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Sally McKee


  • Ph.D. and M.A. Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 1993
  • B.A., French Literature, San Francisco State University, 1982


Sally McKee received her doctorate in 1993 at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. Trained as a medievalist, she now focuses on African- and European-Americans’ engagement with intellectual and cultural movements of the second half of the 19th and early 20th century. Her teaching introduces students to the convergence of cultures in the history of politics, art, religion, and food. She is active in UC Davis’s efforts to enhance the diversity and inclusion of its students and faculty.

Research Focus

Initially, Professor McKee’s research centered on the settlers and indigenous peoples of the Venetian colony of Crete. Subsequently, she published several articles on domestic slavery and enslaved women’s sexual service in Italy and the Mediterranean. Her new book, The Exile's Song: Edmond Dédé and the Unfinished Revolutions of the Atlantic World (Yale 2016), reconstructs the life of the little-known composer and musician, Edmond Dédé (1827-1901), a free African-American born in New Orleans, who spent nearly four decades in France. But, as much as she adores the 19th century, she misses the Latin.

Selected Publications

  • McKee, S. (Forthcoming) The Exile’s Song” Édmond Dédé and the Unfinished Revolutions of the Atlantic World, Yale University Press, 2016.
  • Kidner, Bucur, Mathisen, McKee, Weeks (2014) Making Europe: The Story of the West, Volume 1 to 1790, 2nd Edition, Cengage.
  • McKee, S. (2014) “The familiarity of slaves in medieval and early modern households,” in Mediterranean Slavery Revisited (500-1800), Juliane Schiel and Stefan Hanss (Eds.) Zurich: Chronos
  • McKee, S. (2008) “Domestic slavery in Renaissance Italy,” Slavery and Abolition 29/3 (2008), 1-21.
  • McKee, S. (2004) “Inherited status and slavery in Renaissance Italy and Venetian Crete,” Past & Present 182.  


In addition to offering the introductory course in Western Civilization (HIS 4A), Professor McKee also teaches the upper division survey courses in medieval history. She also teaches a popular course on the world history of food (HIS 12). Recently, she stepped down as leader of the year-long graduate research seminar for the second-year students in the Department of History’s graduate program.


  • Co-winner, the 2004 Berkshire Conference for Women Historians Article Prize for “Inherited Status and Slavery in Renaissance Italy and Venetian Crete,” Past & Present 182 (February, 2004).