David Stark

Professor David Stark

David Stark
Professor of History
Mackinac Hall D-1-216
[email protected]
(616) 331-3174

Fields: Early Latin America, Spanish Caribbean, and Slavery

B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Indiana University

As a historian of colonial Latin America, I am particularly interested in enslaved populations of the Spanish Caribbean. My work focuses on the demography and family life of slaves in eighteenth-century Puerto Rico and draws upon parish baptismal, marriage, and death registers. I am currently working on a study of death and dying in eighteenth-century Puerto Rico.

Research Interests:

  • Spanish Caribbean
  • Slave demography
  • Family history
  • Death and dying


  • HST 204 World Civilizations since 1500
  • HST 330 Early Latin America
  • HST 331 Modern Latin America
  • HST 334 The Making of the Caribbean
  • HST 372 From Slavery to Freedom
  • HST 374 Revolutions in the Americas
  • HST 375 History of Mexico
  • HST 495 Cuban Revolution
  • HST 495 History of Slavery
  • HST 495 The Caribbean in an International Context

Select Publications:
“A Professionalizing Priesthood: The Cathedral Chapter of San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1650-1700.” Catholic Historical Review. 104:3 (2018): 438-474, 2018.

Slave Families and the Hato Economy in Eighteenth-Century Puerto Rico, Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2015

"Baptismal Sponsorship of Slaves in Eighteenth-Century Puerto Rico." Slavery & Abolition. 36:1 (2015): 84-110.

"Slavery and the Service Economy in 1673 San Juan." Revista de Ciencias Sociales. 23:2 (2010):  46-67. 

"Una aproximación al clero puertorriqueño del siglo XVIII: El clero y el curato de San Felipe Apóstol de Arecibo (1708-1791." Caribbean Studies. 38:1 (2010): 59-104.

"Making the Most of Their Time: Seasonality of Slave Marriage in Eighteenth-Century Puerto Rico." Colonial Latin American Review. 19:2 (2010): 323-349.

"A New Look at the African Slave Trade in Puerto Rico Through the Use of Parish Registers: 1660 to 1815." Slavery & Abolition. 30:4 (2009): 491-520.

"Parish Registers as a Window to the Past: Reconstructing the Demographic Behavior of the Enslaved Population in Eighteenth-Century Arecibo, Puerto Rico." Colonial Latin American Historical Review. 15:1 (2006): 1-30.

"There Is No City Here, but a Desert: The Contours of City Life in 1673 San Juan." The Journal of Caribbean History. 42:2 (2008): 255-289.

"Rescued from their Invisibility: The Afro-Puerto Ricans of Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century San Mateo de Cangrejos, Puerto Rico." The Americas. 63:4 (2007): 551-586.

"Poder politico y vínculos socials en el Puerto Rico del siglo XVIII: La genealogía de Faustino Martínez de Matos, fundador de Mayagüez." La Revista del Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe. 21:1 (2006): 38-47.

"Aprovechándose de las oportunidades: Buscando el momento oportuno para contraer matrimonio entre la población esclava de Puerto Rico a través del siglo XVIII." Caribbean Studies. 33:1 (2005): 177-203.

"The Family Tree Is Not Cut: Marriage among Slaves in Eighteenth-Century Puerto Rico." New West Indian Guide. 76:1&2 (2002): 23-45.

"Surviving Slavery: Marriage Strategies among the Eighteenth Century Puerto Rican Slave Population." In Crossing Boundaries: Comparative History of Black People in Diaspora, ed. by Darlene Clark Hine and Jacqueline McLeod,  (1999) 246-81. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

For more information, please see Professor Stark's vitae.

Page last modified June 24, 2021