CHI Fellow Introduction: Jorge Felipe Gonzalez
I am a second year PhD student in the Department of History at MSU. I received my undergraduate degree in History at the University of Havana in 2007. During a couple of years after graduation, I taught different courses at my Alma Mater. After a research stay as a fellow at the Iberoamerican Institute in Berlin, I started working as a researcher at the Fernando Ortiz Foundation in Cuba. The first digital project I was involved was a digital database about the liberated Africans community in Cuba during the 19th century. I coordinated a team of scholars working in Cuban archives, collecting, processing, and adding data to a software created for this project. Currently, I am developing with a colleague another digital database (hosted at MATRIX at MSU) based on baptism records from the black population from Cuba, Brazil, and the US. This project will gather substantial new information about slaves and their descendants in different regions in the Americas. This fellowship is a great opportunity to enrich my knowledge about digital tools that historians can apply for processing, preserving, and sharing data. CHI is undoubtedly related to my research interests.
My PhD dissertation focuses on the Atlantic connections among slave traders from Upper Guinea, Cuba and the Southern States in the US in order to explain the origins of the Spanish slave trade at the end of the 18th century and the emergence of the region of Galinhas in Africa as an important port of embarkation during the 19th century. My fields of specialization are Atlantic History, Caribbean/Cuban History. I am currently pursuing a degree as Africanist at MSU. I am also codirecting a project at the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at the Hutchins Center about the connections between Cuba and the US in the Atlantic slave trade.