Our Faculty

Jeffrey Fortin

Chair, Department of History; Associate Professor of History

Contact Information

617 975-9119

Office Hours

Office: Administration Building, Room 361

Office hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m.; Wednesday, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.


Ph.D., M.A., The University of New Hampshire; B.A., Boston University


Born in Hawai'i eons ago, I learned to walk while aboard a sailboat, which may be why my research and teaching interests revolve around the sea and the maritime world. Being an Air Force kid, I have lived in a few different states from Texas to Maine, giving me a plain Jane accent and a thorough love for the four seasons, although as an avid hockey player and snowshoer winter is clearly my favorite time of year.  Academic tourism is a great benefit of being a historian, with my most recent project taking me from London to Halifax, Nova Scotia to New Bedford, MA to conduct research in sometimes dusty, sometimes state-of-the-art archives.  Once I received my PhD from UNH in 2006, I began a tenure-track position at SUNY - Oneonta, where I stayed for 5 years until being hired by Emmanuel College.  Having received my BA at BU, I am excited to be back in the Hub of New England, Boston, with my wife, Suzanne, and two boys, Luca and André.  

What I Love About Emmanuel:

Emmanuel is a tight-knit community with a positive vibe and whose members believe anything is possible.  Virtually every member of our community buys into the mission of the college: believing strongly in social justice and educating the entire person by adhering to the centuries old Catholic intellectual tradition, which means no topic, subject or research is off-limits.  We are a true liberal arts college with an open and diverse population who want to explore ideas and have conversations about how to make our world a better place.

Courses I Teach

  • HIST 1105 * 01 "US History I: to Reconstruction"
  • HIST 3718 * 01 "Pirates, Rascals and Scoundrels"
  • HIST 2114 * 01 "Creating the Atlantic World"
  • FYS 1101 * 88 "The Slave Ship"

Publications + Presentations

Journal Articles/ Book Chapters:

  • "Cuffe's Black Atlantic World, 1807-1817," in Atlantic Studies, Vol. 4, No. 2 (October 2007), 245-266.
  • "Blackened beyond Our Native Hue:" Removal, Identity and the Trelawney Maroons on the Margins of the Atlantic World, 1796-1800" in Freedom on the Margins: A Special Issue of Citizenship Studies. Vol. 10, No. 1 (February 2006), 5-34.
  • "'An Act of Deportation:' Jamaican Maroons' Journey from Freedom to Slavery and Back Again, 1796-1836," in Slaving Paths: Rebuilding and Rethinking the Atlantic World, ed Ana-Lucia Araujo, New York: Cambria Press, 2011.
  • "Slave Resistance and Rebellion" in The Atlantic World, 1450-1850, ed. William O'Reilly, London: Routledge, June 2011 (Forthcoming December 2011)


  • Atlantic Biographies: Individuals and Peoples in the Atlantic World. eds Mark Meuwese & Jeffrey A. Fortin. Leiden: Brill Academic Press, (forthcoming 2013).
  • Book Manuscript: "Paul Cuffe: Yeoman," in progress.

Grants + Recognition

  • Faculty Development Grant, Emmanuel College, 2012
  • Faculty Research Grant, State University of New York College at Oneonta, 2011
  • Faculty Travel Grant, State University of New York College at Oneonta, 2007
  • Short-Term Research Grant, The International Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World, Harvard University, 2007 
  • Darrett and Anita Rutman Fellow, History Department, University of New Hampshire, 2005-2006
  • Mary Catherine Mooney Fellow, Boston Athenaeum, Boston, Massachusetts, 2005
  • Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts, 2005
  • Batten Fellow, Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, Charlottesville, Va., 2005

Research Focus

I specialize in Atlantic history, with an emphasis on race, class and slavery, the Age of Revolutions, and even dabble in New England history as it relates to the larger Atlantic world. My current projects include a co-edited book, Atlantic Biographies: Individuals and Peoples in the Atlantic World (Meuwese & Fortin) will be published by Brill Academic Press in the fall 2013. My next book project, "Paul Cuffe: Yeoman," takes a new look at the life of America's most celebrated and successful black sea captain, Paul Cuffe (1759-1817), as he traveled the Atlantic world building his shipping business and attempting to found an independent colony for free blacks in West Africa.