Prof. Pedro L V Welch


Faculty of Humanities and Education, and Professor of Social and Medical History in the Department of History and Philosophy at the University of the West Indies (UWI).


He is a 1984 Commonwealth Scholar and in December 2009 was the recipient of the Principal’s Award of Excellence (UWI). In November, 2010, he was awarded as Alumnus of the Month. Prof. Welch has written or co-authored several books and articles, including “Red” and Black over White: Free Coloured Women in Pre-Emancipation Barbados (2000), and Slave Society in the City: Bridgetown, Barbados, 1680-1834 ( Ian Randle Publishers’ 2003).


He has appeared in television productions as a consultant in Caribbean history, the most recent of which is the film “Who do you think you are?” which features the internationally recognized film star, Gwyneth Paltrow. This was aired on NBC on April 01, 2011.


Professor Welch serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Caribbean History, on the World Heritage Committee, Ministry of Culture (Barbados), and on the Executive Committee of the Association of Caribbean Economic Historians (AHEC).


Speaking on the topic “Recovering our Ancestral Links”, Prof. Welch’s presentation examines the impact of enslavement on the family and kinship patterns of Africans in the New World, with special reference to the experience in Barbados. It traces the first arrival of Africans in the Barbadian space and examines in a preliminary survey the kinship and family forms of the African communities from which the enslaved were derived, and the survival/disappearance of these forms in the New World context. Finally, it looks at the social adjustments that were made in the post-emancipation period by Africans as they sought to reconstitute their family units.