James Almeida


  • Visiting Assistant Professor of History

Areas of Study


  • PhD, Harvard University, 2022

  • MA, Florida International University, 2015

  • BBA, Boise State University, 2009


James Almeida is a scholar of Latin America with a focus on understandings of human difference. His current book project—"Minting Slavery, Coining Race: Human Difference, Discipline, and Labor in Colonial Potosí"—explores the development of racial ideologies associated with forced labor practices in Potosí’s colonial mint. Located near the world’s richest silver mine in what is today Bolivia, this institution was the site of a series of overlapping, ambiguous, and coercive labor projects that employed diverse groups of indigenous Andeans, Africans, Europeans, and their descendants.

He is currently working on publishing comparative research about protoindustrial slavery in the Lima mint (in today’s Peru) and pursuing a new research project on the regulation of sexual behavior in Peru.

Almeida has worked in archives and libraries in the United States, Bolivia, Peru, Spain, and the United Kingdom. His work has been supported by the American Historical Association, Casa de Velazquez, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, and the John Carter Brown Library.

At Oberlin, Almeida teaches lecture courses on colonial and modern Latin American history as well as commodity history of the region. He also offers seminars exploring the entangled histories of race, slavery, gender, and sexuality.

  • “Suspicious Possession: Policing Silver and Making Race in Colonial Potosí,” Colonial Latin American Review 30, no. 4 (2021): 545-564. DOI: 10.1080/10609164.2021.1996991
  • “Slavery Upstairs, Slavery Downstairs: Forced Labor in the Royal Mints of the Colonial Andes,” ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America XXI, no. 2 (2022), https://revista.drclas.harvard.edu/slavery-upstairs-slavery-downstairs/

Fall 2022

Latin American History: Conquest and Colony — HIST 109
From Gold to Guacamole: Latin American Commodity History — HIST 204
Beyond Slavery and Freedom in the Atlantic World — HIST 418

Spring 2023

Latin American History: State and Nation Since Independence — HIST 110
Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Latin America — HIST 326