Dr. Ryan Espersen

Ryan Espersen is an historical archaeologist, cultural heritage consultant, and public educator. Following his Research Masters in Archaeology at Leiden University in 2009, he obtained a Bachelor of Education (2011) to teach high school on the island of Saba, Dutch Caribbean as a means to start a local archaeological education program for both youth and adult residents. He co-founded the Saba Archaeology Center (SABARC) on Saba in 2012 and with government and NGO support, it expanded to include an archaeology office, lab, and museum. In 2012 he joined the European Transatlantic Slave Trade (EUROTAST) research group as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie early stage researcher for his PhD, hosted by Leiden University. He obtained his PhD in 2017 and have been consulting in heritage management and archaeology across the Netherlands and north-eastern Caribbean.

He is currently a Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow at the University of Cambridge, as the experienced researcher for project “No dollar too dark: free trade, piracy, privateering and illegal slave trading in the northeast Caribbean, early 19th century’”.

Books by Ryan Espersen

“Better Than We”

Landscapes and materialities of race, class, and gender in pre-emancipation Saba, Dutch Caribbean

Ryan Espersen | 2024

This study aims to understand the materiality of Saba’s ideological landscape during its pre-emancipation colonial period. This is accomplished by understanding the dialectics, or inseparable relationships, between Saba’s geography, locally-situated ideologies of class, race, and…

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