Institute of Modern History

Dr. Thomas Mareite


Department of History
Wilhelmstraße 36
72074 Tübingen



University of Duisburg-Essen, Postdoctoral Researcher
Leiden University, Assistant Professor
Leiden University, PhD Candidate

Thesis: “Conditional Freedom: Free Soil and Fugitive Slaves from the US South to Mexico’s Northeast, 1803-1861” (supervision by prof. Dr. Damian A. Pargas and prof. Dr. Marlou Schrover).

Sciences Po Paris, Graduate Studies, Master in Research in History

Thesis: “Africains et Afrodescendants du Chili (1750-1850) : Esclavage, Conflictualités et Émancipations” (supervision by prof. Dr. Roberto Zaugg).

Sciences Po Paris, Undergraduate Studies (Bachelor)

incl. Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago de Chile - Exchange Program in 2012-2013

Curriculum Vitae

After studying at SciencesPo Paris, Thomas Mareite joined Leiden University to pursue his PhD, where he graduated in 2020 and thereafter worked as a lecturer. He became a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Duisburg-Essen (2021-2023) as a member of the ERC project Atlantic Exiles: Refugees and Revolution in the Atlantic World (1770s-1820s). Since March 2023, he is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Tübingen in the Atlantic Exiles project. His first book, Conditional Freedom: Free Soil and Fugitive Slaves from the U.S. South to Mexico’s Northeast, 1803-1861 (Brill, 2022), explores the experiences of enslaved people who self-emancipated from U.S. slavery by seeking refuge in nineteenth-century Mexico. His current research project focuses on Havana and its hinterland as transimperial haven for refugees from the Greater Caribbean during the Age of Revolutions. It delves into the exile of colonial settlers to Havana and its hinterland between roughly 1791 and 1821. It presents how French- and Spanish-speaking refugees from Hispaniola (and the Caribbean more generally) sought refuge in the Cuban port city and its region in the shadow of the Haitian Revolution. It shows how differentiated and contested policies of asylum and assistance shaped the governance of exile in this growing imperial submetropolis and new transnational hub of refugee migration. Against the backdrop of the internal and international shockwaves unleashed by the French and Haitian revolutions as well as transatlantic warfare, it explores how exiled people stood both as injured party and agents of imperial competition.


Research Topics
  • History of the Americas
  • Age of Revolutions
  • Colonial History
  • Imperial History
  • Spanish Empire
  • Slavery and Emancipation
  • Exile and Politics of Asylum
  • History of the U.S., Mexico, the Greater Antilles and Chile

  • PhD Cum Laude, Leiden University, 13 February 2020

  • Short-Term Research Fellowship, Roosevelt Institute for American History, Fall 2019

  • Research Grant from Sciences Po Paris (2-month research stay in Chile), 2014


Monographs and Edited Volumes

Articles in Journals

Contributions to edited volumes

  • “Mexico and Transnational Antislavery Connections in Nineteenth-Century North America”, in Lawrence Aje and Claudine Raynaud (ed.), Ending Slavery: The Abolitionist Struggle in Perspective (Montpellier: Presses Universitaires de la Méditerranée, 2022), 179-199.
  • “Looking for Freedom in the Borderlands: U.S. Black Refugees from Slavery in Early Independent Mexico”, in Ronald A. Johnson and Ousmane Power-Greene (ed.), In Search of Liberty: African-American Internationalism in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2021), 57-86.

Smaller contributions

  • Lena Filzen, Jannik Keindorf, Thomas Mareite, and Megan Maruschke, “First Annual International Seminar in Historical Refugee Studies”, Bulletin of the German Historical Institute 69 (fall 2021/spring 2022), 194-201.
  • “A Caribbean Affair”, Post in the From the Vault section of the website of the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies, Early 2020.


  • [Book review] Manuel Barcia: The Yellow Demon of Fever: Fighting Disease in the Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Slave Trade. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2020. Comparativ 32:3-4 (2023), 492-494.
  • [Book review] John Harris, The Last Slave Ships: New York and the End of the Middle Passage. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2020. International Journal of Maritime History 34:4 (2022), 692-694.
  • [Book review] Matthew J. Clavin, The Battle of Negro Fort: the Rise and Fall of a Fugitive Slave Community. New York: New York University Press, 2019. Journal of Global Slavery 5:2 (2020), 314-317.
  • [Book review] Jeffrey R. Kerr-Ritchie, Rebellious Passage: The Creole Revolt and America’s Coastal Slave Trade. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2019. La Vie des Idées/Books and Ideas. 21 November 2019. ISSN: 2105-3030.
  • [Book review] Aline Helg, Plus jamais esclaves! De l’insoumission à la révolte, le grand récit d’une émancipation (1492-1838). Paris, Éditions La Découverte, 2016. Journal of Global Slavery 2:1-2 (2017), 214-215.