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Érika Melek Delgado is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. Her research and publications focus on African history, with special attention to Liberated African children in Africa and the Americas, and African childhood. Prior to this position, she held a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at The Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas, at York University. This postdoctoral position was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She holds a PhD in History from the University of Worcester, and an MPhil in Comparative History from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil. She also coordinated the project related to sources from Sierra Leone for the Endangered Archives for the British Library. During her undergraduate studies at Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Brazil, she was awarded the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) grant from Canada.

Research interests and Phd supervision 

  • West Africa History
  • History of Childhood in Africa and Diaspora
  • Atlantic Slavery
  • Connections between the precolonial, and the colonial state in Africa
  • Trans-Saharan and Trans-Atlantic Diasporas


Teaching is focused on Modern Africa and Diaspora History.

Expertise and public engagement

Dr Melek Delgado is involved directly with two Digital Humanities projects. As the main investigator of the project Historical African Childhoods (HAC Project), and the Associate Director of the Freedom Narratives Project (FN Project – In FN and HAC projects, she works on the development of databases, digital methodology, best practices, controlled vocabularies, and on the coordination of the Research Assistants, and maintaining the relationship with project collaborators. In HAC project, which is not yet online, the aim is to achieve new and innovative mechanisms for displaying biographies and historical experiences of African children. Both digital databases are open source and user friendly, and rely on linked data to generate an inter-relational digital archive that users can exploit in innovative ways to search for information on African enslaved people. The audience is academics, teachers and the public.

Selected publications

  • Melek Delgado, E., Liberated African “Children” in Sierra Leone: colonial classifications of “child” and “childhood”, 1808-1819’, in Liberated Africans and the Abolition of the Slave Trade: Digital Histories of Enslavement and Freedom, eds. Henry Lovejoy and Richard Anderson, University of Rochester Press (Forthcoming, 2020).
  • Melek Delgado, E., ‘As Narrativas Evangelizadoras da Niger Expedition: Uma análise comparativa dos discursos de Missionários da Expedição Britânica ao Rio Niger, 1841’, Transversos, 4, 4 (2015), pp. 57-78.
  • Melek Delgado, E., ‘Identidades em trânsito: o caso dos africanos livres na primeira colônia britânica da África Ocidental’, Revista de Ciências Humanas, 14, 2 (2014), pp. 356-372.