Laurie Wood

Assistant Professor of History

Contact Information

Laurie Wood is a historian of the early modern world and her research focuses on Francophone history in comparative and global perspectives. She primarily teaches courses in Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Early Modern European, and World History that bring together the early modern era and 21st century. For the academic year 2017-18, she is a Fellow at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, Princeton University. 


2017-18: On leave - Fellow, Princeton University, Davis Center for Historical Studies
Previous Courses, 2014-17:
  • Monsoon Empires: The Indian Ocean, 800-1800 (ASH 3930-1)
  • From Medieval to Modern? Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800 (EUH3930)
  • Patriots & Pirates: Law in the Atlantic World (WOH3930)
  • Patriots and Pirates: Law in the Atlantic World (Senior Seminar) (HIS4935)
  • Early Modern Atlantic World (Graduate Colloquium) (HIS6934)
  • Early Modern Europe (Graduate Colloquium) (HIS 6934-9)
Her first book manuscript, Archipelago of Justice: Law in France's Early Modern Empire, is the first book-length study to evaluate the distinct but interwoven trajectories of the people, such as itinerant shipworkers and enslaved people, who built France’s first global empire between 1680 and 1780 in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. These imperial subjects sought new political and legal influence via law courts, but with strategies that reflected local and regional priorities, particularly regarding slavery, war, and trade. Through the lens of neglected judicial records, this project shows how courts became portals between new colonial possessions and France. It thus reveals the historical transformations that catalyzed connections between the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia, uncovering the possibilities and limits of participation in a globally-integrated society.
At Princeton, I am also working on a second book project, Risks & Realities: Death and Credit in the French Tropics. Analyzing previously untapped cases of marital abandonment and accidental death, this book delves into the lives of the people, especially women, who maintained a global early modern economy one family enterprise at a time over the course of the long eighteenth century. It appraises the effects of death, natural disasters, and other catastrophes on these people and considers how credit enabled (and sometimes wrecked) their enterprises. Embracing the global scope of family enterprises, it charts a new method for reconstructing histories from the fleeting impressions that these lives have left in the archives by assessing and synthesizing hitherto under-utilized civil litigation (especially regarding inheritances and mortgages) for the French Antilles and Mascarenes in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans respectively. 
Recent Articles:
  • “Recovering the Debris of Fortunes between France and Its Colonies in the 18th Century.” Journal of Social History 51, no. 4 (Summer 2018). doi:10.1093/jsh/shw135. Published online 18-Dec-16.
  • “The Martinican Model: Colonial Magistrates and the Seventeenth-Century Origins of a Global Judicial Elite,” in press for May 2018 with University of South Carolina Press in The Torrid Zone: Colonization and Cultural Interaction in the Seventeenth-Century Caribbean, ed. Louis H. Roper.
  • “Across Oceans and Revolutions: Law and Slavery in French Saint-Domingue and Beyond.” Law & Social Inquiry 39, no. 3 (September 1, 2014): 758–82.
Recent Grants/Fellowships:
  • 2017-18, Princeton University, Davis Center for Historical Studies Fellowship. 
  • 2017-18, NEH-Hagley Library Postdoctoral Fellowship on Business, Culture, and Society. Declined.
  • 2017-18, Hagley Library H. B. du Pont Fellowship.
  • 2015, Society for French Historical Studies/Western Society for French History Research Travel Award. 
  • 2016-2017, Committee on Faculty Research Support (COFRS) Award, FSU Council on Research & Creativity. 
  • 2016 Spring, FSU College of Arts & Sciences Faculty Travel Award. 
  • 2015-2016, Planning Grant, FSU Council on Research & Creativity. 
  • 2014-2015, First Year Assistant Professor Summer Award, FSU Council on Research & Creativity.