Chelsea Schields

picture of Chelsea  Schields

Assistant Professor, History
School of Humanities

Ph.D., Graduate Center, City University of New York, 2017, History

Phone: History Department: (949)824-6521

University of California, Irvine
300B Murray Krieger Hall
Mail Code: 3275
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Europe; Caribbean; decolonization; gender and sexuality; race; oil; global history
Research Abstract
Guided by abiding interest in the afterlives of colonialism, my work highlights the intersections among the histories of sexuality, race, and the politics of oil and empire in Europe and the Caribbean.

My current book manuscript, Offshore Attachments: Oil and Intimacy after Empire, explores how sex conditioned the movement of oil and the people who traveled along its commodity chain in the age of decolonization. Set in the "offshore" Dutch territories in the Caribbean -- islands under Dutch sovereignty and home to some of the world's largest refinery sites -- the book argues that the apex of oil and the end of empire brought renewed intervention in Caribbean sexuality, resulting in the flagrant flouting and routine circumvention of European law on sex work, marriage, divorce, contraception and abortion offshore. Joining analysis of the political economy of oil with histories of race and sexuality, Offshore Attachments shows how durable prejudices structured oil economies and the uneven yet enduring relation between Europe's on- and offshore.

My next project, Moynihan in Europe, chronicles the emergence and diffusion of social scientific literature on black family life. Tracing the movements of racial knowledge from the United States and the colonial Caribbean to its later reception in decolonization-era Europe, I ask how post-slavery knowledge centering on race, the family and sexuality traveled across time and national contexts ultimately to shape the policies foundational to postwar Europe.

Offshore Attachments: Oil and Intimacy after Empire (in progress)

The Routledge Companion to Sexuality and Colonialism. Co-editor with Dagmar Herzog (in progress)

The Political Thought of African Independence: An Anthology of Sources (New York: Hackett Publishing Company, 2017). Assistant editor with Gregory Zucker

Articles & Book Chapters

"Conjuring Futures: Culture, Commonwealth and Decolonization in the Dutch Caribbean, 1948-1975,” Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques (2020).

“Insurgent Intimacies: Sex, Socialism, and Black Power in the Dutch Atlantic,” Radical History Review 136 (2020).

"Eros Against Empire: Visions of Erotic Freedom in Archives of Decolonisation," Journal of Gender Studies/Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies 22 (2019): 145-161.

"‘Combatting the Sensuality of the Youth’: Youthful Sexuality and the Reformulation of Desire in the 1911 Dutch Vice Laws," Gender & History 31 (2019): 115-131.

“Intimacy and Integration: The Ambivalent Achievement of Marriage Equality in the Dutch Caribbean, 2007-2012,” in eds. Sébastien Chauvin, Peter Clegg and Bruno Cousin, Euro-Caribbean Societies in the 21st Century: Offshore Europe and its Discontents (London: Routledge, 2018).

“‘This is the Soul of Aruba Speaking’: The 1951 Campo Alegre Protest and Insular Identity on Aruba,” New West Indian Guide 90 (2016): 195-224.

“Imperialism (Dutch) (The Antilles and Surinam),” in eds. Immanuel Ness and Zak Cope, The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015): 616-622.
Long-term Visiting Fellowship, Max Weber Foundation/German Historical Institute (2019-2020), Mellon Dissertation Fellowship, Council on Library and Information Resources (2015-2016), Dissertation Year Fellowship, CUNY Graduate Center (2014-2016), Junior Research Fellowship, John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin (2014), Research Praxis Award, Advanced Research Collaborative, CUNY (2013), Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Research Fellowship, CUNY (2013), Student Archival Research Award in Africana Studies, CUNY (2013)
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