Chris Florio

Lecturer in History
Columbia University

Chris Florio studies the nineteenth-century United States, with a focus on cultural and intellectual history, transnational history, and African-American history.

Chris is interested in the exchange of economic ideas and the construction of racial formations across the Atlantic World. His dissertation, "The Poor Always with You: Poverty in an Age of Emancipation, 1833-1879," explores how poverty and slavery, as political categories and social conditions, entangled with one another in locations spanning the United States and the British Empire. How did reformers negotiate—nd poor people contest—not only the boundaries of slavery and freedom but also the slippages between slavery and poverty? How did unsettled assumptions about poor people and enslaved people cohere in meaningful disputes over economic status, personal liberty, and racial identity? And how did the mutability of "the poor" throughout this period delimit struggles for economic reform and slave emancipation?

Chris completed general examination fields in Nineteenth-Century United States History, U.S. Intellectual and Cultural History from Revolution to Reconstruction, and Comparative Colonial Historiography. He has precepted for History 373: Democracy and Slavery in the New Nation at Princeton and has taught English 101: Introduction to Composition at Albert C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility. He received a B.A. in History from the University of Richmond in 2009.