Asligul Berktay is a Global Perspectives on Society Teaching Fellow at NYU Shanghai.
Asli sees herself as a scholar of the Black experience worldwide, which is why she seeks to study this experience from all possible perspectives, in many different contexts, and in a fully interdisciplinary manner. However, first and foremost, she is a historian of the enslaved experience, of the slave trade and of comparative slavery in both Africa and the Americas. Her dissertation, historical in both focus and methodology, analyzed the wills left behind by African-born and formerly enslaved individuals in nineteenth-century Salvador, Brazil and how these documents shed light on the lives that they led in the Bahian capital upon their arrival as slaves from Africa, as well as upon the (re-) acquisition of their freedom. While her studies have primarily been historical in nature, Asli has also greatly benefited from many other disciplines, such as anthropology, sociology, literature, politics, cultural studies, gender studies, religious studies, and music. This interdisciplinarity is reflected in her research interests, the different courses she has taught, the numerous invited talks and conference presentations she has given, as well as in her publications.