Fields of Interest:
My principal areas of interest are the American Revolution, slavery and abolitionism, humans in nature, and families. I edit the journal Reviews in American History, on which one graduate student each year works as assistant editor. I have forthcoming in 2013 a book entitled Independence: The Tangled Roots of the American Revolution (FS&G). I am currently researching two books, one is on the first four Presidents in retirement, which I am tentatively entitling Founding Grandfathers. The other is a history of the Seward family of Auburn, New York. I am focusing initially on the immediate family of William Henry Seward, state senator and governor, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State. I am also teaching a two-course sequence: The Seward Family's Civil War and The Seward Family in Peace and in War. Graduate and undergraduate students in these two courses receive hands-on experience with website design, creation, and implementation. They learn about the history of families and the nineteenth century, and transcribe, edit, and annotate family correspondence from the Seward Papers, which are housed here at the University of Rochester. We also digitize Seward family photos and correspondence, upload them to the website of the Seward Project, and participate in every aspect of the project. Some students continue work through the summer on Lessing/Landau Grants and funds from the Arthur R. Miller chair endowment. We are collaborating with the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation; the Center for Digital Studies in the UR Library; and hope to be collaborating with the Seward House museum in Auburn, NY. One graduate student each year works as assistant editor of the Seward Project.
I offer the following fields for the PhD qualifying examination. For explanations of fields, see the "Graduate Overview" page in the Graduate Handbook.
America and the World I
I will be accepting students for admission in Fall 2014.
- HIS 100: Gateway: The World of Thomas Jefferson
- HIS 158: History of Eating and Food
- HIS 333/433: America and the World
- HIS 345/435: Just Wars
- HIS 219/419: Seward Family's Civil War