Marcella Schute is a PhD candidate in American History / American Studies at the RIAS and Leiden University on the larger research project “Racial Democracy: Challenges to Civic Democratic Ideals in American History,” sponsored by the Stichting Praesidium Libertatis at Leiden University.

Marcella Schute is mainly interested in the history of slavery, women’s history and American politics. Her Phd project explores the African Apprentice Bill of 1858 and efforts by Louisiana to reopen the slave trade. By showing how a racial policy was introduced, defended, opposed and resisted by state senators, southern planters, abolitionists, slaves and free blacks, her research aims to provide insight into political, economic and social tensions in Louisiana and beyond.

Originally from the Netherlands, Marcella Schute received her BA in Liberal Arts & Sciences (American Studies, Political Science, and Law) from University College Roosevelt in 2019. She completed her MA in American Studies at the University of Amsterdam in 2020.