Blake Smith
Postdoctoral Fellow, European University Institute, Florence

Blake Smith is a postdoctoral fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. His research, focusing on the French East India Company, has appeared in scholarly journals such as French Cultural Studies and the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, as well as popular media such as The Wire and The Appendix.

Written by Blake Smith

Famille Métisse (1775) by Marius-Pierre le Masurier. Photo courtesy Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac/RMN

Essay/
Race and ethnicity
On prejudice

An 18th-century creole slaveholder invented the idea of ‘racial prejudice’ to defend diversity among a slaveowning elite

Blake Smith

Tipu Sultan, son of Haider Ali, on an elephant in a detail from ‘The Battle of Pollilur’, 1780, a mural at Daria Daulat Palace, Seringapatam. Photo by Bridgeman Iages

Essay/
Global history
Revolutionary heroes

If the sultan of Mysore had had a bit more luck, George Washington might be known as the Haider Ali of North America

Blake Smith

Plan of the French slave ship La Marie Seraphique c.1770. © Château des ducs de Bretagne - Musée d’histoire de Nantes.

Essay/
Economic history
Slavery as free trade

The 18th-century thinkers behind laissez-faire economics saw slavery as a great example of global free trade

Blake Smith