Christopher Bonner specializes in African American history and the nineteenth-century United States. He published his first book, “Remaking the Republic: Black Politics and the Creation of American Citizenship,” in March 2020 with the University of Pennsylvania Press. This book centers free Black Americans in the legal transformations of the United States during the mid-nineteenth century. Bonner is working on a project considering how enslaved people navigated commercial networks as they sought to purchase freedom in the early nineteenth century.
His work appears in the collection “New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition.” Bonner’s contribution, “Runaways, Rescuers, and the Politics of Breaking the Law,” uses stories of fugitive slave rescues to examine popular Black protest strategies and the implications of lawbreaking as a political form. His work is in digital form at Muster, the blog of the Journal of the Civil War Era, and at Black Perspectives, the blog for the African American Intellectual History Society.
Bonner teaches courses covering African American politics and culture, slavery and emancipation in the Atlantic world, the transformations of the United States during the nineteenth century, and race and ethnicity in early America. Originally from Chesapeake, Virginia, he earned his B.A. from Howard University and Ph.D. from Yale University.