Adom Getachew engages in a close reading of Eric Williams’s Capitalism and Slavery in our latest essay in the "Reading Racial Conflict" series. Getachew connects Williams’s classic argument for how the institution of slavery fueled capitalist development in the global North to recent demands, emerging from the Caribbean and other regions devastated by the slave trade, for reparations.
Adom Getachew is the Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Political Science and the College at the University of Chicago. Her research interests are situated in the history of political thought, with a focus on international law, theories of empire and race, black political thought, and postcolonial political theory. Her current book project, Worldmaking After Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination, reconstructs an account of self-determination offered in the political thought of Black Atlantic anticolonial nationalists during the height of decolonization in the twentieth century. Although self-determination is often associated with claims of national independence and the creation of nation-states, the African, African American, and Caribbean intellectuals and statesmen at the center of this study reinvented self-determination as a project of worldmaking in which they reconceived international political and economic relations. Getachew holds a joint PhD in political science and African American studies from Yale University and BA in politics and African American studies from the University of Virginia.