Teaching

As a scholar of Early America broadly construed, I teach history through a transregional lens. My classes regularly emphasize the hemispheric and oceanic contexts in which colonial encounters between Native peoples and European imperial agents played out.

Below you will find a list of courses I have designed, together with their respective class descriptions:

 

HIST 1200 – The American Revolution in Unexpected Places 

For many Americans, few historical events hold more appeal than the American Revolution. Together with its accepted legacies, the revolution continues to inform their collective national identities. In addition, its ability to captivate scholars and the general public alike is made evident by the constant outpouring of plays, films, and books celebrating the founding era. Indeed, the revolution remains one of the most well-known and well-studied subjects of historical inquiry. Yet, most studies of the period focus almost exclusively on thirteen of Britain’s former colonies, sidelining the empire’s other thirteen colonies in North America and the Caribbean. This seminar brings the latter colonies into focus, asking how the seemingly familiar story of the American Revolution changes when approached from less familiar vantage points.

 

HIST 1102 – All Over the Map: Cartography in the Making of Boundaries, Places, and Histories 

What’s in a map? Can they obscure as much as they reveal? This course focuses on the way maps, and their boundaries, intrude on the stories we tell. Histories, in particular, typically concern places that fit neatly within boundaries—be they city limits, international borders, or shorelines. Rather than treating these features as naturally occurring, we will ask questions, such as: Can a place be said to have existed before its so-called discovery? Do the names of nations, continents, cities, or even harbors simply refer to places, or can they somehow help bring those very places into being? Seminar discussions and assignments will largely revolve around assigned readings, assigned maps (which we will often consult in conjunction with the readings), and writing exercises.

 

History of the United States, to 1877

This course is an introduction to American history from pre-contact through the end of the Civil War. It brings into focus North America’s indigenous populations, and their engagement with the British, French, Dutch, and Russian empires. Along the way, it explores the role of race, gender, and class in the development of an Atlantic economy, the rise of plantation slavery, and the emergence of a collective American identity. This course also traces the coming of the American Revolution, the establishment of the Early Republic, Anglo-American expansion in the early-to-mid nineteenth century, and the displacement of countless Native American communities. It concludes with the study of the Civil War and Reconstruction, along with their many legacies.