Richard Turits is a historian of the Caribbean and Latin America, particularly the Hispanic Caribbean and Haiti. A graduate of Brown University, he received an M.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. His research and teaching have focused on histories of race, slavery, violence, peasantries, nondemocratic regimes, and U.S. empire. He is the author of Foundations of Despotism: Peasants, the Trujillo Regime, and Modernity in Dominican History (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003), which received the John Edwin Fagg prize of the American Historical Association and the Bolton-Johnson Prize of the Conference on Latin American History. Professor Turits's current projects include a general history of the Caribbean with Laurent Dubois to be published by the University of North Carolina Press and a book on the history of slavery, freedom, and racial meanings in colonial Santo Domingo and the Dominican Republic, particularly its sixteenth-century plantation society and early post-plantation history.
At William and Mary, Professor Turits will teach courses in Caribbean history, US interventions in Latin America and the world, Afro-Caribbean studies, the Cuban Revolution, and Latin American dictatorships.
Prior to joining the faculty at William and Mary, Professor Turits taught in the Departments of History and of Afroamerican & African Studies at the University of Michigan, where he also directed the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and in the Department of History at Princeton University.