Categories
New Research

A Weary Land: Slavery on the Ground in Arkansas – Dr. Kelly Houston Jones

By Dr. Kelly Houston Jones One of my favorite stories within the book is the story of a man named Jack, sometimes called “Chunky Jack,” who ran away from James K. Polk’s cotton plantation in western Tennessee in 1833. He actually fled repeatedly, much to the frustration of the future president and his overseer. But […]

Categories
Ask An Americanist New Research

Canaan, Dim and Far: Black Reformers and the Pursuit of Citizenship in Pittsburgh, 1915-1945 – Q&A with Dr. Adam Lee Cilli

What led to your interest in this area of research?  My research in the field of African American urban history stemmed from a general commitment to social justice and a specific commitment to advance research and teaching in the areas of race, ethnicity, and gender.  It also grew out of pure interest and scholarly curiosity. […]

Categories
Ask An Americanist New Research

Star Territory: Printing the Universe in Nineteenth-Century America – Q&A with Dr. Gordon Fraser

What sparked your interest in this particular area of research?  When I entered graduate school, I knew I wanted to study a big question about how people come to develop their first principles: Who am I? What does my life mean? Many of these topics, from the rise of nationalism to the recurrence of religious […]

From Hopper’s Hollywood to Trump’s America – Dr. Jennifer Frost

By Dr. Jennifer Frost, reblogged with permission from Dilettante Army. In 2011, when my book Hedda Hopper’s Hollywood: Celebrity Gossip and American Conservatism came out, one of the first reviews was in the Wall Street Journal. Recently bought by right-wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox News, and known for its conservative editorials and opinions, the Wall […]

Categories
New Research

When the Medium Was the Mission: The Atlantic Telegraph and the Religious Origins of Network Culture – Dr. Jenna Supp-Montgomerie

By Dr. Jenna Supp-Montgomerie The Oneida Community has long been studied for their most notable divergences from their nineteenth-century New York neighbors: their belief that Christ had already returned, their sharing of financial resources and profits from their business ventures, and (most famously and most scandalously) their rejection of monogamy. The 300 or so people […]

Categories
New Research

The World Colonization Made: The Racial Geography of Early American Empire – Dr. Brandon Mills

By Dr. Brandon Mills In 1821, a group of private citizens from the United States, supported by the U.S. Navy, founded a settlement on the west coast of Africa. In this location, the colony of Liberia would grow into an independent republic by 1847, a process which violently displaced the region’s indigenous peoples. The white […]

Categories
Ask An Americanist New Research

Convulsed States: Earthquakes, Prophecy, and the Remaking of Early America – Q&A with Dr. Jonathan T. Hancock

What sparked your interest in this area of research?  I entered graduate school broadly interested in cross-cultural relations in Early America. While working on an undergraduate senior thesis about Protestant missions in the Cherokee Nation, I came across some fascinating material on Cherokee earthquake interpretations in 1811 and 1812. Putting off a science class required for graduation […]

Categories
New Research

West of Slavery: The Southern Dream of a Transcontinental Empire – Dr. Kevin Waite

By Kevin Waite I was born and raised in California, but it wasn’t until I moved to Pennsylvania to begin my PhD that I learned about the history of slavery in my native state. The subject never came up when I was a student in California in the 1990s and early 2000s. Not because I […]

Categories
Ask An Americanist New Research

Charting the Plantation Landscape from Natchez to New Orleans – Q&A with Laura Kilcer

What sparked your interest in this area of research?  The book is a natural extension of my work, which focuses on plantations both in their historical context as well as their cultural history—how their use, definition and significance has evolved into what we know as “plantations” today, which are largely museums, historic sites, and tourist […]

Categories
Ask An Americanist New Research

Complexion of Empire in Natchez: Race and Slavery in the Mississippi Borderlands – Q&A with Dr. Christian Pinnen

Could you give us a short overview of Complexion of Empire in Natchez: Race and Slavery in the Mississippi Borderlands?  Complexion of Empire investigates slavery and race in the borderlands of the lower Mississippi Valley. The book essentially sketches out the first century of sustained European and African contact in the region. I specifically focus on the […]