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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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West of Slavery: The Southern Dream of a Transcontinental Empire

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Ask An Americanist New Research

Ask An Americanist: Professor Brandon Jett

What led you to/sparked your interest in this area of research? I’ve always had an interested in “revolutionary” eras of history. Moments when things get upended in one way or another. As an undergraduate, I was drawn to the experiences of white and Black Americans in the post-Emancipation/Jim Crow era. Understanding how Black Americans pushed […]

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New Research

Staging Indigeneity: Salvage Tourism and the Performance of Native American History

By Katrina M. Phillips I joke that I blame my dad for this book, but it’s true. I’m a citizen of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, and our reservation sits along the south shore of Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin. The neighboring town of Bayfield hosts an apple festival every year, and […]

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New Research

Emperor: Rediscovering an Icon of Black Liberation

By Louis A. DeCaro, Jr. In 1882, a small notice appeared in the Huntsville [Georgia] Gazette, reporting that the skull of Shields Green, one of John Brown’s raiders, was on exhibit at a store in Athens, Georgia. This notice appeared in a few other Southern papers, suggesting the possibility that the skull may have been […]

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New Research

A View from Abroad: The Story of John and Abigail Adams in Europe

By Jeanne E. Abrams, University of Denver My main thesis in A View From Abroad is that the European journeys of John and Abigail Adams expanded their life experiences and honed their analytical skills. It allowed them a breadth of perspective they could not have experienced in America. They came face-to-face abroad with some of […]