Jeff Forret


Ph.D., University of Delaware, 2003
M.A., University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 1998
B.A., St. Ambrose University, 1995

Archer 200N
(409) 880-2289


Jeff Forret was named the University Scholar Award winner for 2016, Distinguished Faculty Lecturer for 2020, and Distinguished Faculty Research Fellow, 2016-2021. His latest monograph, Williams' Gang: A Notorious Slave Trader and His Cargo of Black Convicts (Cambridge University Press, 2020) is a legal history of the coastwise domestic slave trade. Funded by a William Nelson Cromwell Fellowship and an NEH Summer Stipend, it won the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) 2021 Leadership in History Award in the large press category. His previous book, Slave against Slave: Plantation Violence in the Old South (LSU Press, 2015) won the 18th annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize awarded by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. It also earned an honorable mention in the U.S. history category at the 2016 Professional & Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) Awards and was a finalist for the Harriet Tubman Book Prize given by the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery. Dr. Forret also published Race Relations at the Margins: Slaves and Poor Whites in the Antebellum Southern Countryside (LSU Press, 2006); Slavery in the United States (Facts on File, 2012), a volume in the Issues and Controversies in American History series; as well as numerous articles that have appeared in Time, Smithsonian Magazine, the Journal of Southern History, Slavery & Abolition, the Journal of the Early Republic, and other journals, anthologies, encyclopedias, and textbooks. He also co-edited, with Bruce E. Baker, the anthology Southern Scoundrels: Grifters and Graft in the Nineteenth Century (LSU Press, 2021) and, with Christine E. Sears, New Directions in Slavery Studies: Commodification, Community, and Comparison (LSU Press, 2015). He is working on his next monograph, Slave Ships to Freedom: The Transatlantic Pursuit of Reparations for Southern Whites before the Civil War. A specialist in the study of slavery, the South, and nineteenth-century history, Dr. Forret serves as graduate director for the department.