Wesleyan portrait of Kaisha  Esty

Kaisha Esty

Assistant Professor of African American Studies

Center for African American St, 232

Assistant Professor, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Assistant Professor, History


BA University of Nottingham
MA University of Nottingham
PHD Rutgers University

Kaisha Esty

Kaisha Esty is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies, History, and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University. She is a historian of slavery and its aftermath, sexuality, empire, and Black womanhood in the nineteenth-century. Dr. Esty is working on her first book project, titled, Weaponizing Virtue: Black Women and Intimate Resistance in the Age of U.S. Expansion. Her article, “I Told Him to Let Me Alone, That He Hurt Me”: Black Women and Girls and the Battle Over Labor and Sexual Consent in Union-Occupied Territory,” originally published in Labor: Studies in Working Class History, won the 2022 Letitia Woods Brown Prize for Best Article from the Association of Black Women Historians. She is also the author of "I had resolved that I would be virtuous, though I was a slave": Black Women, Feminine Virtue and the Sexual Economy of US Slavery," published in the Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History and "Horrible Enough to Stir a Man's Soul": Enslaved Men, Emotions, and Heterosexual intimacy in the Antebellum U.S. South," published in Slavery & Abolition. Her research has been supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Andrew Mellon Fund, the Warren and Beatrice Susman Fellowship, the American Historical Association, and the African American Intellectual History Society.

Dr. Esty earned her BA and Masters in American Studies at the University of Nottingham. She holds a Ph.D. in African American and Women's and Gender History from Rutgers University. 

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

By appointment.