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Two More Prizes Awarded to Tessa Murphy’s ‘Creole Archipelago’

July 28, 2023

The book garnered the Elsa Goveia Book Prize and the 2022 Mary Alice and Philip Boucher Book Prize.

Tessa Murphy

Tessa Murphy

Tessa Murphy, associate professor of history, has received two new prizes for her first book, “The Creole Archipelago: Race and Borders in the Colonial Caribbean” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021). These prizes are in addition to two others she received late last year.

The Association of Caribbean Historians awarded the book its Elsa Goveia Book Prize, and the French Colonial Historical Society honored it with its 2022 Mary Alice and Philip Boucher Book Prize.

The Elsa Goveia award recognizes excellence in the field of Caribbean history and is awarded to one author every two years. The Boucher prize is awarded annually and recognizes the best book on the French colonial experience from the 16th century to 1815.

In “The Creole Archipelago,” Murphy traces how generations of Indigenous Kalinagos, free and enslaved Africans, and settlers from a variety of European nations used maritime routes to forge connections that spanned the eastern Caribbean. Murphy explains how these islands are distinct from other Caribbean colonial plantation societies, a result of the powers that competed for influence in the region—including Britain and France, as well as the Kalinagos, who continued asserting their right to their lands.

The book previously received two prizes: the James A. Rawley Prize in Atlantic History from the American Historical Association and the Forum on Early-Modern Empires and Global Interactions (FEEGI) 2022 Book Prize. Murphy was also awarded honorable mention for the Gilbert Chinard Prize, given by the Society for French Historical Studies.

Murphy received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2016. Her research interests include the Atlantic World, the comparative history of the early Americas, slavery and race, the colonial Caribbean and the Age of Revolutions.

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