Jennifer Spear

Associate Professor
Office: AQ 6013

Areas of Study: AMERICAS


Summer 2024

Fall 2024

This instructor is currently not teaching any courses.


I arrived at SFU in 2008 after teaching in the U.S. at UC Berkeley, Dickinson College, Macalester College, and the University of Minnesota.

Research Interests

Early North American history; gender and sexuality; comparative colonization, slavery, and race.



  • Spear, Jennifer M. "Liberty, Slavery, and the Louisiana Purchase of 1803: The Incorporation of the Territory of Orleans." In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History. Oxford University Press. Article published March 2018.  doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199329175.013.272
  • "'Using the faculties conceded to her by law': Slavery, Law, and Agency in Spanish New Orleans, 1769-1803," Signposts: New Directions in Southern Legal History, eds. Sally Hadden and Patricia Minter (University of Georgia Press, 2013), 65-88
  • "Colonial Intimacies: Legislating Sex in French Louisiana," William & Mary Quarterly, 3d Ser., 60, #1 (January 2003): 75-98
  • "'Clean of blood, without stain or mixture': Blood, Race, and Sexuality in Spanish Louisiana," in "A Centre of Wonders": The Body in Early America, eds. Janet Moore Lindman and Michel Lise Tarter (Cornell University Press, 2001)
  • "'They Need Wives': Matissage and the Regulation of Sexuality in French Louisiana, 1699-1730," in Sex, Love, Race: Crossing Boundaries in North American History, ed. Martha Hodes (New York University Press, 1999)

Teaching Interests

  • The Americas from Colonization to Independence
  • U.S. History to 1877
  • Slavery in the Americas
  • Gender & History
  • America's Empires
  • The History of Sexuality
  • Race in the Americas
  • The History of Aboriginal Peoples of North America

Areas of Graduate Supervision

Early North America; race, gender & sexuality

Accepting new graduate students: yes


  • Visiting Scholar, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2012/13
  • SSHRC Standard Research Grant, “Becoming ‘Mission Indians’: Ethnogensis in Alta California, 1768-1848,” 2010/11-2012/13
  • Kemper and Lelia Williams Prize in Louisiana History, 2009, for Race, Sex and Social Order in Early New Orleans
  • President's Research Grant, SFU, 2008-2011
  • John Carter Brown Library, Providence, Rhode Island, Ruth & Lincoln Ekstrom Fellow, Spring-Summer 2004
  • Hellman Family Faculty Fund award, University of California, Berkeley, 2003/4
  • Huntington Library, San Marino, California, Kenneth E. and Dorothy V. Hill Fellow, Summer 1998
  • John Carter Brown Library, Providence, Rhode Island, Center for New World Comparative Studies Fellow, Summer 1997
  • American Historical Association, Albert J. Beveridge Grant, May 1997