVa Seven Society, 2016

I.M.P. Society, Recognition for IMPact on the UVa University Community, 2016

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2015-16 (Declined)

SSRC IDRF, 2012-2013

Fulbright Fellowship, 2012-2013

James B. Duke International Research Travel Fellowship, 2012-2013

Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS) for Haitian Kreyol, 2010-2011

Courses Taught

Professor Mobley teaches surveys on African history and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and a wide range of seminars on the history of the Atlantic World, Africa, Haiti, Global Soccer, and historical methodology and the Digital Humanities.