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 Spanish Atlantic world, the early modern Spanish empire, and colonial Latin America. She is 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 been funded by a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2015-2016), a Fletcher B. Jones fellowship from the Huntington Library (2019-2010), 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 various agencies, including 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 in the 2020 essay collection From the Galleons to the Highlands: Slave Trade Routes in the Spanish Americas, among others.

At Long Beach, Dr. Berquist teaches upper division courses in Latin American history and the history core curriculum, including “How to Stage a Revolution” (HIST 499 senior seminar); “Seeing Latin America” (a writing-intensive GE course on Latin American visual and material culture); “Slavery in Latin America;” and “Gods, Saints & Sinners: Religion in Colonial Latin America.” She also teaches the Colonial Latin America survey course (HIST 362). She enjoys advising students in the Honors program and the graduate program. With her former student Ms. Ana Orozco (Lynwood High School, Ethnic Studies) in 2018 she an created on-campus collaborative daylong experience for her graduating seniors and the ethnic studies students from Lynwood High School, “College Bridge Day.”

Her 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, Berquist Soule 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.

Her literary agent is Roz Foster at Frances Goldin Literary in New York City (212/777-0047). For television and film projects, please contact John Beach at Gravity Squared Entertainment in Los Angeles (323/230-0887).


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