Paul E. Lovejoy Prize


Brill and the editorial team of the Journal of Global Slavery are pleased to provide an annual prize of €500 for excellence and originality in a major work (defined as a monograph or feature documentary) on any theme related to global slavery.

The Paul E. Lovejoy Prize is named after the esteemed slavery scholar and distinguished professor of African Studies and African Diasporic Studies at York University in Canada. The author of more than thirty books and a hundred articles, Lovejoy pioneered new approaches to the historical study of slavery in West Africa and its diasporic communities, and played a critical role in revealing the interconnectedness between various African, Atlantic and Islamic systems of enslavement in the early modern and modern periods. He was the founding Director of the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples and a former board member of the International Scientific Committee of the UNESCO Slave Routes Project “Resistance, Liberty, Heritage” from 1996 to 2012.

Submissions for the Lovejoy Prize must be in English (in the case of documentaries they may be subtitled in English) and accompanied by a cover letter. Digital versions of monographs (E-Books or PDFs of final proofs) are preferable to hard copies, in order to make them more accessible to committee members. Please send an email to for specific instructions. The Journal of Global Slavery appoints a jury consisting of 3-4 members, who are all active and prominent scholars in their fields, for a one-year period (renewable to a max of three years). The jury is headed by the editor in chief of the journal.

Prize Winners

Prize Winner 2020
The Journal of Global Slavery is pleased to announce this year’s Paul E. Lovejoy Prize for the best scholarly work in the field of slavery published in 2020 is awarded to Manuel Barcia (University of Leeds) for his excellent monograph The Yellow Demon of Fever: Fighting Disease in the 19th-century Transatlantic Slave Trade (Yale University Press, 2020). Among the other strengths of this book is Barcia’s ability to amass disparate sources across the circum-Atlantic to lucidly reconstruct and advance our understanding of the medical history of the Atlantic slave trade in ways that would inspire future scholars for generations to come.

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Prize Winners 2019
The first annual Paul E. Lovejoy Prize for the best academic work on the study of slavery published in 2019 is awarded to Hannah Barker, Arizona State University. Her fantastic book That Most Precious Merchandise: The Mediterranean Trade in Black Sea Slaves, 1260-1500 (University of Pennsylvania Press) was unanimously chosen as the winner by an independent jury, which praised Barker's impressive command of the source material and the masterful way she reveals a "common culture of slavery" between various late-medieval Mediterranean societies.

An honorable mention is awarded to Lola Goma for her powerful documentary film Legacies of Slavery in Niger (2019). The Journal of Global Slavery encourages its readers to view the film here.

Read the full announcement.