Jordan Smith, Georgetown University
Barra Dissertation Fellow in Art and Material Culture
“The Invention of Rum”
I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Atlantic History at Georgetown University. My dissertation examines the invention and production of rum in the British Atlantic World. I am especially interested in how free and coerced residents of the West Indies combined ideas and ingredients from throughout the Atlantic world to invent rum in the mid-seventeenth century, and how an array of Africans, Britons, and creoles worked to further innovate the rum production process in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Thus far, my research has drawn on the collections of nearly forty archives in Barbados, Jamaica, England, Wales, Scotland, and eight U.S. states.