visiting assistant professor
Office: Stokes Hall S311
PhD, Columbia University, 2014
Atlantic World History; Dutch History; Trading Companies; Social History; Marriage and Sexuality
Deborah Hamer is a historian of the Atlantic World, focusing on the Dutch West India Company and its colonies. Before her appointment at Boston College, she taught at Columbia University and the University of Miami. Her research investigates how the West India Company regulated marriage and sex in its colonies and uses marriage regulation to illuminate how the religiously and racially diverse inhabitants of the Dutch colonial world interacted with one another and their Calvinist governors. Although the Dutch are generally understood to have pursued a program of colonization that prioritized profits over morals, Deborah’s work argues that the Company’s directors believed that good governance and social disciplining were central to their trading project. Her research also reveals the hitherto little understood religious, racial, and class conflicts that threatened 17th century Dutch colonial aspirations.