Sally McKee received her doctorate in 1993 at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. A medievalist by training, Sally McKee has shifted her research interests from the Mediterranean region in the 15th century to the 19th-century Atlantic world. 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.
Initially, 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.
In addition to offering the introductory course in Western Civilization at UC Davis, McKee also teaches the upper division survey courses in medieval history. She also teaches a popular course on the world history of food. 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.
McKee is the co-winner of 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).