The Carter G. Woodson Institute, U.Va.

The Carter G. Woodson Institute

for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia

Tony Perry

Assistant Professor (AAS)

Slavery Studies , (Cultural) Ecology, African American Environmental History, Early American History; , Material Culture.

227A Minor Hall

As a scholar of race, culture, and the environment, Tony Perry’s research focuses on the environmental history of slavery in the U.S. In this work Perry examines how the institution of slavery informed enslaved people’s relationship to the environment, how this relationship diverged from that of slaveholders, and how differences in the enslaved community contributed to differences in said relationship among slaves. He argues that across several dimensions of the environment – the land and landscape, the aquatic, the weather, and the supernatural – enslaved women and men relied heavily on the latter as the primary arena of power from which they drew, even as they frequently found the environment an antagonizing entity in their daily lives.


Perry is currently working on his first book, which will feature his research on the environmental history of slavery in Maryland. He has also published an article based on this work in Slavery & Abolition titled “In Bondage when Cold was King: The Frigid Terrain of Slavery in Antebellum Maryland,” which he completed during his time as a predoctoral fellow in the Carter G. Woodson Institute.


Perry received his Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park, an M.A. in American Studies from Purdue University, and a B.A. in English and Africana Studies from Bowdoin College.