Universiteit Leiden

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Viola Müller

PhD candidate

V.F. Müller MA
+31 71 527 1646

Viola Müller is a PhD candidate at the Institute for History.

More information about Viola Müller

Fields of interest

  • Global History

  • Atlantic World

  • Global Slavery

  • American History

  • Race & Ethnicity


Viola Müller’s PhD project examines runaway slaves within the urban US South, with a particular emphasis on the nature of illegal freedom and its consequences for integration processes. The time period is 1800 to 1860. It scrutinizes the motivations and choices of people fleeing slavery within the slaveholding states of the South, as well as their mobility and escape networks that facilitated slave flight. Particular attention is paid to the runaways’ social integration in the cities with regard to their interaction and interconnectedness with the free African American populations who functioned as their receiving societies. The impact of slave flight on southern discussions regarding urban slavery and the legal status of free black Americans will be taken into consideration. Their integration on the labor markets is examined in relation to capitalist developments and demographic changes in the nineteenth century.

Viola’s project combines American slavery with migration studies and attempts to assign it its place in the broader field of the Atlantic World. This also reflects Viola’s wider interest in Global Slavery and in people exiting slavery by self-emancipation. The social-historical approach puts a special focus on race and ethnicity and the interaction among the lower classes in the context of nineteenth-century capitalism.


Curriculum vitae

M.A. History (research): Migration and Global Interdependence, Leiden University, 2015, cum laude
B.A. Latin American Studies, University of Cologne, 2012 

PhD supervision

  • Prof. dr. Damian Pargas (first supervisor)
  • Prof. dr. Marlou Schrover (second supervisor) 

PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Institute for History
  • Algemene Geschiedenis


No relevant ancillary activities

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