The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Ricardo Vega Leon

Professional Title: 

Ph.D. Candidate


Thompson 518


Office Hours: 

Fall 2022: Wednesday 11:45 am - 1:45 pm


B.A., Universidad de los Andes (Colombia), 2017


My research interests lie in the history of political thought, the political theory of empire, political economy, and anti-slavery politics. My dissertation elaborates a conception of capitalist abolitionism to elucidate how the anti-slavery ideas of liberal political economists and thinkers like Harriet Martineau, Herman Merivale, Adam Smith, and Alexis de Tocqueville, among others, reproduced racial capitalism in the interconnected imperial spaces of the Southern United States and the British and French Caribbean. Although supportive of ending slavery, I show how these thinkers upheld conceptions of free Black workers as devalued and possible to coerce through the categories and practices of emancipation.