Header image
 
Bernard Bailyn, Director
HARVARD UNIVERSITY

 
 

DISSERTATION ABSTRACTS

DISSERTATION ABSTRACTS
   


Dissertation Abstracts

Dissertation abstracts are arranged alphabetically by author. An author/title index is also available.



Name: Robert Alderson
Email address: ralderso@gpu.edu
Institution: Georgia Perimeter College
Dissertation Title: Michel-Ange-Bernard de Mangourit, Consul at Charleston, S.C., 1792-1794
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2000
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Owen Connelly, Robert Weir, Paul MacKenzie, Michael Smith, Paul Johnson, Bruce Marshall

Abstract:
Consul Mangourit’s tenure at Charleston is a case study in transatlantic republicanism. The early part of the French Revolution was a time when France and the United States were in a position to work together in the cause of international republicanism. However, because of different conceptions of the nature of republics, diplomatic errors were made, mostly on the French side. The Girondin minister to the United States, Edmond Charles Genet, was instructed to spread revolution into the colonial holdings of Britain and Spain. The Girondins hoped that the American government would help in this republican crusade. However, President Washington decided on a policy of neutrality. Genet proceeded with his plans, alienating the American government and touching off something of a constitutional crisis. The Jacobins, who repudiated international republican revolution, replaced Genet with a Jacobin minister. During the Genet Mission, it was clear that self-interest and republicanism could not be reconciled on the national level. However, Genet’s subordinate, Consul Mangourit, met with considerable success in bringing self-interest to the service of the republican cause. He used the interest of many southerners in western lands to tie his allies to the French cause. The friends of France were not merely interested in western expansion; they genuinely believed that the cause of liberty, faced with hostile European powers, was in peril. Pro-French South Carolinians developed their fears into a criticism of the state’s social order. Other South Carolinians, including women and slaves, indicated that they too were interested in the debate over the nature of republicanism. In the end, Mangourit's careful preparations came to nothing; he was recalled at the same time that Genet was. France and American republicanism diverged and the French lost the best opportunity they had to reclaim their empire in North America. The tension between republicanism and self-interest could be resolved, but republicanism could not be the only basis for relations, nor could it overcome the pull of national self-interest.


Name: Deborah Allen
Email address: DeborahJAllen@aol.com
Institution: Literatures in English, Rutgers University
Dissertation Title: To Measure and Describe "The Whole Globe of the Earth": Geographical Writing and Imperial Enterprise in the English Atlantic World, 1660-1815
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., September 2003
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Myra Jehlen, Michael Mckeon, and Michael Warner

Abstract:
My dissertation explores the relationship between geographical writing—the activity of describing the earth in both a mathematical and a prose sense—and the practical enterprise of commercial and territorial expansion on the globe by Britain and the United States in North America in the long eighteenth century. My project traces the changing emphases in geographical writing in all its forms in the latter half of the seventeenth century, when the focus of Britain's colonization of the Atlantic world was on the safety and expansion of transoceanic routes of commerce and coastal settlements, and throughout the eighteenth century, when both Britain and then America's competitive imperialism was centered on consolidating and extending political control of territory in North America. Examining archival materials such as maps and sea charts and forms such as the atlas, geographical compendium, and travel account, I argue that geopolitical necessity, rather than concerns with the improvement of navigation and practical seamanship, increasingly determined the aims and scope of geographical writing in the period my dissertation covers. In the second half of the eighteenth century, the production of accurate written and graphic descriptions of North America's geography, rather than geographical inventories of the terrestrial globe, became critical to the success of Britain and early America's imperial enterprise. My dissertation examines works by London mapmakers and publishers John Seller and Robert Morden, Daniel Defoe's contributions to Atlas Maritimus and Commercialis (1728), and cartographical memoirs by Lewis Evans and John Green. After the French and Indian war, Britain was no longer a simply maritime power, but a nation that articulated its imperial claims on a continental scale. It was through statesmen like Thomas Jefferson, the most scientific of America's presidents and whose writings I examine in my dissertation's final chapter, that nationalism and "natural rights" were extended to include territorial rights to the North American continent.

 
Name: Edward E. Andrews
Email address: edwarda@cisunix.unh.edu
Institution: The University of New Hampshire
Dissertation Title: Prodigal Sons: Indigenous Missionaries in the British Atlantic World, 
1640-1780
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Expected May 2009
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Eliga H. Gould, W. Jeffrey Bolster, Cynthia Van Zandt, Funso Afolayan, 
and David J. Silverman


Abstract:

This dissertation explores the hundreds of black and Native American preachers who worked as Christian missionaries in the early modern British Atlantic world. While scholars have generally accepted the convention that most missionaries were white Europeans who knew little about the native peoples they were trying to convert, there were practical and theological explanations for why native preachers not only became ubiquitous, but often outnumbered their white counterparts in Protestant missions. The language barrier, the opportunity to tap into extensive kinship networks, and early modern interpretations of black and Indian bodies all catalyzed the formation of an indigenous evangelical corps from Iroquoia to India. Protestant missionaries also looked back to early Christian history to explain how “gospelization” might advance alongside their own rapidly expanding world. They believed that the gentiles – or unconverted nations – were central to their own conversion during the initial spread of Christianity and incorporated this model of early Christian evangelization into their own approach to missionary work among black slaves, Africans, and Native Americans. Situated as they were between British missionaries and unconverted natives, indigenous missionaries also found themselves at the center of transatlantic conversations about race, empire, spiritual authority, and the place of Native Americans and Africans in Western Christendom. In sum, the centrality of indigenous preachers, teachers, and evangelists to British Atlantic missions demands that we reconceptualize the historical relationships between missionaries and neophytes, imperial colonization and Protestant evangelization, and Christian doctrines and indigenous spiritualities. Prodigal Sons thus enriches and complicates our understanding of cultural interaction between Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans in the most formative period of those encounters.

 




Name: Manuel Barcia Paz
Email address: mbarcia24@gmail.com
Institution: University of Essex
Dissertation Title: Domination and Slave Resistance in Cuban Plantations, 1808-1848
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2005
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Matthias Röhrig Assunção/Robin Blackburn and James Walvin

Abstract:
For over a century slave resistance has been a frequent topic of research for scholars from both sides of the Atlantic. In the Cuban case, some particular forms of resistance have monopolised the scholarly efforts in this field, among them marronage and slave revolts. Albeit slave resistance has been considered a crucial issue, very much has been published using secondary sources, and giving priority to some relevant maroon communities and slave conspiracies and rebellions. Books and articles embracing both violent and non-violent forms of slave resistance in Cuba are very few. Perhaps with the exception of Gloria García's book (La esclavitud desde la esclavitud: la visión de los siervos, 1996), no other important study has equally examined all the forms of resistance practiced by the African slaves and their descendants in Cuba. García's work, however, had a wide scope and drew examples from both urban and rural environments, and without discriminating chronologically or geographically. Following García's work, but using a different approach, I have also tackled the diverse forms of slave resistance in Cuba, concentrating my attention on the western part of the island, where sugar and coffee plantations dominated throughout the nineteenth century. The central argument of this dissertation is that slaves in Cuba resisted oppression in a myriad of ways. Not only the scholarly favored maroon communities and violent revolts constituted their forms of rejecting slavery. African slaves and their descendants living on western Cuban plantations learned how to use the colonial laws, an issue practically forgotten that only recently has been revived by scholars. They also made use of the "weapons of the weak" that were at their disposal. Thus, many of their songs, dances, religious ceremonies and, especially, many of their offstage conversations, constituted effective ways of expressing their discontent. Beyond their everyday actions, slaves also risked their lives every time they robbed from a white person, every time they burned down a plantation, and every time they assassinated an overseer or a master. Finally there remains the forgotten issue of the slave suicides, a constant source of concern for the colonial authorities and slave owners. Here I examine each of these forms—and others not mentioned in this paragraph—with the intention to show that slaves were not docile bearers of their condition and that most of them, in one way or another, contested and undermined the Spanish slave system to a certain degree through their exceptional and daily actions.


Name: Eugene C. Berger
Email address: berger-e@mssu.edu
Institution: Missouri Southern State University
Dissertation Title: Permanent War on Peru's Periphery: Frontier Identity and the Politics of Conflict in Seventeenth-Century Chile
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2006
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Jane Landers

Abstract:
This dissertation argues that rather than making a concerted effort to stabilize the Spanish-indigenous frontier in the south of the colony, officials in seventeenth-century Chile purposefully perpetuated the conflict to benefit personally from the spoils of war and hoard the resources sent by viceregal authorities to fight it. In some cases Chilean governors even turned indios amigos (indigenous allies) against them to continue the pattern of profiteering that became a primary source of income for the colony and its officials. Using original documents I gathered in research trips to Chile and Spain, I am able to reconstruct the debates that went on both sides of the Atlantic over funds, protection from pirates, and indigenous slavery that so defined Chile's formative seventeenth century. While my conclusions are unique, frontier residents from Paraguay to northern New Spain were also dealing with volatile indigenous alliances, threats from European enemies, and questions about how their tiny settlements could get and keep the attention of the crown. I also hope to shed new light on what the residents of the frontiers themselves were saying about their world, rather than relying on the important but somewhat muddled impressions of historians and statesman who have national legacies in mind.


Name: Emily Berquist
Email address: emilyberquist@yahoo.com
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Dissertation Title: Imagining the New World: Bishop Martínez Compañón and the Hispanic Enlightenment in Peru
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Expected, May 2006
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Susan Deans-Smith/Jonathan Brown, Mauricio Tenorio, James Boyden

Abstract:
My dissertation focuses on the life and work of this Spanish Bishop of Trujillo, Peru, in the context of the Hispanic Enlightenment and the broader trends of Enlightenment in the Atlantic World. It examines his various liberal reform projects (such as schools for indigenous children and training for mercury miners) in order to see how his work conformed with or diverged from the theories of peninsular reform-minded thinkers. His collections of natural specimens, indigenous artifacts, and his watercolors portraying Trujillo are highlighted as exemplary of his participation in the science of natural history that characterized the Spanish Enlightenment. Martínez Compañón is thus a figure who illustrates both dominant aspects of the Enlightenment in the Hispanic world—liberal reform and natural history.


Name: Stephen R. Berry
Email address: srb12@duke.edu
Institution: Duke University
Dissertation Title: Seaborne Conversions, 1700-1800
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2005
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Grant Wacker, Peter H. Wood, Laurie Maffly-Kipp, David Steinmetz, and Wesley A. Kort

Abstract:
The beliefs of the Old World did not simply transfer to the New, but experienced a translation in the crossing. The close reading of eighteenth-century travel narratives benefits the understanding of American religion by viewing religious beliefs during a moment of liminality—an in-between time and space—in which no particular religious institution predominated. Three groups—sailors, passengers, and clergymen—constitute the objects of the study and provide its evidentiary base through letters, diaries, autobiographies, and ship's logs. This research argues that the process by which North America developed an increased reliance upon individualism and a functional religious pluralism incubated onboard Atlantic sailing vessels. These eighteenth-century voyages combined divergent and competing worldviews in a relatively open, non-institutional atmosphere that reveals the particular mentalities of the participants and their belief systems. Section one describes the environmental circumstances aboard ship that formed the backdrop for seagoing religious belief and culture—the maritime dimensions of time, space, gender, nature, and providence. Section two examines how distinct cultures and religious approaches adapted to ship life, and how the weeks and months spent at sea altered their religions. The ocean crossing placed limitations on varying Protestant traditions. The "Middle Passage" of African slaves offers helpful comparisons with this European experience, showing the common alterations and challenges that both underwent. Unlike passengers, sailors remained in the in-between space of the Atlantic. Seamen have often suffered the label irreligious, but a closer examination of their lives reveals profoundly religious rituals and behaviors. Individualism characterized the religion of sailors whose lives demonstrated the effects of institutional religious deprivation. Sailors also had to navigate multiple religious options. These shipboard meetings help to explain the formation of broader patterns in American culture, especially the emergence of a functional pluralism. The eighteenth-century sea passage did not create pluralism but placed multiple world-views into single communities. In short, the ship crossing germinated the American approach to denominationalism involving mutual acceptance and competition, openness and exclusivity. The ship anticipates the difficulties of twenty-first century life, as well as providing a model for navigating modern trends such as globalization and religious pluralism.


Name: Daniela Bleichmar
Email address: bleichma@usc.edu
Institution: University of Southern California
Dissertation Title: The Visual Culture of Natural History: Botanical Illustrations and Expeditions in the Eighteenth-Century Spanish Atlantic
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2005
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Anthony Grafton/Kenneth R. Mills, D. Graham Burnett, Richard Kagan

Abstract:
This dissertation investigates the connections among visual culture, natural history, and empire in the late eighteenth century, focusing on the Spanish Atlantic in particular. In the second half of the century, Spain sponsored almost thirty scientific expeditions to its colonies, eight of which focused specifically on natural history. The almost 10,000 images produced by European and American naturalists and artists connected with these expeditions, far from being mere ornamental byproducts of natural history investigation, were central to the project. Expeditions constituted visualization projects that enabled naturalists to identify, translate, transport, and appropriate nature. Natural history, I argue, was an overwhelmingly visual discipline whose notion of sight went beyond the physiological act of seeing to involve acts of expert viewing that required training and specialized practices of observation and representation—not sight, but insight. This visual culture of science was very much a material one linking vision to images, drawn or engraved, and to specimens in collections. Furthermore, the act of viewing nature was inextricably linked to a transatlantic—indeed, global—imperial project. More than mere representations, images acted as visual avatars replacing objects that did not survive travel and would otherwise remain unseen and unknown. Images defined nature as a series of transportable objects whose identity and importance were divorced from the environment where they grew or the culture of its inhabitants. Pictures were used to reject the local as contingent, subjective, and translatable, favoring instead the dislocated global as objective, truthful, and permanent. In the Spanish Americas, however, hybrid scientific and artistic traditions emerged, presenting alternatives that contested and reappropriated nature from this European uniforming vision. The dissertation discusses, among other topics, the Atlantic and global world in which these expeditions operated; the competition for natural commodities in Atlantic and Pacific settings; the status and uses of images in eighteenth-century natural history; the importance of visual material in training the expert eyes and skilled hands of naturalists, artists, and collectors; the role of print culture in establishing a common vocabulary of scientific illustration, and the ways in which colonial naturalists and artists appropriated and transformed European models, producing hybrid, local representations.


Name: Kristen Block
Email address: kristen.block@gmail.com
Institution: Rutgers University
Dissertation Title: Faith and Fortune: Religious Identity and the Politics of Profit in the Seventeenth-Century Caribbean
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2007
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Phyllis Mack; Christopher L. Brown; Herman L. Bennett; Jennifer Morgan; Jane Landers

Abstract:
"Faith and Fortune" examines the intersection between religious allegiance and economic ambition on the volatile frontiers of the seventeenth-century Caribbean. Encompassing both Spanish and English colonies, it employs four case studies to explore how ordinary individuals created and manipulated the meaning of their religious affiliations. The first chapter examines cases of Christianized slaves in Cartagena de Indias who denounced their masters' harsh mistreatment as un-Christian, using their membership in the community of believers as leverage to demand better conditions. The second chapter is a study of the motley crew of Protestant Northern Europeans who, as sojourners in the Spanish Caribbean, converted to Catholicism as an assimilation strategy. The ideas and practice of English puritanism animate the third chapter's case study of the political economy of Oliver Cromwells Western Design—a puritan crusade against the Spanish Catholic empire in the New World—using an analysis of race, class, and gender to examine its failures. The final chapter takes place in Barbados, birthplace of the English colonial "sugar revolution," where Quaker missionaries intent on Christianizing the local African slave population churned up fears of slave rebellion and challenged local Friends' interpretation of their own faith and convictions. "Faith and Fortune" personalizes the history of Caribbean inequalities from the perspective of slaves, sailors, servants, and sectarians who made their lives and fortunes in the profit-saturated landscape of the Caribbean. It illuminates how for them, articulating a Christian identity was a political act, an important power negotiation, and a way to articulate injustice.


Name: Ian David Chambers
Email address: chambers@uidaho.edu
Institution: University of Idaho
Dissertation Title: Space: The Final Frontier? Spatial Understandings in the 18th-Century American Southeast
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
University of California, Riverside, Ph.D., 2006
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Rebecca Kugel / James Carson, Michelle Raheja

Abstract:
My research is focused on the late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century North American southeast and its place in the Atlantic world. Specifically, I explore the way in which members of the British and Cherokee nations understood space, both physically and intellectually, during the colonial period. To do this I explore what I define as spatial personas, that is, the linkage of a person's identification with a specific location, or locations, as a means of verifying identity and informing the act of contact. Beginning in Britain, I explore physical incidents such as the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire, land enclosure, and landscape design, alongside intellectual developments such as the enactment of new laws, the writings of John Locke and Daniel Defoe, to unpack the components of a British spatial persona. I follow a similar approach for the Cherokee, where I look at structural design and spatial distribution through archaeology and analyze the many legends and myths of the Cherokee to uncover a Cherokee spatial persona. Once both these spatial personas have been uncovered I apply them to a number of specific events to plot the influence of space during colonial contact.


Name: Matt D. Childs
Email address: mchilds@mailer.fsu.edu
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Dissertation Title: The Aponte Rebellion of 1812 and the Transformation of Cuban Society: Race, Slavery, and Freedom in the Atlantic World
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., April 2001
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Aline Helg

Abstract:
In 1812 a series of revolts known collectively as the Aponte Rebellion erupted across the island of Cuba that sought to destroy slavery and end Spanish rule. Based upon primary sources in over four countries and more than a dozen archives, this study explores the Aponte Rebellion to analyze transformations in Cuba, and more broadly, the slave societies of the Americas during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The Aponte Rebellion is situated within the Atlantic world to examine the contradictory forces landing in Cuba from the Age of Revolution that heralded individual liberty at the exact moment when racial slavery expanded across the island. The massive importation of slaves transformed Cuba from a corporate colonial hierarchy of orders into a racialized plantation society. The rise of a racialized plantation economy corroded the special niche and limited privileges that free men and women of African ancestry previously enjoyed. The dissertation explores the rebels' worlds by focusing on organizations that proved instrumental in planning the rebellion: the military and mutual aid societies. Spain fielded a free men of color militia to compensate for the lack of able-bodied white soldiers to protect the island from European rivals and pirate attacks. The issue of racial and ethnic identity is examined through the African based fraternal societies, known as cabìldos de nación, that united both free people of color and slaves who shared a common linguistic, cultural, and geographic heritage rooted in Africa. The revolts that spread across the island from Bayamo and Holguín in the East, to the East-Central city of Puerto Príncipe, to Havana in the West, qualifies the Aponte Rebellion as one of the most extensively planned revolts in the Americas. The ideology of the Aponte Rebellion is examined through an analysis of how the Haitian Revolution served as a unifying force for the rebels. The Aponte Rebellion left a long-lasting impression on Cuban society by anchoring white Creoles firmly to the protection of Spanish colonialism, diluting desires for independence while most of Latin America struggled for liberation.


Name: Emma Christopher
Email address: emma_christopher@hotmail.com
Institution: University College London
Dissertation Title: The Sons of Neptune and the Sons of Ham: Slave Ship Sailors and their Captive Cargoes
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., September 2002
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Rick Halpern, Mary Turner, and Marcus Rediker

Abstract:
This thesis studies sailors who worked onboard British and North American slave ships between 1750 and 1808. Its starting point is the discrepancy between maritime historiography and that of the slave trade: in the former seamen appear as radical, anti-authoritarian figures who were far more accepting of black men and women than other occupational groups in this era. In slave trade literature, by contrast, sailors appear as shadowy figures ready to do the captain's bidding, which generally meant abusing, maltreating and assaulting men and women of African origin. Through detailed analysis of the lives and working conditions of those who were lowly employees in the slave trade, it is possible to see that the much-vaunted radicalism of seamen as a group grew at least in part from their work onboard "guinea ships." Freedom and fair payment for labour were hardly unconnected to slavery and the slave trade, and sailors who were involved in the delivery of slaves to the Americas had ample occasion to compare their own situation with that of slaves. It was this which, to some extent, led to their famous politicised protests for freedom and better pay around the Atlantic rim. In addition the slave trade brought European seamen into contact with people of African origin on a large scale. Sailors on slave ships worked alongside free Africans and Afro-Caribbeans at all points of their journey, and often had men of African origin as colleagues even during the middle passage. While seamen were certainly the perpetrators of many of the middle passage's atrocities, racial constructs and interracial interaction were vastly more complex during a slaving voyage than is often accepted.


Name: Fiona Clark
Email address: fio_uk@yahoo.com
Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Dissertation Title: La Gazeta de Literatura de México, 1788-1795: Relating Science and Society through Periodical Literature in Late Eighteenth-Century Mexico
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., Spring, 2003
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Gabriel Sánchez Espinosa

Abstract:
The Gazeta de Literatura de México, 1788-­1795, edited by José Antonio Alzate y Ramírez, is an innovative and singular example of a scientific periodical published in New Spain in the late eighteenth century. This study examines the means by which the Gazeta addresses the ideas and concerns of both an individual and wider society in the local and international setting. The first section of the work presents the biographical details of the editor within the social context of the enlightened elite in Mexico City. His links with various European scientific and economic institutions and academies are shown to reflect the importance of the transatlantic nature of his interests, both as part of a "universal community of science" and the "Republic of Letters." The second section studies the historical context of the Gazeta through the progression of the periodical press in Europe and the Spanish Americas. It focuses particularly on the growth in publication of the scientific periodical during this period. The analysis of the Gazeta provides an overall picture of the editorial practices and policies, a statistical breakdown of the contents and an examination of the dialogic nature of its relationship with contemporary periodicals. The third and final section contains a detailed study of the four main areas investigated by Alzate y Ramírez, namely, Natural Sciences, Applied Sciences, History and Nationhood, and Belles Lettres. It is argued that the Gazeta serves as an instrument of enlightenment in New Spain, that this transmission of ideas does not signify passive adoption but a critical analysis and adaptation to serve the local situation. Alzate is shown to use the periodical as a didactic tool through which to impart his pragmatic understanding of science to his contemporaries in the Spanish Americas and in Europe. As such it serves as a defence against European misconceptions, as promotion of Spanish American cultural, intellectual and natural wealth, and as an archive for future generations.


Name: Karoline Cook
Email address: kcook@princeton.edu
Institution: Princeton University
Dissertation Title: Morisco Emigration to Spanish America, 1492-1650
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2008
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Kenneth R. Mills, Anthony Grafton

Abstract:
My dissertation examines clandestine Morisco emigration to the Spanish Americas during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Due to Spanish authorities' preoccupations with spreading religious orthodoxy in the Americas, Moriscos or Iberian Muslims, many of whom had been forcefully baptized at the beginning of the sixteenth century, were prohibited from settling in the Spanish Americas. Because of these prohibitions against their emigration, many historians have overlooked the possibility that Muslims and Moriscos contributed to the transformation of colonial society. My research demonstrates how individuals were able to subvert the restrictions by a variety of means and settle in the forbidden territories. In my dissertation I focus on the social and cultural dimensions of the presence of Moriscos in the Spanish Americas as they negotiated their status, religious practices, and relationships in the new settlements. Through a thorough examination of colonial legislation, inquisitorial records, and court cases I examine how individual actions “on the ground” illuminate broader imperial relationships. I analyze how Morisco presence sheds light on issues of religious identity, honor, and local power struggles, and I contextualize these cases within a broader discussion of the role that images of Muslims played in influencing Spanish ideologies of conquest and colonization.


Name: James Delbourgo
Email address: james.delbourgo@staff.mcgill.ca
Institution: Columbia University
Dissertation Title: Electricity, Experiment and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century America
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2002
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: David Armitage

Abstract:
This dissertation pursues recent themes from the historiography of early modern science in early North American history by exploring the ways in which North Americans sought enlightenment through electrical experimentation between roughly 1745 and 1810. Including, but moving beyond the lone figure of Benjamin Franklin, it examines interactions between electricity and the human body in the construction of natural philosophy, the presentation of electrical knowledge through public demonstrations, the development of the lightning rod, political discourse during the era of the American Revolution, and a variety of programs for manipulating electricity as a resource for medical therapy. It describes an American Enlightenment not exclusively textual, but one made through material-cultural practice, and the intersection of bodies, artificial machines and a variety of eighteenth-century discourses: technical (principally natural philosophy, physiology and therapeutics), social (from polite self-improvement to revolutionary republicanism to the humanitarian dissemination of useful knowledge and technologies), and theological (from physico-theology to Providentialism to Protestant millenarianism). The dissertation thus addresses not only the question of how North Americans understood the relationship between electricity and the body, but also why they believed this relationship to be important. In addition, it elucidates the ways in which electrical knowledge and practice functioned across and between the apparently distinct realms of science, medicine and technology, by attending to the reciprocities between heterogeneous fields and practices such as natural philosophy, medical knowledge, therapeutic practice, and the dependence of all of these on a variety of philosophical apparatus (scientific instruments). As such, this study provides the first comprehensive cultural history of early North American electricity in the context of the North Atlantic world.


Name: John Donoghue
Email address: jdonoghue1@yahoo.com
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Dissertation Title: Radical Republican Politics in the Puritan Atlantic, 1630-1661
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., March 2004
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Marcus Rediker/Jonathan Scott, Janelle Greenberg, William Fusfield

Abstract:
Despite its rich, comprehensive tradition of scholarship, Puritan studies have largely neglected the network of radical republicans that developed in Old and New England between the Great Migration and the Restoration. Research on this topic seems worth pursuing, especially in light of the hundreds of New England saints who re-migrated to Old England during the English Civil War. Many of these migrants had once entertained radical millennial expectations of a world turned upside down in New England. But frustrated by the growing exercise of arbitrary power by the Bay Colony court, they returned to Old England, where the prospects for republican government had brightened with the outbreak of the Civil War. By tracing the careers of five of these Puritans—William Aspinwall, John Clarke, Wentworth Day, Henry Vane, and Thomas Venner—I will argue that New Englanders and their New England experience had, as contemporaries themselves recognized, a critical part in shaping the political leadership, ideology and rhetoric of radical republicanism in Interregnum London


Name: Christopher Ebert
Email address: cce4@columbia.edu
Institution: Columbia University
Dissertation Title: The Trade in Brazilian Sugar: Brazil, Portugal, and Northwestern Europe, 1550-1630
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2004
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Herbert Klein/Martha Howell, Pablo Piccato, Johannes Postma, Alan Dye

Abstract:
The commercial organization of the Brazilian sugar trade in its earliest phases developed during a time of complicated political and military circumstances. The natural markets for Brazilian sugar were northwestern Europe, but for much of the time between 1550 and 1630 Portugal was drawn into the conflict between Habsburg Spain and the “rebellious provinces” of the Low Countries. In spite of intermittent war and trade embargoes, the ever-expanding supply of Brazilian sugar continued to reach markets in northwestern Europe. Amsterdam, for a time, became the largest importer. The Brazilian sugar trade persisted because it was not subject to monopolies and was relatively lightly regulated and taxed. Large profits could be made from the trade and attracted groups of merchants who were mobile and very international in their organization. Although Portugal forbade foreigners in Brazil after 1605, the investment structure of the trade remained free and highly international, as Portugal and northwestern Europe continued to exchange communities of merchants who traded sugar. The first blow to this system came in 1621 with the chartering of the monopoly Dutch West India Company. The invasion of Pernambuco by the WIC in 1630 spelled an end to the first phase of free trade in Brazilian sugar.


Name: Katherine Carté Engel
Email address: kecarte@wisc.edu
Institution: University of Wisconsin
Dissertation Title: Of Heaven and Earth: Religion and Economic Activity among Bethlehem’s Moravians, 1741-1800
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., Spring 2003
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Charles Cohen

Abstract:
This dissertation investigates how religious beliefs influence economic decisions, highlighting the often-overlooked role of religion in the development of eighteenth-century capitalism. It argues that Bethlehem’s Moravians, a transatlantic Pietist missionary community with acute business acumen, created a form of “moral capitalism” neither at odds with economic development nor guided solely by Weber’s “spirit of capitalism.” The group met its fiscal needs through a flexible approach to economic structures that allowed for economic innovation, profit maximization, and religious oversight. Through the Moravians’ story, this work addresses scholarly debates over “declension” and early America’s transition to capitalism and argues for taking religion as an engine of economic development in colonial British North America more seriously than scholars generally have. Bethlehem, founded as a communitarian town in 1741, was deeply embedded in Pennsylvania’s market economy, while maintaining an internal economic structure seemingly at odds with capitalistic pursuits. Simultaneously, the international Moravian church capitalized on its extensive religious network- stretching from Surinam, British North America, and the Caribbean to England, Germany, and the Netherlands-to engage in transatlantic commerce. Tracing Bethlehem’s development through the end of the eighteenth-century, “Of Heaven and Earth” also explores how the Moravians responded to new economic situations. In 1762, economic contraction in the transatlantic Moravian community required that a cash-based system replace Bethlehem’s communalism. The town’s new economy exhibited market-based pricing, greater individual freedom, and the use of profit motives in business. Nonetheless, “moral capitalism” remained the guiding spirit behind the economy, and church leaders monitored prices, internal competition, and general business practice-all with the explicit goal of ensuring that commerce be conducted “after the spirit of Jesus.” By exploring the intersection of religious belief and economic behavior, this dissertation challenges the assumption that capitalism caused Bethlehem’s decline, arguing instead for a reexamination of the subtle ways in which religious actors responded to and shaped the developing capitalist economy of the eighteenth century.


Name: David Michael Fitzsimons
Email address: dmfitzsim@aol.com
Institution: University of Michigan
Dissertation Title: Toward a New World Order: Thomas Paine and the Ideology of Early American Foreign Relations
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., December 2002
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Bradford Perkins

Abstract:
Following a trail blazed by Felix Gilbert, this thesis contends that, contrary to perceptions commonly held by historians and political scientists, the ideology of early American foreign relations included a radical perspective contrary to the norms of traditional diplomacy. An examination of the writings of Thomas Paine and a wide range of secondary sources on Paine, early America, and the ideology of American foreign policy makes clear that Paine in particular believed that the American Revolution had launched a new world order of democracy, peace, and unrestricted international commerce that had spread to France by 1789 and would soon sweep the world. Paine’s vision changed over time from an emphasis on global transformation by example to reformation by the sword. In his early writings, such as Common Sense (1776), he supported an anti-colonial war so that America could trade freely with other nations and create a liberal exemplar for other nations to emulate. In the 1790s, however, in the second part of The Rights of Man (1792) and in other writings, he began to advocate colonialism and wars of conquest to bring about his international vision. In particular, he proposed that the United States, France, and an eventually republicanized England impose on Latin America a regime of democracy, human rights, and free trade. After returning to America in 1802, in the name of spreading liberty abroad he inflamed party hatreds at home, abraded the Constitution on the Louisiana question, and encouraged war against England. Until his death in 1809, he tragically defended in the name of democracy and international peace the dictatorial belligerency of the Directory and Napoleon Bonaparte that had killed millions and violated the liberal values he had once so powerfully championed.


Name: Jeffrey A. Fortin
Email address: fortin.jeffrey@comcast.net
Institution: University of New Hampshire
Dissertation Title: "Little short of national Murder": Removal, Exile, and the Making of Diasporas in the Atlantic World, 1745-1865
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., May 2006
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Cynthia Van Zandt/W. Jeffrey Bolster, Eliga H. Gould, Funso Afolayan, William O'Reilly

Abstract:
Removal—or, the exile and forced migration of marginalized cultural and racial groups from one region of the British Empire and, later, the United States, to another less volatile region—emerged as a key tool in the construction of the 18th and 19th-century Anglo-American Atlantic World. British officials used removal to secure the empire, ridding the realm of Catholic menaces, black insurgents, challenges to the throne and the brutal conflicts between English colonists and Native Americans. American leaders, after the conclusion of the American Revolution, viewed removal as a viable solution to the problem of slavery and the potential troubles induced by freeing the slaves. Thomas Jefferson, among other Virginians, Britons and West Indians, advocated removing all freed blacks to parts unknown. At the same time, black Masons in New England embarked on the first organized attempt to land free African-Americans in Sierra Leone in 1795/6, calling on free Africans in America to return to their native land to Christianize the continent. By 1812, Paul Cuffe advocated black emigration partly for religious reasons, but also in an effort to open new trade opportunities with West Africa. Later, the American Colonization Society—heavily supported by current and former slaveholders, high profile politicians such as Henry Clay, and moral improvement organizations—motivated some freed blacks to go voluntarily back to Africa to settle Liberia. Soon, however, free blacks who formerly supported voluntary emigration began to view the idea as removal, a colonization scheme forced on them by powerful whites. Many blacks refocused their attention on building strong, free communities in America, while others looked to black organized and sponsored emigration to Haiti. As the Civil War erupted and the United States faced the prospect of thousands of free blacks, Abraham Lincoln’s government joined the growing Haitian colonization movement, sponsoring a colony in Haiti that failed within one year. Lincoln also called for the creation of a colony in South America for newly emancipated African Americans, revealing the extent to which removal had become a highly racialized and institutionalized ideology that went far beyond the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Indeed, removal and colonization served as a key ingredient in America’s plans for territorial expansion throughout the nineteenth century. Men like Thomas Jefferson attempted to replace free blacks with immigrant white Europeans, who they believed made for a more harmonious and stable republic.


Name: Malick Ghachem
Email address: mghachem@law.harvard.edu
Institution: Stanford University
Dissertation Title: Sovereignty and Slavery in the Age of Revolution: Haitian Variations on a Metropolitan Theme
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2002
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Keith Baker, Jack Rakove, and Peter Sahlins

Abstract:
This thesis provides an account of the politics of slavery in the eighteenth-century French colony of Saint-Domingue (Haiti). It analyzes the central tensions in the colony’s administrative history as case studies of an overarching theme: the nature of slavery as an institution torn between “private” and “public” law. At the same time, the dissertation uses those tensions to form one interpretation of the colonial origins of the Haitian Revolution. The governance of slavery in Saint-Domingue was characterized by a complex and sometimes competitive relationship between two forms of “absolutism”: the “domestic” sovereignty of planters and the public sovereignty of the royal administration. Part One of the dissertation explores this competition with reference to the regulation of manumission and the question of planter brutality. In these contexts the interests of “public order” and the principle of private dominion clashed, leading the authorities to impose restrictions that the planters typically rejected as a violation of their domestic prerogatives. Part Two of the dissertation focuses on the tension between membership and autonomy that dominated colonial pamphlet literature after the end of the Seven Years’ War in 1763. The nature of French sovereignty over Saint-Domingue in this period was hotly debated in connection with the monarchy’s efforts to reform the mercantile trading regime. The question of whether the colonists could assert the privileges of metropolitan membership while claiming the benefits of commercial autonomy was also raised by the movement to enact a code of laws compatible with the interests of “local custom.” In both cases, slavery aggravated the general uncertainty over what it meant for an overseas territory to belong to the French state. The final part of the thesis begins with an account of the most publicized case of planter brutality in the colony’s history, which brought the conflict between domestic authority and public order to the fore only months before the convening of the Estates General. The planters’ subsequent decision to seek representation in the metropole renewed that Old Regime competition once again and proved to be one of the critical turning points in the path to the colonial revolution.


Name: Travis Glasson
Email address: tg96@columbia.edu
Institution: Columbia University
Dissertation Title: The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and the Creation of Race in the British Atlantic
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):

Dissertation Advisor/Committee: David Armitage

Abstract:
In the period before the American Revolution, the Anglican missionary association the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG) was active in sending out ministers, catechists, and schoolmasters to the mainland colonies and to the Caribbean. SPG missionaries proselytized among European settlers, Native Americans, and African and African-American slaves. Besides founding churches and schools, the SPG owned and operated a major Barbadian sugar plantation, Codrington. This dissertation uses the records of the SPG as a window on to the development of eighteenth century ideas about human difference and race by examining the actions and writings of SPG members and missionaries and the reactions and responses of the peoples of the British Atlantic to their efforts.

 
Name: Pablo F. Gomez
Email address: pablo.f.gomez@Vanderbilt.Edu
Institution: Vanderbilt University
Dissertation Title: Bodies of Encounter: African Healing, Diseasing and
Dying Practices and Ideas in the Early Modern Iberian Caribbean

Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Expected 2010
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Prof. Jane Landers


Abstract:

This project explores African originated ideas and practices about bodies,
health, disease and death in the early modern Iberian Caribbean from the
late sixteenth to the mid eighteenth centuries. My work defines and
contextualizes local and transatlantic connections and ruptures between
African cultures in the Spanish Caribbean and West and West-Central
Africa. It also contributes to a redrawing of the place occupied by
Caribbean locales in the Iberian Atlantic during the early modern period
and a recognition of the distinctively fluid and cosmopolitan societies
and cultures that developed in them. Drawing on material culture and
documentary evidence from early modern Africa, Europe, and Spanish
America, my project contributes to diverse understudied fields. It breaks
ground by bringing to the front African systems of belief and practices as
seminal in the emergence of early modern ideas abound body and health and
by challenging prevailing assumptions about the place and occupied by
Africans in processes of cultural interchange in the Caribbean basin.
Additionally, in examining the influence of African religion and culture
on New World health practices my work enters a larger historiographical
discussion about African cultural continuities in the Atlantic World. This
dissertation also talks to historians of medicine in the
re-conceptualization of what it meant to be sick and healthy in the early
modern world in Europe, Africa and in the Americas, and the type of
practices in which healers engaged. Finally, it speaks to scholars working
on African history and archeology and offers novel approaches for the
recreation of cultural and social structures in the West and West-central
parts of this continent.


Name: John Grigg
Email address: kuaussie@yahoo.com
Institution: University of Kansas
Dissertation Title: The Lives of David Brainerd
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., December 2002
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Peter C. Mancall, Paul Kelton, N. Ray Hiner, Donald Fixico, and Timothy Miller

Abstract:
This dissertation examines the work of the Presbyterian missionary David Brainerd. Brainerd was commissioned as a missionary to Native Americans by the Society in Scotland for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge. After spending a year with John Sergeant in Massachusetts, he worked for almost three years among the Delaware Indians in eastern Pennsylvania and central New Jersey. News of the success of his work reached a broad audience following the 1746 publication of his journals, under the title Mirabilia Dei Inter Indicos, or the Rise and Progress of a Remarkable Work of Grace. Brainerd, never a well man, died in October, 1747, aged 29, at the home of Jonathan Edwards. In 1749 Edwards published The Life of David Brainerd, which utilized parts of Brainerd’s public and private journals. Edwards judiciously edited Brainerd’s writings in order to advance his own theological agenda. In 1768, John Wesley published An Extract of the Life of the Reverend David Brainerd. Wesley combined parts of both Mirabilia and Edwards’s Life in his work. He too, made editorial changes to support a theological perspective that differed in certain key points from that of Edwards. This dissertation examines the life and ministry of David Brainerd and seeks to place them in the broader context of the social and religious milieu within which he lived and worked. Consideration is given to the history and beliefs of the Delaware Indians, the various theological and social streams active in New England, and the influence of some British religious traditions. It is demonstrated that Brainerd’s life and work was influenced both by his New England heritage and by the Delaware Indians among whom he worked. In addition, it is apparent that the success of Brainerd’s work was due, in part, to unforeseen common ground between his beliefs and those of the Delawares. This dissertation also examines why both Edwards and Wesley, men with different theological beliefs in a number of areas, saw in Brainerd a model of the normal Christian life. Thus, I consider the theological disputes that both men were involved in as well as personal struggles that took place at the time they published their versions of Brainerd’s life. This examination provides explanations of why both men found Brainerd’s life so attractive, as well as demonstrating why they needed to edit Brainerd’s words to suit their own agenda.


Name: Ellen Hampton
Email address: ElleHampton@aol.com
Institution: Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
Dissertation Title: A Comparison of Early Land Acquisition in the Americas by the Five European Colonizers
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2007
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: François Weil

Abstract:
Comparing early land acquisition by the five European colonizers in the Americas—the English, French, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese—takes the beginning of colonization out of a nationalist perspective and gives it a broader and more complex context. Among aspects of land acquisition examined are the terms of the original charters, the methods and means by which settlers got land, the design and development of the first settlements, the effect of landholding on immigrants, and how relations with native inhabitants affected European acquisition of land. Colonial comparisons have tended toward the bipolar: English vs. Spanish, Protestant vs. Catholic, North vs. South. Adding the French, Dutch, and Portuguese loosens the bounds of the debate and offers a more accurate background for colonial actions. The time frame runs from the late fifteenth century for the Spanish to the first quarter of the seventeenth century for the Dutch, but the process undergone by each colonizer was very much the same. Each of the settlements experienced a constant negotiation between the desires of the metropole and the possibilities of the colony. The gap began with the original charters, in which Spain treated the native inhabitants in more humanitarian terms than any of the others, France claimed three-quarters of North America, and Portugal laid on the heaviest taxes. Their paper wishes would not bring them the success they sought. Then, in choices of location, design, and construction of six American settlements, comparison reveals a pairing up of similitude between Massachusetts/Hispaniola, Virginia/Brazil, and New France/New Netherland. And comparing the social impact of landholding, one finds that in each of the six settlements, the earliest immigrants to arrive formed an elite based on land acquisition and political power, tools they employed to further increase their wealth. Using land acquisition as a lens for comparison, colonial promise and practice come into sharper focus.


Name: Mark Hanna
Email address: m1hanna@ucsd.edu
Institution: Harvard University
Dissertation Title: The Pirate Nest: The Impact of Piracy on Newport, Rhode Island and Charles Town, South Carolina, 1670-1730
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2006
Dissertation Advisor/Committee:

Laurel Ulrich, Joyce Chaplin, Jill Lepore


Abstract:

This dissertation analyzes the rise and subsequent fall of global piracy from the perspective of English colonial maritime communities. Piracy flourished in the late seventeenth century in New Spain, the South Sea, and the East Indies because of the active support it received from members of the merchant elite in North American ports, particularly Newport and Charles Town. Far from a hindrance to trade, these fledgling maritime communities thrived from the active and open support of piracy and unregulated privateering. In times of economic distress, these men represented a real as well as symbolic challenge to the legal commercial policies formulated by distant and ineffectual administrative bodies across the Atlantic that hindered financial prosperity and defense of the colonies. These two communities earned an international reputation as “pirate nests,” a pejorative term commonly used by royalists and customs officials. Many of the most notorious pirates began their careers in these ports while others settled down in these communities where they became respected members of the local gentry. The first part of this dissertation explores the religious, economic, legal, and political factors that gave rise to the pirate nest historically rooted in the traditions of Elizabethan England’s West Country. Like previous pirate nests, Newport and Charles Town shared a similar currency drain, rarely brought pirates to trial, and were led by powerful local factions who benefited from economic riches and naval protection provided by pirates. The second part of the dissertation analyzes the remarkable and rapid transformation of Newport and Charles Town into pirate hunting communities. After a dramatic transformation of the English empire on either side of the Atlantic, Charles Town and Newport held the two largest mass executions, excluding slave revolts, in early American history. The final part of the dissertation focuses specifically on the relationship of print culture to the rise and fall of piracy. Popular pirate narratives at the end of the seventeenth century were generally produced by the pirates themselves and fostered an image of piracy that was inherently nationalist, socially traditional, and militaristically Protestant. In the early eighteenth century, Daniel Defoe and Cotton Mather explicitly challenged this image on either side of the Atlantic. The dissertation concludes by analyzing the direct correlation between the rise of colonial newspapers with the fall of piracy.



Name: Margaret Hanzimanolis
Email address: margaret.hanzimanolis@jsc.vsc.edu
Institution: Johnson State College
Dissertation Title: Ultramarooned: Gender, Empire, and Narratives of Travel in Southern Africa
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., University of Cape Town, 2005
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Dorothy Driver / Margaret Lenta, Daniel Herwitz, Carmel Schrirer, Jenny De Reuck

Abstract:
This is a discursive study in which I examine two subgenres of travel writing crucial to understanding the anxieties of gender that are entangled in discovery, contact, and colonial discourses in southern Africa: Portuguese shipwreck survivor narratives (1552-1647) and British women's travel writing about the Cape Colony and Natal during the nineteenth century. Despite their status as the "first" sustained records of contact between southern Africans and Europeans, the shipwreck survivor narratives have been poorly integrated into literary history or historiography in South Africa. I argue that one of the reasons this rich archive may have been "whited out" is that many of the encounters described in these early contact records were inconsistent with the myths of superiority upon which British and Dutch imperial ambitions depended. These early records often dwell on the barbaric behavior of the European survivors, the indigenous Africans as pastorally prosperous, generous, dignified and handsome, and the dire pitifulness of European women—nuns, noblewomen, orphans—abandoned along the march to Lourenço Marquez. Likewise, the image of "European women in Africa" was manipulated just as assiduously by British women writing a later era, although this genre was pitched in an opposite direction: to assuage readers' fears about the safety of women in southern Africa. Works such as Catherine Barter's pluckish trading and missionary account, Alone among the Zulus (1865), seem calculated to assure prospective settlers or travelers to the Cape Colony or Natal that women could expect to be shielded by a "sphere of inviolability" should they travel to, or settle in, southern Africa. This is further complicated by the existence of a significant discursive theme—the so-called "black peril" of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—which returned to a sense of the European woman as hyper-vulnerable. In each of these three periods, the representation of women (as imperiled or as secure) was coincident with economic and political objectives of the imperial machines of Europe. In the process of tracing these currents in South African foundational myths, this study examines selected instances of commemorative and monumental arts, South African literature which engages with tropes of early contact (Antjie Krog and Andre Brink), and Luís de Camões' Os Lusiadas (1573), among others. The memorializations, memoirs, aesthetic recreations and redeployments of the period of first contact suggest that European women's presence in southern Africa occasioned significant anxieties that were only partially discharged, and sometimes inflamed, via manipulations of the expectations for safety or menace.


Name: Jurretta Jordan Heckscher
Email address: jhec@loc.gov
Institution: George Washington University
Dissertation Title: "All the Mazes of the Dance": Black Dancing, Culture, and Identity in the Greater Cheasapeake World from the Early Eighteenth Century to the Civil War
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., American Studies, 2000
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: John Michael Vlach / James Oliver Horton, Teresa Murphy

Abstract:
Why was dancing so important to African Americans enslaved in the American South? Previous studies have documented black dancing throughout the South or concentrated on the significance of genres such as John Kunering. This study in historical ethnography is the first to illuminate the development of a specific African-American dance culture within a specific Southern region. It seeks to disclose some of the reasons for dance's pivotal significance in African- American culture and to establish the importance of the study of dance for the understanding of American cultural history. The region examined is the "Greater Chesapeake" (Maryland, Virginia, and the Virginia-oriented portion of North Carolina). Having determined what can be known of dance culture in the region's African slave source areas, the work documents the emergent black dance culture of the eighteenth century, reconstructing the outlines of choreographic form through comparison with other historically relevant African-based choreographic traditions. The fuller documentation available for the nineteenth century permits a richer account of dance in the decades leading up to the Civil War that confirms its pervasive cultural importance. Drawing on the theoretical insights available from the ethnographic study of dance and movement, the work then considers the reasons for dance's significance in the lives of enslaved African Americans in the Greater Chesapeake. It concludes that African Americans deliberately chose to use dance as a primary instrument of cultural and personal identity, one that enabled them to coalesce and persist in community, to preserve and reanimate essential features of ancestral African heritage, to incorporate selective elements of white dance tradition as an emblem of their own American identity, and to establish an African-American model of the person that directly counterposed the bodily foundations of slavery in the bodies of the enslaved. Because of its importance as a source area for the U.S. domestic slave trade, the Greater Chesapeake was the seedbed of African-American culture in North America. The black dance traditions developed there have gone on to exercise a definitive influence on the development of dance and movement throughout the United States and, ultimately, the world.


Name: Brooke Hunter
Email address: bhunter@rider.edu
Institution: University of Delaware
Dissertation Title: Rage for the Grain: Flour Milling in the Mid-Atlantic, 1750-1815
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2002
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Cathy Matson

Abstract:
In 1795 New Castle County, Delaware was considered the "greatest seat of manufactures" in the United States. That flour manufacturing was the reason why is probably surprising. My dissertation shows how the flour mills, not only in New Castle County, but across the entire lower mid-Atlantic region between Philadelphia and Baltimore, became the most advanced in the Atlantic world between 1750 and 1815. It is a study of an era: a time marked by war, revolution, and nation-building, periods of abundance and periods of depression, crop failure, insecurity, and risk. Despite these challenges and sometimes because of them, I show how farmers, millers, and merchants in the lower Delaware River Valley refined the grain trade and transformed flour milling. This study creates a fuller picture of economic and business life in early America and has broad ramifications for our understanding of the Atlantic economy, regional distinctiveness, relationships between local and regional economies, labor and entrepreneurship, environmental history, industrialization, the impact of war, and the rise of capitalism. Each chapter focuses on the relations between farmers, millers, and merchants, and links the entire production, distribution, and marketing processes from the fields through the mills to transatlantic markets. By broadening the scope of early American economic and social history, my dissertation bridges the gap between studies of the dynamic colonial economy and those that herald a market revolution in the nineteenth century. It also challenges the prevailing view of early American industrialization based on the New England experience. By bringing attention to the great variety of individuals participating in the grain trade and flour milling, I blur the categories of "farmer" and "merchant." In doing so, I present agriculture, industry, and commerce not as separate enterprises but as a single, united system during a critical period in early American history.


Name: Andrey A. Isserov
Email address: isserov@gmail.com
Institution: Moscow University
Dissertation Title: Public Opinion and the Foundations of U.S. Foreign Policies in Latin America, 1815-1829
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., Winter 2005/Spring 2006
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Nikolay N. Bolkhovitiniov

Abstract:
The research is focused on the place of public feelings in the development of U.S. policies in Latin America in the formative years after the Anglo-American War. At this time the United States (the only big republic outside the Vienna system and still largely a maritime and foreign trade economy) was trying to define both its place in world affairs and its pattern of national development. Discussions on foreign issues were instrumental in forging the American self- identity. The place occupied by diplomacy and foreign relations in the public discourse of the Early Republic is often underestimated. I am discussing whether public opinion may be regarded as a serious force in U.S. international relations after the War of 1812. My ultimate goal is to write a dissertation that would attempt to revitalize a field of diplomatic history bringing together a complex network of politics (domestic and foreign), ideology, trade, and public opinion. Expansionism and isolationism, the role of sections, free trade, and classical Republicanism (bringing simultaneously hopes and skepticism concerning new republics and their virtues), the Hemisphere idea and la leyenda negra determined the intellectual battlefield. The actors in this big Latin American game include not only politicians and diplomats, but also merchants and even artisans, officers and sailors, commercial agents, scholars and journalists. The key themes embrace the Transcontinental Treaty of 1819, Congressional debates over Latin American policies, U.S. recognition of Latin American nations, the Monroe Doctrine, the Panama Congress of 1826, and the activities of the the North American diplomats in southern republics. I am analyzing the perception of South America and its inhabitants in U.S. travel accounts and the press, and the image of Bolivar as the personification of Latin American Revolutions. Generally U.S.­Latin American relations of this period may be described as a story of illusions and disenchantment. This change in attitudes toward "southern brethren" becomes manifest after the failure of the Panama Congress. The dissertation is generally based on the following major sources: published state and Congressional papers, private and public correspondence of leading statesmen, politicians, diplomats, and journalists, their diaries and memoirs, travel accounts and geographical books, and newspapers and pamphlets.


Name: Ronald Angelo Johnson
Email address: rj26@txstate.edu
Institution: Purdue University
Dissertation Title: “In Close Alliance”: How the Early American Republic and Revolutionary Saint-Domingue Made Their Way in a Hostile Atlantic World
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2010
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Frank Lambert (Chair); John Larson; James Farr; John Contreni

Abstract:

This dissertation represents an attempt to understand the diplomatic gestures made between the administrations of President John Adams and Governor-General Toussaint Louverture from 1798 to 1801 against the backdrops of Atlantic world revolutions and American slavery.  The President and his cabinet established bilateral ties that constitute the first time the United States recognized a government leader of the African Diaspora as a de facto head of state.  They committed American governmental, military, and economic resources to the Saint-Dominguan Revolution that spawned the independent nation of Haiti.  The United States government encouraged the revolutionaries’ determined stride to secure liberty and their drive to become the second republic on the Atlantic world’s western flank.  Bilateral interaction between American and Dominguan officials of color spawned exceptional levels of interracial and cross-cultural cooperation between peoples of different complexions.  Historical investigation, biography, critical race theory, and sociological analysis reveal that the actors in this diplomatic drama found inspiration for their part of the mission from different sources.  The proposal that white Americans of the early republic embraced the independence of Africans in Diaspora represents an interpretative shift in the historiography.  The study employs Dominguan-American diplomacy as a lens through which to address larger subjects of Atlantic world brinksmanship, anomalous racial relationships, and Federal-era political gamesmanship.  The late eighteenth-century engagement of the United States with revolutionary Saint-Domingue represents a critical historical encounter with far-reaching consequences in the early Atlantic.  In its entirety, the story of Dominguan-American relations is a multilayered narrative about a young white nation’s struggle for political stability, a revolutionary multiracial colony’s struggle for political survival, and the pioneering steps that two governments took to buttress each other, in an effort to advance their respective Atlantic world aspirations.

 



Name: Heidi Keller-Lapp
Email address: hkellerlapp@ucsd.edu
Institution: University of California, San Diego
Dissertation Title: Floating Cloisters and Femmes Fortes: Ursuline Missionaries in Ancien Régime France and Its Colonies
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2005
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: John Marino and Cynthia Truant

Abstract:
The dissertation examines the colonial experiences of the seventeenth and eighteenth century French Ursulines. While it includes their contributions to the socio-religious integration of the early French colonies, this study focuses primarily on the impact of colonization on the Uruslines in France. For the French Ursulines of the Ancien Régime, colonization provided an opportunity for an amibitous network of mother superiors, Jesuits, and dévots to develop a model of female missionary heroism that legitimized the Ursuline teaching apostolate. This study examines the four Ancien Régime voyages and establishments of the Ursulines in Québec (1639), Martinique (1681), New Orleans (1727), and Pondicherry, India (1738). These four narratives clarify the complicated networks of the French colonies and how the Urulines negotiated their role in a broader design that incorporated disputes within the Catholic Church, between political dévots and the Crown, and among religious orders. The preparations for and development of Ursuline missions reveal how this religious order negotiated levels of authority and relied upon its own Rules and identity to defend its teaching mission when threatened with enclosure. Through their reading and writing, in which infulential Ursulines constructed an Ursuline missionary identity that resembled the Jesuits, through their choice of confessors, and through their adaptability to changing political situations, the Ursulines demonstrated how their missionary apostolate and their enclsure remained crucial to their logevity as an order in France. Enclosure gave them legitimacy, protected them in dangerous situations, and provided them with the stability necessary to recruit supporters and advocates; yet it is clear by their own accounts that enclosure was a malleable concept. It was more a dynamic practice that created a specific set of mental, social, political, and spiritual space thant it was a structural imposition. French Uruslines who engaged in overseas missions retained the continuity of the Ursuline missionary impulse throughout intital periods of enclosure. Influenced by the "missionary spirituality" of seventeenth-century France, many of the Ursulines, this dissertation reveals, at the very time they were enclosed in France also saw themselves as part of a global missionary project.


Name: Stephanie Kermes
Email address: kermes@bc.edu
Institution: Boston College
Dissertation Title: New England's America: Transatlantic Protestantism, Regionalism, and Nationalism in the Early Republic, 1789-1825
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., Spring, 2003
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Alan Rogers, David Quigley, and James O'Toole

Abstract:
My dissertation examines the relationship between regionalism and nationalism in early republican New England. It discusses how, in the years between 1789 and 1825, New Englanders used trans-Atlantic symbols as models and juxtapositions in the creation of their own New England national identity. In inventing their collective identity, New Englanders excluded not only Europeans but also Southerners from their vision of America. Furthermore, images of New England landscapes, virtues, and people created a strong loyalty to the region. New Englanders utilized their regionalism to forge an American nationalism.


Name: Christian J. Koot
Email address: ckoot@UDel.Edu
Institution: University of Delaware
Dissertation Title: In Pursuit of Profit: Persistent Dutch Influence on the Inter-Imperial Trade of New York and the Lesser Antilles, 1621-1689
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., Spring, 2004
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Cathy Matson, Howard Johnson

Abstract:
In the last fifty years scholars have endeavored to explain how trans-Atlantic commerce developed during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They have focused on the development of separate, competing empires over many generations, but have tended to overlook the crucial part played by the transmission of culture, goods, and entrepreneurial activities across the boundaries of empires. My dissertation uses a comparative perspective to consider the importance of persistent Dutch influences in two particular British places in the Western Hemisphere during the seventeenth century: the city of New York and the port cities of the Lesser Antilles. In these important trading centers, sojourners from England and the Netherlands blended their influences to create distinctive commercial cultures. Yet each location retained particular characteristics that forced Old World settlers and governments to adapt their expectations for power and prosperity. Though England worked to incorporate the two regions into their growing empire through the imposition of commercial regulations beginning in 1651 (later in New York since it was not conquered until 1664), colonists resident there continued to depend heavily upon more commercially successful Dutch traders. I will demonstrate that the Dutch supplied English settlers with needed goods and carried their colonial products through at least the 1680s. By detailing the benefits inter-imperial trade provided, my dissertation reveals that membership in the empire was just one of a variety of factors enabling English colonies to succeed. Trade with the Dutch Republic allowed the immature English settlements to survive exogenous and endogenous crises and spurred their internal economic development by supplying needed goods and services. While both contemporary observers and historians have described England’s initially tenuous control over its colonies as detrimental to economic development, my dissertation will reveal the extent to which England’s weak imperial rule was a commercial strength. Because mercantile policy encompassed conflicting and shifting ideas of the constitution of the English empire, it enabled governors and communities of traders to seek profitable opportunities through the construction of inter-imperial alliances.


Name: Karsten Kummer
Email address: kkummer@uni-bremen.de
Institution: University of Bremen
Dissertation Title: Eighteenth-Century German-American Texts: A Study of Intercultural Negotiations and Relations
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2004
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Sabine Broeck

Abstract:
The dissertation project focuses on German writings in eighteenth-century British America as textual negotiations of intercultural relations to broaden the study of how German immigrants understood their own position in the New World and how (or whether) they intended to partake in the forming of ‘American’ culture. To what extent did these immigrants think of themselves as agents in the colonial project ‘America’ or as subjects of the British Crown and how did this shape their interaction with indigenous people, African Americans, and other European ethnic groups? Germans lived a paradox of welcome strangers in the British colonies and were caught in a tension of being (n)either colonizers, (n)or colonized. Within this space the specific German otherness had to be mediated. How then did these immigrants negotiate their European heritage in the New World and to what effect? And, what were the textual genres that seemed suitable for such an involvement in colonial discourses? I approach the texts under scrutiny from the field of cultural semiotics. Thus, German-American texts will be examined as intrinsic, cross-referencing and cross-referenced signs within the British American cultural sign system. The study of German-language sermons, pamphlets, almanacs as well as political and religious tracts, broadsides, and newspapers that have hitherto mostly served as historiographic documents, in a semiotic mode, will yield insight into the constructedness of emerging American culture(s). Therefore, to examine recurrent rhetorical strategies, narrative elements, tropes, certain significant verbal repertoires and other literary features of these texts will let these speak beyond their quasi-naturalized functions, as, e.g. religious tracts. Concepts of cultural encounters like Mary Louise Pratt’s ‘contact zone,’ Richard White’s ‘middle ground, ’ and Homi Bhabha’s ‘third space’ widen the notion of colonial space to include a multiplicity of cultural investments on various sites of this space. With an emphasis on the colonial aspect of early America, what are the specific German implications in colonial discourse? How do their texts signify in the larger cultural context of British-American settlement? The project aims to analyze how German-American textual negotiations address late colonial inter- and multiculturality as the basis of an emerging imagination of a distinctly American society. Assuming multiculturality as one of the basic factors of this imagination, the study of this particular historical moment aims to contribute to the genealogy of America’s multiculturality.


Name: Nigel Little
Email address: n.little@ecu.edu.au
Institution: Murdoch University, Western Australia
Dissertation Title: Transoceanic Radical: The Many Identities of William Duane
Degree and Year
or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2003
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Michael Durey

Abstract:
The thesis examines the American career of William Duane (1760-1835) in the light of his earlier, and much less studied period in Ireland, England, and India. It is the study of the development of one of America’s preeminent newspaper editors. Although Duane is not a first-tier figure of the Early Republican period such as John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, or Alexander Hamilton, he certainly fits comfortably within the second-tier with men such as James Thomson Callender, Tench Coxe, John Binns, and William Cobbett. He is an important figure within the historiography of the Early Republican period, playing an important role in three recent and seminal works on the period by Durey, Wilson, and Pasley: Transatlantic Radicals, United Irishmen, United States, and "The Tyranny of Printers". My dissertation is a study of the identity of Duane measured against his political change and shifting sense of self. It seeks to answer the question: Who was William Duane? The thesis probes the question in depth by looking at Duane’s origins and then tracing his life in 1790s Philadelphia. The portrayal of Duane found in the recent historiography and in the first academic biography of Duane, Kim T. Phillips’ William Duane: A Radical Journalist in the Age of Jefferson, lets Duane’s version of self rest too easily, without interrogating how he constructed his identity within an American political context for an American reading audience. For example, although Duane constructed himself as a citizen of the United States by birth, the thesis maintains that he was not an U.S. citizen at all but was born in Newfoundland and was by eighteenth-century definitions a British subject. The thesis offers a great deal more detailed archival research within the above framework. First, it develops Duane’s familial relationships in his early life in much more detail than before, uncovering details on his life from numerous sources, particularly letters, and a careful, textual search for any information on Duane’s earlier career in Ireland and England in the 1780s which has been overlooked by previous researchers. The thesis then places this material in the context of the newspaper trade in 1780s Clonmel and London while building a narrative analysis of this period before moving on to India. Second, this thesis demonstrates Duane’s links to the East India Company army. The importance of Duane’s Indian career also lies in his being part of a wider chronology of deported editors and of government suppression of the press from 1780 to 1799. The place of Duane within an ignored history of radical migrations to India is also dealt with as is his emergence as a pro-revolutionary editor in Calcutta after the declaration of war in 1793. Third, the thesis uncovers a great deal more archival information on the period of Duane’s membership in the London Corresponding Society and his editorship of the Telegraph—a strongly pro-French newspaper in wartime London. This period was a short but crucial one for Duane, as he witnessed first-hand the last real throes of a British revolutionary movement and the enactment of two important bills which sought to smother the LCS and the other plebeian radical groups. Fourth, the thesis examines Duane’s role in what has been perceived as a crucial turning point in American history—the election of Thomas Jefferson to the presidency in 1800. The thesis seeks to understand what Duane’s impact on American politics was and how his earlier career shaped his political outlook and his actions in America. It seeks to denativise the Early Republican Period by pointing out outside currents that Duane used in defining what Americanness was as opposed to his conceptualisation of Federalism and Britain. Finally, the thesis argues that the story of William Duane is one of an eighteenth-century editor’s transoceanic search for a home.


Name: Russell Lohse
Email address: krlohse@usi.edu
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Dissertation Title: Africans and Their Descendants in Colonial Costa Rica, 1600-1750
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2005
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Sandra Lauderdale Graham, Susan Deans-Smith (co-chairs)/Aline Helg, James Sidbury, Toyin Falola, Edmund T. Gordon

Abstract:
The societies from which they came, patterns of the Atlantic slave trade, and local conditions in the societies in which they arrived all decisively influenced the varied experiences of enslaved Africans in the Americas. Unlike plantation societies with large slave populations, Costa Rica was a small, isolated, and economically disadvantaged colony on the edges of the Spanish Empire, with only intermittent access to the Atlantic slave trade. Enslaved Africans in Costa Rica came from hundreds of diverse African societies and arrived in small numbers, forming a small minority in the colony's population. Their opportunities to associate with women and men of similar background in Costa Rica were sharply limited; at the same time, they lived and worked in intimate contact with members of other racial and ethnic groups. The impact of African ethnic origins consequently diminished in importance as slaves rapidly began to adapt to local institutions and adopt new identities. African-born men and women known by such names as angolas, congos, minas, and ararás soon came to associate and identify with an ever-expanding circle of enslaved and free people of different origins as shipmates, countrymen, blacks, slaves of the same masters, fellow servants, family and friends. Gender also made a crucial difference in the experiences of slaves in Costa Rica. Due to the nature of their work, slave men often enjoyed exceptional physical and sometimes social mobility within the confines imposed by slavery, while women usually lived out their lives in their masters’ homes. As enslaved men pursued and exploited relationships with free people, seeking the sponsorship of free patrons and sometimes marrying free women to form free families, slave women's opportunities to forge such relationships remained limited and their children were overwhelmingly born in slavery. Patterns of ethnicity, gender roles, and labor conditions thus all contributed to the assimilation of African slaves and their descendants to a creole culture broadly shared by all members of Costa Rican society, rather than encouraging the formation of a distinct African, black, or slave identity.


Name: Kevin P. McDonald
Email address: kpmcdona@ucsc.edu
Institution: University of California at Santa Cruz
Dissertation Title: Pirates, Merchants, Settlers, and Slaves: Making an Indo-Atlantic Trade World, 1645-1730
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., June 2006
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Marilyn J. Westerkamp (Chair); Edmund Burke III, Maria Elena Diaz, Christopher Connery

Abstract:
This project explores a global trade network and trans-cultural settlements that connected the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds in the early modern era. The dissertation questions our present understanding of globalization, colonialism, identity, cross-cultural interactions, indigenous peoples, slavery and resistance, pirates and piracy, and maritime trade, and it challenges the way in which the colonial era of American history—and colonialism in general—have traditionally been conceived.


Name: Michelle Craig McDonald
Email address: mlcraig@umich.edu
Institution: University of Michigan
Dissertation Title: From Cultivation to Cup: Caribbean Coffee and the North American Economy, 1765-1805
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., April 2005
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: David J. Hancock (Chair); Susan Juster, Julius Scott, Susan Scott Parrish

Abstract:
This study uses coffee as the mechanism for understanding the economic, political, and cultural relationships between the West Indies and North America. It integrates a predominantly economic focus with questions of social, political, and cultural history. The first three chapters focus on pre-Revolutionary America, and locate coffee production, trade, and consumption within the larger context of British imperialism. The latter three chapters determine how these processes changed after U.S. independence. This dissertation challenges the centrality of sugar in understanding West Indian agriculture, and argues that slavery continued to be profitable outside of sugar and the British Caribbean well into the nineteenth century. It also argues that the economic importance of the West Indies to North America did not end with American independence. Trade in tropical goods represented a significant proportion of U.S. trade revenue for decades after 1783, and played a pivotal role in shaping early foreign relations and fiscal policies. Finally, the study offers a new methodological paradigm that unites questions of labor, trade, and consumption, highlights a neglected aspect of the histories of North America and the West Indies, and documents the development of a commodity that dominates consumer cultures throughout much of the world.


Name: R. Darrell Meadows
Email address:
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
Dissertation Title: The Planters of Saint-Domingue, 1750-1804: Migration and Exile in the French Revolutionary Atlantic
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2004
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Katherine A. Lynch, Seymour Drescher, Scott A. Sandage

Abstract:
This study makes innovative use of interdisciplinary research methodologies, including nominative record linkage, to understand key aspects of the French Atlantic world between 1750 and 1804. Drawing principally on a systematic sample of records on government assistance to planters from Saint-Domingue exiled in France during the 1790s, it asks: (1) What can an examination of Saint-Domingue's planter class tell us about the relative strength of metropole-colony ties, especially the role of migration in maintaining human ties across the Atlantic? (2) What common assumptions about the "deserving poor" are revealed through analysis of assistance offered to exiled planters from Saint-Domingue in Jamaica, the United States, and France? (3) How did the dislocations and the experiences of loss and exile among planter families in the 1790s shape the interconnected French and Haitian revolutions? First, this work shows that, in addition to economic and institutional ties, familial ties linked metropole and colony in significant ways. Born, married and buried on both sides of the Atlantic, and often bound together by the obligations of French property law, members of Saint-Domingue's planter class belonged to “transatlantic families.” For these individuals, voyages across the Atlantic were part of their expected lifecourse and were often required in order for individuals to meet changing family obligations. Second, the study finds among the Atlantic world?s cosmopolitan elites deeply shared understandings regarding the civic practice of extending charity and relief funds to the deserving poor. Elites in Jamaica and the United States, for example, empathized deeply with the plight of formerly prosperous planters brought low by rebellious slaves and the misfortunes of war. And they expressed these shared values in the giving of private charity and state aid to displaced planters from Saint-Domingue. Finally, this study demonstrates how the actions of more than 6,000 planters simultaneously shaped the histories of both the French and Haitian revolutions. Through thousands of individual petitions, exiles influenced both government assistance policy and the state's colonial policy, particularly its goal of repatriating Saint-Domingue's exiled planter class. Indeed, examining these petitions alongside pertinent legislative debates unravels the seeming paradox of the metropolitan government's consistently positive view of the Saint-Domingue planters, especially during the understudied periods of the Directory and early Consulate.

 

Name: Christopher Minty
Email address: c.f.minty@stir.ac.uk
Institution: University of Stirling
Dissertation Title: Popular Loyalism and Counter-revolution in the British Atlantic world, c. 1776-1800
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Expected 2013
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Colin Nicolson, Emma V. Macleod

Abstract:

This project seeks to investigate manifestations of Loyalism during the American Revolution, Britain during the French Revolution in the 1790s and the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Was Loyalism in America similar to Loyalism in Britain? How did these impulses differ from Loyalism in Ireland? Were there ideological connections? Who joined these Loyalist movements? Who were the Loyalists? What did Loyalism amount to as a political ideology? Did Loyalism constitute a social movement in any or all of these situations? Peculiarities of circumstance are likely to explain the Loyalist impulse in time and place: Loyalism, as a political phenomenon, was thereby shaped by its diachronic features concerning religion, ethnicity, local politics and so on. That is to say, the factors which may explain Loyalist activity in one American colony or state will be rather different from those which could explain its resurgence in late 1790s Britain. Yet, this ambitious project proceeds from an assumption that a comparative study of Loyalism in Revolutionary America, Rebellious Ireland, and Radical Britain might enable greater understanding of counter-revolutionary activity in the late eighteenth-century Atlantic world.  Perhaps there are features of the Loyalist impulses in these three situations that transcended time and place; a comparative study of Loyalism might reveal its synchronic features on attendant to war, class, and ideology, envisioned on a grand scale of history. Ultimately, this project is seeking a fresh paradigm with which to understand the interaction of revolution and counter-revolution.


Name: David Parrish
Email address:

d.parrish.1@research.gla.ac.uk

Institution: University of Glasgow
Dissertation Title: Jacobitism and the British Atlantic World
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Expected 2013
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Murray Pittock, Karin Bowie, Colin Kidd

Abstract:

This dissertation explores the varied understandings of Jacobitism – support for the exiled Stuart dynasty - throughout the British Atlantic World in the period from 1688-1746.  Jacobitism sparked three large scale rebellions and countless smaller intrigues in the British Isles and was an important part of the political, religious, and cultural development of Scotland, England (later Great Britain) and Ireland for over sixty years.  Although Jacobite studies have helped redefine British history over the past thirty-five years, studies of Jacobitism have not been incorporated into a larger imperial or Atlantic historiography and it much of the work done by scholars of Jacobitism has not impacted the way historians view the British Atlantic World.  Many studies, both imperial and colonial, have briefly mentioned aspects regarding Jacobitism or Jacobites in the colonies, such as emigration and prisoner transportation, but there is an almost complete absence of studies examining how the colonists understood Jacobitism or how they perceived the Jacobite threat and in addition to that where colonists’ understandings and perceptions of Jacobitism came from.  Were understandings imported, local, or both imported and local?  I propose to explore this idea by examining the use of the language of Jacobitism and anti-Jacobitism within the context of specific political, religious, and cultural debates in various colonies emphasizing the transatlantic aspects of the arguments employed in the debates and the transatlantic exchange of ideas concerning Jacobitism. 



Name: Christopher Pierce
Email address: piercec@wmin.ac.uk
Institution: Department of Architecture, University of Edinburgh
Dissertation Title: The City Delineated: Aesthetic and Ideological Aspects of Colonial Discourse in New York
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
December 2002
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Iain Boyd Whyte and Richard B. Coyne

Abstract:
The image has a key role to play in New York City’s colonial history. Incorporating an array of unpublished visual and cartographic sources, this dissertation has two principal objectives: [i] to survey the written and graphic records of contemporary cartographers and philosophers, the West India Company, the colonists, and Patroons, with particular emphasis on their polemical aspects, and [ii] to undertake a critical review of existing scholarship’s handling of this material, with a view to demonstrating its narrowness. What was New Amsterdam, or more precisely, what has New Amsterdam been thought to have been? After the Introduction defining the dissertation’s methodology, the first two chapters provide a broader perspective on representations of the city by analysing visual depictions of colonial New York produced between c. 1776 and 1932. Chapter 1, Practising Peeping! New Notes and Comments on the "Collection des Prospects" of New York City, examines the wide-ranging cultural, political and commercial effects associated with one series of eighteenth-century European images of colonial New York. Chapter 2, The ‘Wonder-Less’ Image of the City: Representations of New Amsterdam in the 19th and 20th Century, surveys the nineteenth and twentieth-century American visual and literary response to the city. The remaining chapters discuss aspects of colonial New York from c. 1617 to 1736, the period of the dissertation’s main focus. Chapter 3, On Being In/Between: Expanding the Cultural Episteme in New Netherland, updates the architectural terminology of recent colonial scholarship to provide a new image of the colonists’ urban objectives and the spatial construction of colonial rhetoric. Chapter 4, A Heuristic Instrument: The Directors’ City, examines how the Special Instructions for the Engineer and Surveyor, Cryn Fredericxsz (etc.) (1625) acted as a key signifier of the Company's colonial teleology, and at the same time fashioned a crucial philosophical and sociological niche in the history of the ideal city. Chapter 5, Take Four: The Pitfalls of a Classical Education, negotiates three unlikely sources: Sebastiano Serlio’s Architettura, Libro de prospettiva (1545), Sir Thomas More’s Utopia (1516), and Sir Francis Bacon's Gesta Grayorum (1594), to construct the ideological entity of Manhattan Island. Chapter 6, The Politics of Taste: A Short Essay Resuscitating Willem Kieft, dismantles the unwarranted intellectual favouritism showered on Peter Stuyvesant. It illustrates how, between 1637 and 1647, Kieft, employing ideologies ranging from Aristotle to Niccolò Machiavelli and spatial strategies popularised in literary utopias, revolutionised the physical concept of the colony. Chapter 7, Flushing Out Fecund Faces: Urbanism in New Amsterdam, 1647-1664, challenges standard assessments of Stuyvesant’s colony through a case study of Afbeeldinge van de Stadt Amsterdam in Nieuw Neederlandt (c. 1665-70), a flawed source which has underpinned later discussion. In conclusion, Chapter 8, Transforming Cultural Determinacy: Early Engravings of New York City, 1651-1736, investigates how the commercialism of engraving affected the image of the city, and transformed its representation as a Dutch settlement into a British one.


Name: Christina Proenza-Coles
Email address: CProenza@aol.com
Institution: New School Graduate Faculty of Political Science
Dissertation Title: Imagining Communities in Black and White: Social Stratification in Colonial Virginia and Cuba and Its Impact on Nineteenth-Century Conceptions of Race and Nation
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., January 2004
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Eli Zaretsky / Robin Blackburn, Orville Lee, Jose Casanova

Abstract:
My dissertation reassesses Tannenbaum’s thesis on the differences between North American and Latin American race relations by looking to the colonial period for the origins of modern racial categories and by placing the development of free labor and ideologies of whiteness at the center of analysis. Focusing on Virginia and Cuba, I trace how colonial legal and social regulations, particularly those surrounding labor and sexual relations, generated distinctive systems of social stratification and novel conceptions of race in the two colonies. These disparate approaches to labor and racial classification in the colonial period shaped nineteenth century transformations in the labor regime and nation-building in Cuba and the US more broadly, as the dismantling of slavery, the rise of wage labor, and increased immigration altered discourses of race and nation. I argue that the ways in which colonial Virginia and Cuba solved their labor problems fundamentally shaped their constructions of racial categories. I conclude that the absence of a cross-class racial contract comparable to the one scholars like Edmund Morgan and Charles Mills have identified with the US is key to the disparate racial economies of Anglo and Iberian Americ


Name: Mónica Ricketts
Email address: rickett@post.harvard.edu
Institution: Harvard University
Dissertation Title: Pens, Politics, and Swords: The Struggle for Power during the Breakdown of the Spanish Empire in Peru and Spain, 1760-1830
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2007
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: John H. Coatsworth/John Womack, Jr., Susan Pedersen

Abstract:
In this dissertation I analyze the rise of men of letters and military officers as new competing political actors in an era of radical social and political changes. My aim is to explain the political instability that pervaded both the viceroyalty of Peru and Spain well into the twentieth century. To fully understand this outcome, I study the process by which men of letters and military officers felt entitled to lead and govern. I argue that these political actors, emerging from the Bourbon reforms, the Enlightenment, and the Napoleonic Wars, became destabilizing agents amidst the crumbling Spanish empire. In enhancing their political and social status without establishing a clear hierarchical order, the Spanish Crown contributed significantly to the fragmentation of traditional power structures and failed to impose new ones. Men of letters and military officers, instigated by enlightened ideas of merit and virtue, claimed authority and struggled for power. The violent clash became inevitable in places like Spain and Peru where years of wars consolidated military rule by the 1820s and weakened the evolution of men of letters as new political actors. In an era when lawyers and writers were supposed to rule as politicians, they remained subordinated to the military but refused to accept this outcome. Tensions between the two groups escalated and played a key role in persistent political instability. With a few exceptions, the historiography on the breakdown of the Spanish empire has stressed the antagonism between Creoles and Peninsular Spaniards, and the spread of nationalism as the major motives for independence. I propose to begin not from the often-used framework of the nation-state, but rather from a transoceanic perspective to study both the metropolis and the American kingdoms in parallel. In this light, I argue that the process of independence in Spanish America was part of a much larger political transformation that affected most parts of the world in this early era of globalization, dramatically changing the histories of Spain and Spanish America.


Name: Rebecca Hartkopf Schloss
Email address: rhschloss@tamu.edu
Institution: Texas A&M University
Dissertation Title: “The distance betweent the color white and all others”: The Struggle over White Identity in the French Colony of Martinique, 1802-1848
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2003, Duke University
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: William Reddy

Abstract:
This project examines elite Creole efforts to define and police white identity in the French colony of Martinique between 1802 and 1848. In the process, it investigates not only the divisions within nineteenth-century white Martinican society—Creole vs. European, elite vs. petits blancs, male vs. female—but also how elite white efforts to control such divisions influenced the racial and gender identities of all Martinicans. It further explores how debates stemming from these divisions found their way across the Atlantic to metropolitan France and obscured already fuzzy boundaries between who was and was not French and what territory was or was not considered a part of France. A variety of different documents, both public and private, illustrate the centrality of gender in plantation society, both in practice and ideological formation. Many public documents reveal how diligently French European officials worked to cement ties between the colonies and the metropole as well as their efforts, in conjunction with elite Creoles, to ameliorate and police the condition of the island’s non-planter white population. During the July Monarchy, they show the increasing estrangement between the island’s elite Creoles and French European officials, especially after the government granted civil rights to the island’s free people of color. Private correspondence shows an elite driven by the fear of taint— moral, ideological, and racial. Faced with deviant behaviors and intractable social conditions that constantly flew in the face of the ideal that elite Creoles had prescribed for white men and women, elites tried again and again to force people to abide by the norms they deemed appropriate. Their ongoing efforts reveal a society that was more complex and fluid than its rulers, or the existing historiography, believed.


Name: Christopher D. Schroeder
Email address: cschroed@fgcu.edu
Institution: Florida Gulf Coast University
Dissertation Title: Dreams of a Prairie Republic: Morris Birkbeck and Settlement on the Indiana-Illinois Frontier, 1765-1860
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2000, University of Delaware
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Christine Leigh Heyrman (Chair); Cathy D. Matson, Peter Kolchin, Andrew Cayton

Abstract:
"Dreams of a Prairie Republic" follows the movements of immigrant European radicals, white Southern farmers, Eastern migrants, British laborers, and free African Americans as they converged on an Illinois settlement known as "English Prairie," founded by English reformer Morris Birkbeck (1764-1825). The freethinking Birkbeck, who had close ties to radical Unitarian publicists, arrived in America in 1817 yearning for a new society free from traditional religious and political authority. By the end of 1818, he had secured more than 29,000 acres for a venture that became a transatlantic cause célèbre as hundreds of settlers flocked to the lower Wabash frontier after encountering Birkbeck's trans-Appalachian dream in popular accounts of his immigration experience. That controversy generated a transatlantic pamphlet war that spoke to the postrevolutionary debate on virtue, authority, and the place of the West in America's republican destiny and identity. Contemporaries on both sides of the Atlantic at first viewed English Prairie as a microcosm of the radical promise inherent in republican revolution, a grand experiment with revolutionary implications for the relationship between religion, human nature, and society. But during the initial decade of settlement, English Prairie degenerated into chaos as political and personal rivalries arose between elite factions, and immigrant radicals and free blacks sparred with traditional Southern whites over slavery and competing concepts of race and masculine independence. Much of Birkbeck's radical dream of social equality and economic justice foundered on the harsh reality of social conflict and cultural diversity as well as on the pressures of rapid development and the volatile early national economy. In their struggle to forge a common cultural identity, English Prairie's white heirs instead redefined their world with the exclusive traditions of anti-Catholic evangelicalism, patriarchy, racial discrimination, and material progress, a hard-won compromise between the cultural values brought by British immigrants and the traditional mores of the white Southerners who dominated migration to the region. By revealing the social and political consequences and disruptive process of transatlantic migration, the dissertation deepens our understanding of backcountry development, the mingling of peoples, and the problem of slavery in the early American republic.


Name: Joshua M. Smith
Email address: joshua_m._smith@umit.maine.edu
Institution: University of Maine
Dissertation Title: The Rogues of 'Quoddy: Smuggling in the Maine-New Brunswick Borderlands, 1783-1820
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2003
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Scott See

Abstract:
Smuggling has been an important problem in American-Canadian relations. Yet the nature of smuggling is little understood; it is by definition an elusive, secretive, and subtle practice. This dissertation explores smuggling as a social force within a border community straddling the United States-Canada boundary. Smuggling almost always involved the illicit crossing of political boundaries, and as such can be used as a means of studying popular attitudes toward the creation of national borders. Moreover, because smuggling is directly related to the transition to modern capitalism, this study sheds light on the roots of both American and Canadian economic development. The Passamaquoddy region that straddles the border between what is now Maine in the United States and New Brunswick in what is now Canada offers an ideal example of borderlands smuggling in the years following the American Revolution and the end of the War of 1812. During this period, the international border running through Passamaquoddy was extremely ill-defined and subject to periodic military and diplomatic correction. By 1783, two ideologically opposed groups were settling Passamaquoddy. Loyalist adherents to the British Crown settled the New Brunswick side of Passamaquoddy Bay, while republican Americans settled the Maine side. Despite the ideological differences of these two groups, and various laws that often prohibited trade between them, Passamaquoddy residents engaged in a lively smuggling trade even when the United States and Great Britain were fighting the War of 1812. The accommodation between ideologically opposed groups at Passamaquoddy provides an opportunity to compare the historical experience of Canada and the United States, both of which have developed an extensive frontier mythology. The theoretical basis for this study is “borderlands theory.” Borderlands theory emphasizes modes of accommodation rather than conflict on the North American frontier. Smuggling is thus a means of analyzing the creation of the border between the United States and Canada, of comparing the American and Canadian frontier experience, and of understanding both nations’ transition to capitalism.

Name: R.S. Taylor Stoermer
Email address: rststoermer@gmail.com
Institution: University of Virginia
Dissertation Title:

Constitutional Sense, Revolutionary Sensibility: Political Cultures in the Making and Breaking of British Virginia, 1707-1776

Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., 2010
Dissertation Advisor/Committee:

Advisors: Peter S. Onuf and Jack P. Greene; Committee: Patrick Griffin, John O'Brien, and S. Max Edelson


Abstract:

My dissertation traces the history of a powerful transatlantic persuasion that shaped political perceptions in eighteenth-century Virginia and was in turn shaped by the social and economic processes that changed what it meant to be British in Colonial America.  The transatlantic tobacco political economy fixed a large number of Virginians firmly in the political culture of Augustan England, sharing that culture’s alertness to the terrors of recent English history and plunging them into an intellectual engagement with strategies for securing stability.  Inspired by leading exponents of Augustan constitutional sense, such as Joseph Addison, the figures in my history can be discovered in a discourse characterized by moderation, a prescription for political health which called for a commitment to the mixed constitution that emerged from the Revolution of 1688, intense distrust of feeling as a partner with reason in the pursuit of truth, and a fundamental willingness to accommodate political differences.  Virginia was remarkable for possessing the largest and least homogenous society in the British Atlantic as well as for the dynamism of its transatlantic outlook and connections, factors which led to periodic moments of crisis that transformed constitutional sense into a vigorous group bias.  Whereas other interpretations of British America have tended to emphasize particular aspects of life there--looking at it almost exclusively through the lens of ideology or class or gender or race--my interpretation is grounded in a more holistic understanding of contemporary attitudes and perceptions.  The result is a new approach to understanding what it meant to be British in Colonial America and what happened when powerful, ultimately irreconcilable conceptions of Britishness collided, an approach that calls into question the extent to which there was such a thing as the American Revolution in the British world in 1776, rather than a British revolution in America.


Name: Allyson Ann Marie Stoll
Email address: as445@cornell.edu
Institution: Cornell University
Dissertation Title: Not For ‘Want of Go-Aheadism’ in Field and Factory: The Technological Trajectory of the
Guyana (British Guiana) Sugar Industry from 1800
to the 1930s.

Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., January 2011
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Michael A. Tomlan, Barbara Deutsch Lynch, David B. Lewis

Abstract:

British Guiana was an anomaly among British Caribbean sugar colonies during the
nineteenth century. Annual exports exceeded those of its island counterparts and it
became well-known for ‘Yellow’ and ‘Demerara Crystals’, two high-quality specialty
sugars. Production rose steadily throughout the century despite persistent setbacks and
impediments. While larger plantations and a more amenable cultivation environment
were conducive to relatively higher output, mitigating particular geographical
limitations demanded more capital and labor than on the islands. The limitations might
have constrained British Guiana’s productive capacity more severely had it not been
for a culture of technological innovation that is largely unacknowledged in extant
literature.

The primary questions underlying this inquiry into the historical technology of the
sugar industry of British Guiana are: what were the socio-economic and political
underpinnings of its nineteenth century modernization thrust? How were the cane
fields and sugar factories transformed, and to what extent was technological change
conditioned by local innovation and invention? Fundamentally, despite allegations,
there is little evidence of inertia, rampant conservatism and incompetence. Instead,
notwithstanding various constraints, the industry showed remarkable persistence and
creative variation in its efforts to improve agriculture and factory processing during
the period under review.

 


 

Name: Wendy Warren
Email address:
Institution: Yale University
Dissertation Title: African Slavery in New England, 1638-1700
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., June 2008
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: John Demos/Jon Butler, Stuart Schwartz, David Blight

Abstract:
This dissertation explores the experience of African slavery in seventeenth-century New England, tracing the lives of captured Africans throughout the region. It also describes the region’s economic ties to West Indian markets, linking New England to the wider Atlantic world.


Name: Klaus Weber
Email address: klaus.weber.hamburg@gmx.de
Institution: Universität Hamburg; presently at the National University of Ireland, Galway
Dissertation Title: German Merchant Families in the Atlantic Trade of Manufactured and Colonial Goods: Networks Linking Hamburg, Cádiz, and Bordeaux (1680-1830)
Degree and Year
(or Year Expected):
Ph.D., October 2001
Dissertation Advisor/Committee: Horst Pietschmann and Franklin Kopitzsch

Abstract (English version):
This thesis focuses on the German maritime merchants who linked the territories of the German Empire with the Spanish and French Atlantic. Given their dominance in the colonial trade of both Bourbon powers, it concentrates on the port cities of Cadiz and Bordeaux. The author has traced more than 380 German merchants established in these locations. The overwhelming majority did not originate from the Hanseatic cities, as has been stated in earlier studies, but from manufacturing areas in Germany’s remote rural regions. Very close commercial and familial ties linking the proto-industry of Westphalia, Bohemia, southwestern Germany, and northern Switzerland with Atlantic trade testify to what extend Central European regions had already been integrated into a system of global trade, even during the era of mercantilism. Long before 1800, when foreigners where not allowed in these colonies, some Bohemian, Westphalian, and Hamburg merchants maintained branches in Lima, Mexico, and the French Caribbean. Genealogic tables illustrate their familial ties with Spanish or French merchant families and the cosmopolitan dimension of their networks. Some of these entrepreneurs established veritable trade empires consisting of complementary enterprises, like Rhineland and Flemish textile manufactures, shipping companies in Bordeaux and Ostend, slaving companies, plantations in the Caribbean, and landed estates in France, Spain, or Prussia. One essential condition that facilitated this development was the decline in wages, which stretched across the Atlantic and into Europe from the beginning of the price revolution in the sixteenth century, and thus instigating an intercontinental competition on wages and prices. These circumstances did favor the growth of Central European proto-industry, with up to 80 percent of its production destined for export markets. The study also includes the first decades of the nineteenth century and thus demonstrates that it was the mercantilist barriers meant to protect the Western countries’ colonial and domestic markets that challenged German merchants to be present at and to integrate into these countries, in order to circumvent these very same barriers.
Abstract (German version):
Deutsche Kaufleute im atlantischen Manufaktur- und Kolonialwarenhandel: Netzwerke zwischen Hamburg, Cádiz und Bordeaux (1680-1830)
Diese Arbeit zielt auf die deutschen Großkaufleute im Fernhandel zwischen dem Alten Reich und dem Raum des spanischen und französischen Atlantik. Vor dem Hintergrund der ökonomischen Wandlungsprozesse im frühneuzeitlichen Europa - der Proto- Industrialisierung sowie dem auch im Reich zunehmenden Kolonialwarenkonsum - analysiert sie die Funktion dieser Kaufmannselite für die Wirtschaft der deutschen Länder und der beiden Kolonialmächte. Aufgrund ihrer überragenden Bedeutung für den Kolonialhandel der bourbonischen Mächte konzentriert die Studie sich auf die Hafenstädte Cádiz und Bordeaux, wo der Autor eine Untersuchungsgruppe von über 380 dort etablierten deutschen Kaufleuten ermittelt hat. Ihre große Mehrheit stammte nicht, wie bisher dargestellt, aus den Hansestädten, sondern aus Gewerbelandschaften im tiefen Hinterland. Diese engen personellen Verflechtungen zwischen den proto-industriellen Ausfuhrgewerben Westfalens, Böhmens, Südwestdeutschlands und der Nordschweiz einerseits sowie dem Seehandel nach Westeuropa und in die Neue Welt andererseits belegen, wie sehr mitteleuropäische Regionen bereits im merkantilistischen Zeitalter in globale Handelsstrukturen eingebunden waren. Manche Händler aus Böhmen, Hamburg oder Westfalen unterhielten schon weit vor 1800 eigene Niederlassungen in Lima, in Mexiko oder auf den französischen Antillen, obwohl diese Kolonien den Ausländern prinzipiell versperrt waren. Genealogische Übersichten veranschaulichen, wie die Erfolgreicheren sich durch Verbindungen mit spanischen und französischen Kaufmannsfamilien europäisierten. Einige von ihnen errichteten wahre Wirtschaftsimperien aus komplementären Unternehmen, wie bergischen oder flämischen Textilmanufakturen, Reedereien in Bordeaux und Ostende, transatlantischem Sklavenhandel, karibischen Plantagen und Landgütern in Frankreich, Spanien oder Preußen. Wesentliche Voraussetzung dieser Entwicklung war das seit dem 16. Jahrhundert im atlantischen Raum bestehende west-östliche Preisgefälle und die dadurch ausgelöste interkontinentale Lohn- und Preiskonkurrenz. Diese Bedingungen begünstigten entschieden die Entwicklung der mitteleuropäischen Proto-Industrien, die bis zu 80 Prozent ihrer Produktion exportierten. Die Untersuchung bezieht die ersten Jahrzehnte des 19. Jahrhunderts mit dem beginnenden Freihandel ein und zeigt so, daß es gerade die merkantilistische Abschottung der Kolonialmächte war, welche die deutschen Händler dazu herausforderte, diese merkantilistischen Hürden durch eigene Präsenz und soziale Integration in westlichen Nachbarländern zu unterlaufen.

 

 
 
     
  © 2009 by The President and Fellows of Harvard College. Created January 16, 1998; last revised February 24, 2011.