Emily Berquist Soule

Emily Berquist Soule, Ph.D.

Ph.D., 2007, University of Texas at Austin
M.A., 2002, University of Texas at Austin

B.A. cum laude, 1997, Vassar College

Contact Information:
562 985-4427
Office: FO2-226
California State University, Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd., MS 1601
Long Beach, CA 90840-1601


Emily Berquist Soule, Ph.D. is a Professor of History who specializes in the early modern Spanish Empire and colonial Latin America. For the 2019-2020 academic year, she will be the Fletcher B. Jones Foundation Fellow at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA, where she will be at work on her second monograph, The Atlantic Slave Trade and the Rise and Fall of the Spanish Empire (under contract, Yale University Press). The book places slavery at the center of the creation and the unraveling of the early modern Spanish Atlantic Empire, ca. 1400-1900. In so doing, it will shift our understanding of the Atlantic slave trade at large, positioning Spain and its empire as central to both the purchase of slaves and the global operations of the slave trade. Research for this project has previously been funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2015-2016) and an Internal Research Award from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at California State University, Long Beach (2017-2018), as well as smaller awards from the American Council of Learned Societies (2019), the American Philosophical Society (2018), the American Historical Association (2018), and the Clark Library/American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (2018). Related articles have already appeared in Atlantic Studies and Slavery & Abolition, and are forthcoming in multiple book chapters as well as The Journal of Colonialism and Colonial Studies.

Emily’s first book, The Bishop’s Utopia: Envisioning Improvement in Colonial Peru, was published in 2014 by the University of Pennsylvania Press. For her next major monograph, she is planning a study of the uneasily close relationship between slaveholders in Cuba and the United States in the nineteenth century, with a special focus on the extraordinary but largely overlooked negotiations to annex Cuba to the U.S. as another slave state.

With a previous career in magazine journalism, Emily continues to write for popular publications. Presently, she is part of a writing team with two medical doctors. Their most recent collaboration, an expose of mid-century Hollywood drug culture, as seen through the life and death of Marilyn Monroe was the cover story of the July 2018 issue of American History magazine. In 2013, she appeared as a historical expert on the Travel Channel historical artifact hunting show “Dig Fellas,” and she is presently at work on a treatment for a documentary television show as well as a screenplay for a historical drama.

A former Fulbright scholar, Dr. Berquist has also won funding from the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Historical Association, the Atlantic History Seminar at Harvard University, the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the Huntington Library, the John Carter Brown Library, and the Spanish Ministry of Culture (among others). She has worked extensively in historical archives throughout Spain, Colombia, and Peru. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied with Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra and Ann Twinam, among others.

Emily is represented by The Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency (858/755-3115) and Gravity Squared Entertainment (323/230-0887) for television/film writing.


301: Methodologies of History
362: Colonial Latin America Survey
460/560: Slavery in Latin America
465: Seeing Latin America: Visual Culture and History in the Latin American World
466: Gods, Saints, and Sinners: The Culture of Religion in Colonial Latin America
499: How to Stage a Revolution (Latin American Senior Research Seminar)
510: (graduate seminar) Historiography of Colonial Latin America
590: (graduate seminar) The Idea of the Indian in the Americas
592: (graduate seminar) Cultures of Nature: The Science of Empire in the Early Modern Atlantic World
663: (graduate seminar) Advanced Research Methodologies in Latin American History

View Dr. Berquist’s Curriculum Vitae