book spines

Books by Fellows

A Colonial Affair
A Colonial Affair: Commerce, Conversion, and Scandal in French India
Danna Agmon (Thom Fellow, 2015–16)

Danna Agmon’s gripping microhistory is a vivid guide to the “Nayiniyappa Affair” in the French colony of Pondicherry, India. The surprising and shifting fates of Nayiniyappa and his family form the basis of this story of global mobilization, which is replete with merchants, missionaries, local brokers, government administrators, and even the French royal family.

Uncertain Refuge by Elizabeth Allen
Uncertain Refuge
Elizabeth Allen (Fletcher Jones Fellow, 2012–13)

To seek sanctuary from persecution by entering a sacred space is an act of desperation, but also a symbolic endeavor: fugitives invoke divine presence to reach a precarious safe haven that imbues their lives with religious, social, or political significance. In medieval England, sanctuary was upheld under both canon and common law, and up to five hundred people sought sanctuary every year. What they found, however, was not so much a static refuge as a temporary respite from further action—confession and exile—or from further violence—jurisdictional conflict, harrying or starvation, a breaching of the sanctuary.

Imagining the African American West
Blake Allmendinger (NEH Fellow, 2000-01)

The literature of the African American West is the last racial discourse of the region that remains unexplored. Blake Allmendinger addresses this void in literary and cultural studies with Imagining the African American West—the first comprehensive study of African American literature on the early frontier and in the modern urban American West.

Caribbean Exchanges: Slavery and the Transformation of English Society, 1640-1700
Susan Amussen (Mellon Fellow, 2002-03)

English colonial expansion in the Caribbean was more than a matter of migration and trade. It was also a source of social and cultural change within England. Finding evidence of cultural exchange between England and the Caribbean as early as the seventeenth century, Susan Dwyer Amussen uncovers the learned practice of slaveholding.

The Matter of the Gods: Religion and the Roman Empire
Clifford Ando (NCLS Fellow, 2004-05)

What did the Romans know about their gods? Why did they perform the rituals of their religion, and what motivated them to change those rituals? To these questions Clifford Ando proposes simple answers: In contrast to ancient Christians, who had faith, Romans had knowledge, and their knowledge was empirical in orientation.

Civil Wars: A History in Ideas
David Armitage (Mellon Fellow, 2006-07)

A highly original history, tracing the least understood and most intractable form of organized human aggression from Ancient Rome through the centuries to the present day.

The Draining of the Fens: Projectors, Popular Politics, and State Building in Early Modern England
Eric H. Ash (Dibner Fellow, 2013-14)

The draining of the Fens in eastern England was one of the largest engineering projects in seventeenth-century Europe. A series of Dutch and English "projectors," working over several decades and with the full support of the Crown, transformed hundreds of thousands of acres of putatively barren wetlands into dry, arable farmland.

Cover of Storm of the Sea
Storm of the Sea: Indians and Empires in the Atlantic's Age of Sail
Matthew R. Bahar (NEH, 2014-15)

Narratives of cultural encounter in colonial North America often contrast traditional Indian coastal-dwellers and intrepid European seafarers. In Storm of the Sea, Matthew R. Bahar instead tells the forgotten history of Indian pirates hijacking European sailing ships on the rough waters of the north Atlantic and of an Indian navy pressing British seamen into its ranks.

The Marble Index: Roubiliac and Sculptural Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century Britain
Malcolm Baker (Mellon Fellow, 2007-08)

Providing the first thorough study of sculptural portraiture in 18th-century Britain, this important book challenges both the idea that portrait necessarily implies painting and the assumption that Enlightenment thought is manifest chiefly in French art. By considering the bust and the statue as genres, Malcolm Baker, a leading sculpture scholar, addresses the question of how these seemingly traditional images developed into ambitious forms of representation within a culture in which many core concepts of modernity were being formed.

Empire of Letters: Letter Manuals and Transatlantic Correspondence, 1680-1820
Eve Bannet (NEH Fellow, 2003-04)

Among the most frequently reprinted books of the long eighteenth century, English, Scottish and American letter manuals spread norms of polite conduct and communication, which helped to connect and unify different regions of the British Atlantic world, even as they fostered and helped to create very different local and regional cultures and values.

The Cambridge History of American Literature: Volume 4, Nineteenth-Century Poetry, 1800-1910
Sacvan Bercovitch (Times Mirror Distinguished Fellow, 1994-95)

The contributors to this volume discuss the extraordinary literary achievement of nineteenth century American poetry in its social and cultural contexts. Key contributions explore the early Federalist poets; the achievements of Longfellow and Whittier; and the distinctive lyric forms developed by Emerson and the Transcendentalists.

Sensation and Sensibility: Viewing Gainsborough’s “Cottage Door”
Ann Bermingham (NEH Fellow, 2003-04)

Late in his career Thomas Gainsborough became preoccupied with the theme of the cottage door, and he created a group of paintings and drawings that show rustic figures clustered around the open door of a cottage set in a deeply wooded landscape. Often seen as exemplars of the rural idyll, these works were among the first landscape paintings to reflect the eighteenth-century aesthetic of sensibility.

The Bishop’s Utopia
The Bishop’s Utopia: Envisioning Improvement in Colonial Peru (The Early Modern Americas)
Emily Berquist Soule (Dibner Fellow, 2010–11)

Based on intensive archival research in Peru, Spain, and Colombia and the unique visual data of more than a thousand extraordinary watercolors, The Bishop’s Utopia recreates the intellectual, cultural, and political universe of the Spanish Atlantic world in the late 18th century.

Cover of Mining Language
Mining Language: Racial Thinking, Indigenous Knowledge, and Colonial Metallurgy in the Early Modern Iberian World
Allison Bigelow (Thom Fellow, 2017-18)

Mineral wealth from the Americas underwrote and undergirded European colonization of the New World. Building upon works that have narrated this global history of American mining in economic and labor terms, Mining Language is the first book-length study of the technical and scientific vocabularies that miners developed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as they engaged with metallic materials.

Of Essays and Reading in Early Modern Britain
Scott Black (Thom Fellow, 2002-03)

Of Essays and Reading in Early Modern Britain traces the co-evolution of the essay and the mode of literacy it enabled. Focusing on the interactive processes of reading captured by the form, Of Essays offers a new approach to early modern textuality

American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era
David Blight (Rogers Distinguished Fellow, 2010-11)

David Blight takes his readers back to the centennial celebration to determine how Americans then made sense of the suffering, loss, and liberation that had wracked the United States a century earlier. Amid cold war politics and civil rights protest, four of America's most incisive writers explored the gulf between remembrance and reality.

Cover of Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
David W. Blight (Rogers Distinguished Fellow, 2010-11)

In this remarkable biography, David Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historian have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Frederick Douglass's newspapers. Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History.

The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence
Timothy Breen (Times Mirror Distinguished Fellow, 1997-98)

The Marketplace of Revolution offers a boldly innovative interpretation of the mobilization of ordinary Americans on the eve of independence. Breen explores how colonists who came from very different ethnic and religious backgrounds managed to overcome difference and create a common cause capable of galvanizing resistance.

Painting of letters and quills
Law, Lawyers and Litigants in Early Modern England: Essays in Memory of Christopher W. Brooks
Christopher Brooks (Fletcher Jones, 2012-13)

Written in memory of Christopher W. Brooks, this collection of essays by prominent historians examines and builds on the scholarly legacy of the leading historian of early modern English law, society and politics.

brown victoria
The Education of Jane Addams
Victoria Brown (Billington/Occidental Fellow, 2000-01)

The Education of Jane Addams traces, with unprecedented care, Addams's three-decade journey from a privileged prairie girlhood through her years as the competent spinster daughter in a demanding family after her father's death to her early seasoning on the Chicago reform scene.

brown tony
The Primitive, the Aesthetic, and the Savage
Tony C. Brown (NEH Fellow, 2007-08)

Tony C. Brown examines "the inescapable yet infinitely troubling figure of the not-quite-nothing" in Enlightenment attempts to think about the aesthetic and the savage. The various texts Brown considers—including the writings of Addison, Rousseau, Kant, and Defoe—turn to exotic figures in order to delimit the aesthetic, and to aesthetics in order to comprehend the savage.

Other Things
Other Things
Bill Brown (Los Angeles Times Distinguished Fellow, 2012–13)

From the pencil to the puppet to the drone—the humanities and the social sciences continue to ride a wave of interest in material culture and the world of things. How should we understand the force and figure of that wave as it shapes different disciplines? Other Things explores this question by considering a wide assortment of objects—from beach glass to cell phones, sneakers to skyscrapers—that have fascinated a range of writers and artists, including Virginia Woolf, Man Ray, Spike Lee, and Don DeLillo.

America on the Brink: How the Political Struggle over the War of 1812 Almost Destroyed the Young Republic
Richard Buel, Jr. (Billington/Occidental Fellow, 1999-00)

Many people would be surprised to learn that the struggle between Thomas Jefferson's Republican Party and Alexander Hamilton's Federalist Party defined--and jeopardized--the political life of the early American republic. America on the Brink looks at why the Federalists, who worked so hard to consolidate the federal government before 1800, went to great lengths to subvert it after Jefferson's election.

Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling
Richard Bushman (Avery Distinguished Fellow, 1996-97)

Founder of the largest indigenous Christian church in American history, Joseph Smith published the 584-page Book of Mormon when he was twenty-three and went on to organize a church, found cities, and attract thousands of followers before his violent death at age thirty-eight. Richard Bushman, an esteemed cultural historian and a practicing Mormon, moves beyond the popular stereotype of Smith as a colorful fraud to explore his personality, his relationships with others, and how he received revelations.

Puritan Conquistadors: Iberianizing the Atlantic, 1550-1700
Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra (Mellon Fellow, 2003-04)

The book demonstrates that a wider Pan-American perspective can upset the most cherished national narratives of the United States, for it maintains that the Puritan colonization of New England was as much a chivalric, crusading act of Reconquista (against the Devil) as was the Spanish conquest.

The Undivided Past: Humanity beyond Our Differences
David Cannadine (Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellow, 2010-11)

Investigating the six most salient categories of human identity, difference, and confrontation—religion, nation, class, gender, race, and civilization—David Cannadine questions just how determinative each of them has really been.

Pathfinder: John C. Frémont and the Course of American Empire
Thomas Chaffin (Mellon Fellow, 1998-99)

The career of John Charles Frémont (1813–90) ties together the full breadth of American expansionism from its eighteenth-century origins through its culmination in the Gilded Age. Tom Chaffin's biography demonstrates Frémont's vital importance to the history of American empire, and illuminates his role in shattering long-held myths about the ecology and habitability of the American West.

Round About the Earth: Circumnavigation from Magellan to Orbit
Joyce Chaplin (Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellow, 2006-07)

With illustrations and maps, a witty and erudite account of the history of circumnavigation and how it has influenced the way we think about the Earth and ourselves. In the first complete account, Joyce Chaplin tells of the outrageous ambitions that inspired men and women to take on the whole planet.

Home Divisions: Aristocracy, the State and Provincial Conflict
Thomas Cogswell (NEH Fellow, 1995-96)

Largely based on the chance survival of a rich and previously unexploited archive of Henry Hastings, fifth earl of Huntingdon and Lord Lieutenant of Liecestershire, this book affords an in-depth look at early Stuart government and politics different than any hitherto presented.

Death by Effigy: A Case from the Mexican Inquisition
Luis Corteguera (NEH Fellow, 2007-08)

Drawing on inquisitorial papers from the Mexican Inquisition's archive, Luis R. Corteguera weaves a rich narrative that leads readers into a world vastly different from our own, one in which symbols were as powerful as the sword.

Poetry, Enclosure, and the Vernacular Landscape 1700-1830
Rachel Crawford (Thom Fellow, 1997-98)

Rachel Crawford examines the intriguing, often problematic relationship between poetry and landscape in eighteenth and early-nineteenth-century Britain. She discusses the highly contested parliamentary enclosure movement which closed off the last of England's open fields between 1760 and 1815.

England on Edge: Crisis and Revolution, 1640-1642
David Cressy (Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellow, 2003-04)

England on Edge deals with the collapse of the government of Charles I, the disintegration of the Church of England, and the accompanying cultural panic that led to civil war. Focused on the years 1640 to 1642, it examines stresses and fractures in social, political, and religious culture, and the emergence of an unrestrained popular press.

Liquid Landscape
Liquid Landscape: Geography and Settlement at the Edge of Early America
Michele Currie Navakas (Thom Fellow, 2012–13)

In Liquid Landscape, Michele Currie Navakas analyzes the history of Florida's incorporation alongside the development of new ideas of personhood, possession, and political identity within American letters. From early American novels, travel accounts, and geography textbooks, to settlers' guides, maps, natural histories, and land surveys, early American culture turned repeatedly to Florida's shifting lands and waters, as well as to its itinerant enclaves of Native Americans, Spaniards, pirates, and runaway slaves.

The Generals' War by Stephen Cushman
The Generals’ Civil War
Stephen Cushman (Rogers, 2019–20)

In December 1885, under the watchful eye of Mark Twain, the publishing firm of Charles L. Webster and Company released the first volume of the Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant. With a second volume published in March 1886, Grant's memoirs became a popular sensation. Seeking to capitalize on Grant’s success and interest in earlier reminiscences by Joseph E. Johnston, William T. Sherman, and Richard Taylor, other Civil War generals such as George B. McClellan and Philip H. Sheridan soon followed suit.

Games of Property: Law, Race, Gender, and Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses
Thadious Davis (Avery Distinguished Fellow, 2000-01)

In Games of Property, distinguished critic Thadious M. Davis provides a dazzling new interpretation of William Faulkner's Go Down, Moses. Davis argues that in its unrelenting attention to issues related to the ownership of land and people, Go Down, Moses ranks among Faulkner's finest and most accomplished works.

Loving Dr. Johnson
Helen Deutsch (NEH Fellow, 1998-99)

Loving Dr. Johnson uses the enormous popularity of Johnson to understand a singular case of author love and to reflect upon what the love of authors has to do with the love of literature. Helen Deutsch's work is driven by several impulses, among them her affection for both Johnson's work and Boswell's biography of him, and her own distance from the largely male tradition of Johnsonian criticism—a tradition to which she remains indebted and to which Loving Dr. Johnson is ultimately an homage.

Cover of Digging the Past
Digging the Past:
 How and Why to Imagine Seventeenth-Century Agriculture
Frances E. Dolan (Fletcher Jones Foundation Distinguished Fellow, 2011-12)

Building on and connecting histories of food and work, literary criticism of the pastoral and georgic, histories of elite and vernacular science, and histories of reading and writing practices, among other areas of inquiry, Digging the Past offers fine-grained case studies of projects heralded as innovations both in the seventeenth century and in our own time.

True Relations: Reading, Literature, and Evidence in Seventeenth-Century England
Frances Dolan (Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellow, 2011-12)

Dolan connects early modern debates about textual evidence to recent discussions of the value of seventeenth-century texts as historical evidence. Then as now, she contends, literary techniques of analysis have proven central to staking and assessing truth claims. She addresses the kinds of texts that circulated about three traumatic events—the Gunpowder Plot, witchcraft prosecutions, and the London Fire—and looks at legal depositions, advice literature, and plays as genres of evidence that hover in a space between fact and fiction.

Women’s Work in Early Modern English Literature and Culture
Michelle Dowd (Thom Fellow, 2006-07)

Dowd investigates literature's engagement with the gendered conflicts of early modern England by examining the narratives that seventeenth-century dramatists created to describe the lives of working women.

Divining Science: Treasure Hunting and Earth Science in Early Modern Germany
Warren Dym (Dibner Fellow, 2009-10)

The study of German mining and metallurgy has focused overwhelmingly on labor, capitalism, and progressive engineering and earth science. This book addresses prospecting practices and mining culture. Using the divining, or dowsing rod as a means of exposing miner beliefs, it argues that a robust vernacular science preceded institutionalized geology in Saxony, and that the Freiberg Mining Academy (f.1765) became a site for the synthesis of tradition and new science.

Jacksonian Antislavery and the Politics of Free Soil, 1824-1854
Jonathan Earle (NEH Fellow, 1999-00)

Taking our understanding of political antislavery into largely unexplored terrain, Jonathan H. Earle counters conventional wisdom and standard historical interpretations that view the ascendance of free-soil ideas within the antislavery movement as an explicit retreat from the goals of emancipation or even as an essentially proslavery ideology.

Cover of Cultivating Commerce
Cultivating Commerce: Cultures of Botany in Britain and France, 1760-1815
Sarah Easterby-Smith (Dibner, 2011-12)

Sarah Easterby-Smith rewrites the histories of botany and horticulture from the perspectives of plant merchants who sold botanical specimens in the decades around 1800.

The Imaginary Autocrat: Beau Nash and the Invention of Bath
John Eglin (NEH Fellow, 2002-03)

Richard Beau Nash was the original "It boy," the self-invented, style-over-substance ruling impresario of Bath who came from humble beginnings. He is a living illustration of what can be achieved with self-confidence and self-possession, as he became the ever-present match maker, gambler, and businessman at the whirl of balls and games at Bath in the 18th century. John Eglin's brilliant and rewarding book is concerned as much with Nash's invention of himself as it is with the invention of Bath.

The Imagined Civil War: Popular Literature of the North and South, 1861-1865
Alice Fahs (Thom Fellow, 1997-98)

In this groundbreaking work of cultural history, Alice Fahs explores a little-known and fascinating side of the Civil War--the outpouring of popular literature inspired by the conflict. From 1861 to 1865, authors and publishers in both the North and the South produced a remarkable variety of war-related compositions, including poems, songs, children's stories, romances, novels, histories, and even humorous pieces. Fahs mines these rich but long-neglected resources to recover the diversity of the war's political and social meanings.

A Great and Noble Scheme: The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from Their American Homeland
John Faragher (Times Mirror Distinguished Fellow, 1999-00)

The right of neutrality; to live in peace from the imperial wars waged between France and England; had been one of the founding values of Acadia. But the Acadians' refusal to swear unconditional allegiance to the British Crown in the mid-eighteenth century gave New Englanders, who had long coveted Nova Scotia's fertile farmland, pretense enough to launch a campaign of ethnic cleansing on a massive scale. John Mack Faragher draws on original research to weave 150 years of history into a gripping narrative of both the civilization of Acadia and the British plot to destroy it.

The Making of Robert E. Lee
Michael Fellman (NEH Fellow, 1998-99)

With rigorous research and unprecedented insight into Robert E. Lee's personal and public lives, Michael Fellman here uncovers the intelligent, ambitious, and often troubled man behind the legend, exploring his life within the social, cultural, and political context of the nineteenth-century American South.

The Bible and the People
Lori Anne Ferrell (NEH Fellow, 2005-06)

In the eleventh century, the Bible was available only in expensive and rare hand-copied manuscripts. Today, millions of people from all walks of life seek guidance, inspiration, entertainment, and answers from their own editions of the Bible. This illustrated book tells the story of what happened to the ancient set of writings we call the Bible during those thousand years.

Recaptured Africans: Surviving Slave Ships, Detention, and Dislocation in the Final Years of the Slave Trade
Sharla M. Fett (Mellon Fellow)

In the years just before the Civil War, during the most intensive phase of American slave-trade suppression, the U.S. Navy seized roughly 2,000 enslaved Africans from illegal slave ships and brought them into temporary camps at Key West and Charleston. In this study, Sharla Fett reconstructs the social world of these "recaptives" and recounts the relationships they built to survive the holds of slave ships, American detention camps, and, ultimately, a second transatlantic voyage to Liberia.

Detail of fairies riding butterflies
Worlds Beyond: Miniatures and Victorian Fiction
Laura Forsberg (NEH, 2016-17)

In Worlds Beyond, Laura Forsberg reads major works of fiction by George Eliot, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Lewis Carroll alongside minor genres like the doll narrative, fairy science tract, and thumb Bible.

Antitheatricality and the Body Public
Lisa A. Freeman (Research Fellow, 2004-05)

Situating the theater as a site of broad cultural movements and conflicts, Lisa A. Freeman asserts that antitheatrical incidents from the English Renaissance to present-day America provide us with occasions to trace major struggles over the nature and balance of power and political authority.

Painting of a ship
The Bloody Flag: Mutiny in the Age of Atlantic Revolution
Niklas Frykman (Thom Fellow, 2013-14)

By the early 1800s, anywhere between one-third and one-half of all naval seamen serving in the North Atlantic had participated in at least one mutiny, many of them in several, and some even on ships in different navies. In The Bloody Flag, historian Niklas Frykman explores in vivid prose how a decade of violent conflict onboard gave birth to a distinct form of radical politics that brought together the egalitarian culture of North Atlantic maritime communities with the revolutionary era's constitutional republicanism.

The Broadside Ballad in Early Modern England by Patricia Fumerton
The Broadside Ballad in Early Modern England: Moving Media, Tactical Publics
Patricia Fumerton (Fletcher Jones Fellow, 2012–13)

In its 17th-century heyday, the English broadside ballad was a single large sheet of paper printed on one side with multiple woodcut illustrations, a popular tune title, and a poem. Inexpensive, ubiquitous, and fugitive—individual elements migrated freely from one broadside to another—some 11,000 to 12,000 of these artifacts pre-1701 survive, though many others have undoubtedly been lost. Since 2003, Patricia Fumerton and a team of associates at the University of California, Santa Barbara have been finding, digitizing, cataloging, and recording these materials to create the English Broadside Ballad Archive.

Unsettled: The Culture of Mobility and the Working Poor in Early Modern England
Patricia Fumerton (NEH Fellow, 1997-98)

Migrants made up a growing class of workers in late sixteenth- and seventeenth- century England. In fact, by 1650, half of England's rural population consisted of homeless and itinerant laborers. Unsettled is an ambitious attempt to reconstruct the everyday lives of these dispossessed people. Patricia Fumerton offers an expansive portrait of unsettledness in early modern England that includes the homeless and housed alike.

The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864
Gary Gallagher (Times Mirror Distinguished Fellow, 2001-02)

This volume explores the Shenandoah Valley campaign, best known for its role in establishing Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's reputation as the Confederacy's greatest military idol. The authors address questions of military leadership, strategy and tactics, the campaign's political and social impact, and the ways in which participants' memories of events differed from what is revealed in the historical sources.

America’s Joan of Arc: The Life of Anna Elizabeth Dickinson
J. Matthew Gallman (Billington/Occidental Fellow, 2002-03)

One of the most celebrated women of her time, a spellbinding speaker dubbed the Queen of the Lyceum and America's Joan of Arc, Anna Elizabeth Dickinson was a charismatic orator, writer, and actress, who rose to fame during the Civil War and remained in the public eye for the next three decades. J. Matthew Gallman offers the first full-length biography of Dickinson to appear in over half a century.

Inventing the English Massacre by Alison Games
Inventing the English Massacre: Amboyna in History and Memory
Alison Games (Ritchie Fellow, 2013–14)

In its 17th-century heyday, the English broadside ballad was a single large sheet of paper printed on one side with multiple woodcut illustrations, a popular tune title, and a poem. Inexpensive, ubiquitous, and fugitive—individual elements migrated freely from one broadside to another—some 11,000 to 12,000 of these artifacts pre-1701 survive, though many others have undoubtedly been lost. Since 2003, Patricia Fumerton and a team of associates at the University of California, Santa Barbara have been finding, digitizing, cataloging, and recording these materials to create the English Broadside Ballad Archive.

The Web of Empire: English Cosmopolitans in an Age of Expansion, 1560-1660
Alison Games (Mellon Fellow, 2003-04)

How did England go from a position of inferiority to the powerful Spanish empire to achieve global pre-eminence? In this important second book, Alison Games, a colonial American historian, explores the period from 1560 to 1660, when England challenged dominion over the American continents, established new long-distance trade routes in the eastern Mediterranean and the East Indies, and emerged in the 17th century as an empire to reckon with.

The English Conquest of Jamaica
The English Conquest of Jamaica—Oliver Cromwell’s Bid for Empire
Carla Gardina Pestana (Ritchie Distinguished Fellow, 2014–15)

The English Conquest of Jamaica presents entrenched imperial fantasies confronting Caribbean realities. It captures the moment when the revolutionary English state first became a major player in the Atlantic arena.

Aesthetic Materialism: Electricity and American Romanticism
Paul Gilmore (Thom Fellow, 2001-02)

Aesthetic Materialism: Electricity and American Romanticism focuses on American romantic writers' attempts to theorize aesthetic experience through the language of electricity. In response to scientific and technological developments, most notably the telegraph, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century electrical imagery reflected the mysterious workings of the physical mind as well as the uncertain, sometimes shocking connections between individuals.

Neoclassical sculpture of a woman
The Classical Body in Romantic Britain
Cora Gilroy-Ware (Fellow in the Caltech-Huntington Program for the Study of Materialities, Texts, and Images, 2015-16)

For many, the term "neoclassicism" has come to imply discipline, order, restraint, and a certain myopia. Leaving the term behind, this book radically challenges enduring assumptions about the art produced from the late 18th century to the early Victorian period, casting new light on appropriations of the classical body by British artists.

Cover of The American Military
The American Military: A Concise History
Joseph T. Glatthaar (Rogers Distinguished Fellow, 2014-15)

Since the first English settlers landed at Jamestown with the legacy of centuries of European warfare in tow, the military has been an omnipresent part of America. In The American Military: A Concise History, Joseph T. Glatthaar explores this relationship from its origins in the thirteen colonies to today's ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.

The Experimental Self: Humphry Davy and the Making of a Man of Science
Jan Golinski (Dibner Distinguished Fellow, 2008-09)

What did it mean to be a scientist before the profession itself existed? Jan Golinski finds an answer in the remarkable career of Humphry Davy, the foremost chemist of his day and one of the most distinguished British men of science of the nineteenth century.

British Weather and the Climate of Enlightenment
Jan Golinski (Dibner Distinguished Fellow, 2008-09)

Enlightenment inquiries into the weather sought to impose order on a force that had the power to alter human life and social conditions. British Weather and the Climate of Enlightenment reveals how a new sense of the national climate emerged in the eighteenth century from the systematic recording of the weather, and how it was deployed in discussions of the health and welfare of the population.

Georgic Modernity and British Romanticism: Poetry and the Mediation of History
Kevis Goodman (Thom Fellow, 1999-00)

Kevis Goodman traces connections between georgic verse and developments in other spheres that were placing unprecedented emphasis on mediation from the late seventeenth to early nineteenth centuries. She expands the subject of the Georgic to broader areas of literary and cultural study—including the history of the feelings, print culture, and early scientific technology. Goodman maintains that the verse form presents ways of perceiving history in terms of sensation, rather than burying history in nature, an approach more usually associated with Romanticism.

Dillinger’s Wild Ride: The Year That Made America’s Public Enemy Number One
Elliott Gorn (Los Angeles Times Distinguished Fellow, 2005-06)

In Dillinger's Wild Ride, Elliott J. Gorn provides a riveting account of the year between 1933 and 1934, when the Dillinger gang pulled over a dozen bank jobs and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars. As Dillinger's wild year unfolded, the tale grew larger and larger in newspapers and newsreels, and even today, Dillinger is the subject of pulp literature, serious poetry and fiction, and film. Gorn illuminates the significance of Dillinger's tremendous fame and the endurance of his legacy, arguing that he represented an American fascination with primitive freedom against social convention.

The Making of John Ledyard: Empire and Ambition in the Life of an Early American Traveler
Edward Gray (Mellon, 1998-99)

During the course of his short but extraordinary life, John Ledyard (1751–1789) came in contact with some of the most remarkable figures of his era: the British explorer Captain James Cook, American financier Robert Morris, Revolutionary naval commander John Paul Jones, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and others. Ledyard lived and traveled in remarkable places as well, journeying from the New England backcountry to Tahiti, Hawaii, the American Northwest coast, Alaska, and the Russian Far East. In this engaging biography, the historian Edward Gray offers not only a full account of Ledyard's eventful life but also an illuminating view of the late eighteenth-century world in which he lived.

Playing It Straight: Art and Humor in the Gilded Age
Jennifer Greenhill (Thom Fellow, 2010-11)

Playing It Straight: Art and Humor in the Gilded Age offers a stunning new look at late-nineteenth-century American art, and demonstrates the profound role humor played in determining the course of culture in the Gilded Age.

The Faces of Anonymity: Anonymous and Pseudonymous Publication from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century
Robert Griffin (Mellon Fellow, 1998-99) Griffin (Mellon Fellow, 1998-99)

This pathbreaking collection of original essays surveys an important but neglected topic: anonymous publication in England for the Elizabethan age to the present. An impressive group of scholars analyzes a wide range of literary phenomena. The editor's introduction places the essays within the context of the historical trajectory of anonymous authorship.

What Blood Won’t Tell: A History of Race on Trial in America
Ariela Gross (NEH, 2003-04)

Unearthing the legal history of racial identity, Ariela Gross's book examines the paradoxical and often circular relationship of race and the perceived capacity for citizenship in American society. This book reminds us that the imaginary connection between racial identity and fitness for citizenship remains potent today and continues to impede racial justice and equality.

The Sports Revolution by Frank Andre Guridy
The Sports Revolution: How Texas Changed the Culture of American Athletics
Frank Andre Guridy (Billington Fellow, 2014–15)

The story of Texas's impact on American sports culture during the civil rights and second-wave feminist movements, this book offers a new understanding of sports and society in the state and the nation as a whole.

Junípero Serra: California’s Founding Father
Steven Hackel (NEH Fellow, 2010-11)

Steven W. Hackel's groundbreaking biography, Junípero Serra: California's Founding Father, is the first to remove Serra from the realm of polemic and place him within the currents of history. On the three-hundredth anniversary of Junípero Serra's birth, Hackel's complex, authoritative biography tells the full story of a man whose life and legacies continue to be both celebrated and denounced. Based on exhaustive research and a vivid narrative, this is an essential portrait of America's least understood founder.

Detail of mustache
The Puritans: A Transatlantic History
David Hall (LA Times Fellow, 2014-15)

This book is a sweeping transatlantic history of Puritanism from its emergence out of the religious tumult of Elizabethan England to its founding role in the story of America.

Zamumo’s Gifts: Indian-European Exchange in the Colonial Southeast
Joseph Hall (Mellon, 2005-06)

Drawing on archaeological studies, colonial documents from three empires, and Native oral histories, Joseph M. Hall, Jr., offers fresh insights into broad segments of southeastern colonial history, including the success of Florida's Franciscan missionaries before 1640 and the impact of the Indian slave trade on French Louisiana after 1699.

The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution
Deborah Harkness (NEH Fellow, 1997-98)

The book examines six particularly fascinating episodes of scientific inquiry and dispute in sixteenth-century London, bringing to life the individuals involved and the challenges they faced. These men and women experimented and invented, argued and competed, waged wars in the press, and struggled to understand the complexities of the natural world. Together their stories illuminate the blind alleys and surprising twists and turns taken as medieval philosophy gave way to the empirical, experimental culture that became a hallmark of the Scientific Revolution.

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Unsettling the West: Violence and State Building in the Ohio Valley
Rob Harper (NEH, 2013-14)

The revolutionary Ohio Valley is often depicted as a chaotic Hobbesian dystopia, in which Indians and colonists slaughtered each other at every turn. In Unsettling the West, Rob Harper overturns this familiar story.

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The Alchemy of Slavery: Human Bondage and Emancipation in the Illinois Country, 1730-1865
M. Scott Heerman (Thom, 2016-17)

In this sweeping saga that spans empires, peoples, and nations, M. Scott Heerman chronicles the long history of slavery in the heart of the continent and traces its many iterations through law and social practice.

Romantic Rocks, Aesthetic Geology
Romantic Rocks, Aesthetic Geology
Noah Heringman (NEH Fellow, 2000–01)

Noah Heringman maintains that British literary culture was fundamentally shaped by many of the same forces that created geology as a science in the period 1770–1820. He shows that landscape aesthetics―the verbal and social idiom of landscape gardening, natural history, the scenic tour, and other forms of outdoor "improvement"―provided a shared vernacular for geology and Romanticism in their formative stages.

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Liberty is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution
Woody Holton (Los Angeles Times Distinguished Fellow, 2016-17)

Using more than a thousand eyewitness accounts, Liberty Is Sweet explores countless connections between the Patriots of 1776 and other Americans whose passion for freedom often brought them into conflict with the Founding Fathers.

Liberty is Sweet by Woody Holton
Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution
Woody Holton (LA Times Fellow, 2016–17)

Using more than a thousand eyewitness accounts, Liberty Is Sweet explores countless connections between the Patriots of 1776 and other Americans whose passion for freedom often brought them into conflict with the Founding Fathers.

Consuming Pleasures: Intellectuals and Popular Culture in the Postwar World
Daniel Horowitz (Billington/Occidental Fellow, 2010-11)

The New York intellectuals of the 1930s rejected any serious or analytical discussion, let alone appreciation, of popular culture, which they viewed as morally questionable. Beginning in the 1950s, however, new perspectives emerged outside and within the United States that challenged this dominant thinking. Consuming Pleasures reveals how a group of writers shifted attention from condemnation to critical appreciation, critiqued cultural hierarchies and moralistic approaches, and explored the symbolic processes by which individuals and groups communicate.

Theater of a City: The Places of London Comedy, 1598-1642
Jean Howard (Avery Distinguished Fellow, 2003-04)

Arguing that the commercial stage depended on the unprecedented demographic growth and commercial vibrancy of London to fuel its own development, Jean E. Howard posits a particular synergy between the early modern stage and the city in which it flourished.

What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848
Daniel Howe (Avery Distinguished Fellow, 2002-03)

The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. In this Pulitzer prize-winning, critically acclaimed addition to the series, historian Daniel Walker Howe illuminates the period from the battle of New Orleans to the end of the Mexican-American War, an era when the United States expanded to the Pacific and won control over the richest part of the North American continent

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Painting with Fire: Sir Joshua Reynolds, Photography, and the Temporally Evolving Chemical Object
Matthew Hunter (NEH, 2016-17)

Painting with Fire shows how experiments with chemicals known to change visibly over the course of time transformed British pictorial arts of the long eighteenth century—and how they can alter our conceptions of photography today.

Herbert Eugene Bolton: Historian of the American Borderlands
Albert Hurtado (Los Angeles Times Distinguished Fellow, 2007-08)

Herbert E. Bolton (1870–1953), a leading historian of the American West, Mexico, and Latin America, helped establish the reputation of the University of California and the Bancroft Library in the eyes of the world and was influential among historians during his lifetime, but interest in his ideas waned after his death. Now, more than a century after Bolton began to investigate the Mexican archives, Albert L. Hurtado explores his life against the backdrop of the cultural and political controversies of his day.

The Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold Rush
David Igler (NEH, 2005-06)

The Great Ocean draws on hundreds of documented voyages--some painstakingly recorded by participants, some only known by archeological remains or indigenous memory--as a window into the commercial, cultural, and ecological upheavals following Cook's exploits, focusing in particular on the eastern Pacific in the decades between the 1770s and the 1840s.

Priest of Nature: The Religious Worlds of Isaac Newton
Rob Iliffe (Short-Term Fellow, 2011-12)

In Priest of Nature, historian Rob Iliffe introduces readers to Newton the religious animal, deepening our understanding of the relationship between faith and science at a formative moment in history and thought.

Aloha America: Hula Circuits through the U.S. Empire
Adria Imada (Thom Fellow, 2007-08)

Aloha America reveals the role of hula in legitimating U.S. imperial ambitions in Hawai'i. Hula performers began touring throughout the continental United States and Europe in the late nineteenth century. These "hula circuits" introduced hula, and Hawaiians, to U.S. audiences, establishing an "imagined intimacy," a powerful fantasy that enabled Americans to possess their colony physically and symbolically. Meanwhile, in the early years of American imperialism in the Pacific, touring hula performers incorporated veiled critiques of U.S. expansionism into their productions.

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How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States
Daniel Immerwahr (NEH, 2015-16)

In How to Hide an Empire, Daniel Immerwahr tells the fascinating story of the United States outside the United States. In crackling, fast-paced prose, he reveals forgotten episodes that cast American history in a new light.

Shadows at Dawn: An Apache Massacre and the Violence of History
Karl Jacoby (NEH Fellow, 2001-02)

In April 1871, a group of Americans, Mexicans, and Tohono O'odham Indians surrounded an Apache village at dawn and murdered nearly 150 men, women, and children in their sleep. In the past century the attack, which came to be known as the Camp Grant Massacre, has largely faded from memory. Now, drawing on oral histories, contemporary newspaper reports, and the participants' own accounts, prize-winning author Karl Jacoby brings this perplexing incident and tumultuous era to life to paint a sweeping panorama of the American Southwest, a world far more complex, diverse, and morally ambiguous than the traditional portrayals of the Old West.

Ovid and the Liberty of Speech in Shakespeare's England by Heather James
Ovid and the Liberty of Speech in Shakespeare’s England
Heather James (LA Times Fellow, 2016–17)

The range of poetic invention that occurred in Renaissance English literature was vast, from the lyric eroticism of the late sixteenth century to the rise of libertinism in the late 17th century. Heather James argues that Ovid, as the poet-philosopher of literary innovation and free speech, was the galvanizing force behind this extraordinary level of poetic creativity. 

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Roaring Camp: The Social World of the California Gold Rush
Susan Lee Johnson (NEH Fellow, 1996-97)

In this brilliant work of social history, Susan Johnson enters the well-worked diggings of Gold Rush history and strikes a rich lode. She finds a dynamic social world in which the conventions of identity―ethnic, national, and sexual―were reshaped in surprising ways. She gives us the all-male households of the diggings, the mines where the men worked, and the fandango houses where they played. With a keen eye for character and story, Johnson restores the particular social world that issued in the Gold Rush myths we still cherish.

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Cultural Hierarchy in Sixteenth-Century Europe: The Ottomans and Mexicans
Carina Johnson (Thom Fellow, 2004-05)

This book argues that sixteenth-century European encounters with the newly discovered Mexicans (in the Aztec Empire) and the newly dominant Ottoman Empire can only be understood in relation to the cultural and intellectual changes wrought by the Reformation. Carina L. Johnson chronicles the resultant creation of cultural hierarchy.

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Being Elizabethan: Understanding Shakespeare’s Neighbors
Norman Jones (Fletcher Jones, 2015-16)

Being Elizabethan portrays how people's lives were shaped and changed by the tension between a received belief in divine stability and new, destabilizing, ideas about physical and metaphysical truth.

Sacred Violence in Early America
Sacred Violence in Early America
Susan Juster (Ritchie Distinguished Fellow, 2014–15)

Sacred Violence in Early America offers a sweeping reinterpretation of the violence endemic to 17th-century English colonization by reexamining some of the key moments of cultural and religious encounters in North America. Susan Juster explores different forms of sacred violence—blood sacrifice, holy war, malediction, and iconoclasm—to uncover how European traditions of ritual violence developed during the wars of the Reformation were introduced and ultimately transformed in the New World.

Holy Warriors: The Religious Ideology of Chivalry
Richard Kaeuper (Avery Distinguished Fellow, 1999-00)

In Holy Warriors, Richard Kaeuper argues that while some clerics sanctified violence in defense of the Holy Church, others were sorely troubled by chivalric practices in everyday life. Kaeuper examines how these paradoxical chivalric ideals were spread in a vast corpus of literature from exempla and chansons de geste to romance.

The Lively Arts: Gilbert Seldes and the Transformation of Cultural Criticism in the United States
Michael Kammen (Times Mirror Distinguished Fellow, 1993-94)

He was a friend of James Joyce, Pablo Picasso, e.e. cummings, John Dos Passos, Irving Berlin, and F. Scott Fitzgerald--and the enemy of Ezra Pound, H.L. Mencken, and Ernest Hemingway. He was so influential a critic that Edmund Wilson declared that he had played a leading role in the "liquidation of genteel culture in America." Yet today many students of American culture would not recognize his name. He was Gilbert Seldes, and in this brilliant biographical study, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Michael Kammen recreates a singularly American life of letters.

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Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast
Marjoleine Kars (NEH, 2018-19)

Blood on the River provides a rare in-depth look at the political vision of enslaved people at the dawn of the Age of Revolution and introduces us to a set of real characters, vividly drawn against the exotic tableau of a riverine world of plantations, rainforest, and Carib allies who controlled a vast South American hinterland.

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Animals and Other People: Literary Forms and Living Beings in the Long Eighteenth Century
Heather Keenleyside (Thom, 2011-12)

In Animals and Other People, Heather Keenleyside argues for the central role of literary modes of knowledge in apprehending animal life.

Learning to Stand and Speak: Women, Education, and Public Life in America’s Republic
Mary Kelley (Times Mirror Distinguished Fellow, 1996-97)

Education was decisive in recasting women's subjectivity and the lived reality of their collective experience in post-Revolutionary and antebellum America. Asking how and why women shaped their lives anew through education, Mary Kelley measures the significant transformation in individual and social identities fostered by female academies and seminaries.

Aliens and Englishness in Elizabethan Drama
Lloyd Kermode (Thom Fellow, 2001-02)

Covering a wide variety of plays from 1550-1600, including Shakespeare's second tetralogy, this book explores moral, historical, and comic plays as contributions to Elizabethan debates on Anglo-foreign relations in England.

Grand Designs: Labor, Empire, and the Museum in Victorian Culture
Lara Kriegel (NEH Fellow, 2002-03)

With this richly illustrated history of industrial design reform in nineteenth-century Britain, Lara Kriegel demonstrates that preoccupations with trade, labor, and manufacture lay at the heart of debates about cultural institutions during the Victorian era. Through aesthetic reform, Victorians sought to redress the inferiority of British crafts in comparison to those made on the continent and in the colonies.

Science and Technology in the Global Cold War
John Krige (Searle Fellow, 2008-09)

This volume examines science and technology in the context of the Cold War, considering whether the new institutions and institutional arrangements that emerged globally constrained technoscientific inquiry or offered greater opportunities for it. The contributors find that whatever the particular science, and whatever the political system in which that science was operating, the knowledge that was produced bore some relation to the goals of the nation-state.

Slavery, Sugar, and the Culture of Refinement: Picturing the British West Indies 1700-1840
K. Dian Kriz (NEH Fellow, 1996-97)

This highly original book asks new questions about paintings and prints associated with the British West Indies between 1700 and 1840, when the trade in sugar and slaves was most active and profitable. In a wide-ranging study of scientific illustrations, scenes of daily life, caricatures, and landscape imagery, Kay Dian Kriz analyzes the visual culture of refinement that accompanied the brutal process by which African slaves transformed "rude" sugar cane into pure white crystals.

Functions of Victorian Culture at the Present Time
Christine Krueger (NEH Fellow, 1999-00)

Functions of Victorian Culture at the Present Time addresses the theme of the Victorians' continuing legacy and its effect on our own culture and perception of the world. The contributors' diverse topics include the persistent influence of Jack the Ripper on police procedures, the enormous success of the magazine Victoria and the lifestyle it promotes, and film, television, and theatrical adaptations of Victorian texts.

Indians & English: Facing Off in Early America
Karen Kupperman (Times Mirror Distinguished Fellow, 1995-96)

In this vividly written book, prize-winning author Karen Ordahl Kupperman refocuses our understanding of encounters between English venturers and Algonquians all along the East Coast of North America in the early years of contact and settlement. All parties in these dramas were uncertain―hopeful and fearful―about the opportunity and challenge presented by new realities.

Scandal and Religious Identity in Early Stuart England: A Northamptonshire Maid’s Tragedy
Peter Lake (Avery Distinguished Fellow, 2006-07)

This book starts with the trial and execution for infanticide of a puritan minister, John Barker, along with his wife's niece and their maid, in Northampton in 1637; the document, what appears to be a virtual transcript of Barker's last speech on the gallows. His downfall soon became polemical fodder in scribal publications, with Puritans circulating defences of Barker and anti-Calvinists producing a Laudian condemnation of the minister. Scandal and Religious Identity in Early Stuart England uses Barker's crime and fate as a window on the religious world of early modern England.

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How Shakespeare Put Politics on the Stage: Power and Succession in the History Plays
Peter Lake (Avery Distinguished Fellow, 2006-07)

A masterful, highly engaging analysis of how Shakespeare's plays intersected with the politics and culture of Elizabethan England.

Bad Queen Bess? Libels, Secret Histories, and the Politics of Publicity in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I
Peter Lake (Avery Distinguished Fellow, 2006-07)

Bad Queen Bess? analyses the back and forth between the Elizabethan regime and various Catholic critics, who, from the early 1570s to the early 1590s, sought to characterise that regime as a conspiracy of evil counsel. Through a genre novel - the libellous secret history - to English political discourse, various (usually anonymous) Catholic authors claimed to reveal to the public what was 'really happening' behind the curtain of official lies and disinformation with which the clique of evil counsellors at the heart of the Elizabethan state habitually cloaked their sinister manoeuvres.

Symbols and Things by Kevin Lambert
Symbols and Things: Material Mathematics in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Kevin Lambert (Dibner Fellow, 2014–15)

In the steam-powered mechanical age of the 18th and 19th centuries, the work of late Georgian and early Victorian mathematicians depended on far more than the properties of number. British mathematicians came to rely on industrialized paper and pen manufacture, railways and mail, and the print industries of the book, disciplinary journal, magazine, and newspaper. Though not always physically present with one another, the characters central to this book—from George Green to William Rowan Hamilton—relied heavily on communication technologies as they developed their theories in consort with colleagues.

The Life of Kingsley Amis
Zachary Leader (Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellow, 2002-03)

Here is the authorized, definitive biography of one of the most controversial figures of twentieth-century literature, renowned for his blistering intelligence, savage wit and belligerent fierceness of opinion: Kingsley Amis was not only the finest comic novelist of his generation–having first achieved prominence with the publication of Lucky Jim in 1954 and as one of the Angry Young Men–but also a dominant figure in post—World War II British writing as novelist, poet, critic and polemicist.

The Battle for Los Angeles: Racial Ideology and World War II
Kevin Leonard (NEH Fellow, 1996-97)

World War II prompted many Americans to join an ongoing debate about the meaning of "race." Some argued that the United States was fighting against Hitler's racial ideology. Others insisted that a "white" America was fighting a "grasping, cruel and insanely ambitious race," as the Los Angeles Examiner referred to the Japanese. This debate was especially notable in Los Angeles, home to the nation's largest Japanese American and Mexican American communities and to a large and growing African American population. Kevin Leonard follows this verbal "battle for Los Angeles" immediately before, during, and after the war.

The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright
Ann M. Little (Dana and David Dornsife Fellow, 2014-15)

Esther Wheelwright's life was exceptional: border-crossing, multilingual, and multicultural. This meticulously researched book discovers her life through the communities of girls and women around her: the free and enslaved women who raised her in Wells, Maine; the Wabanaki women who cared for her, catechized her, and taught her to work as an Indian girl; the French-Canadian and Native girls who were her classmates in the Ursuline school; and the Ursuline nuns who led her to a religious life.

Art in a Season of Revolution: Painters, Artisans, and Patrons in Early America
Margaretta Lovell (Avery Distinguished Fellow, 1994-95)

Art in a Season of Revolution illuminates the participation of pictures, objects, and makers in their cultures. It invites historians to look at the material world as a source of evidence in their pursuit of even very abstract concerns such as the nature of virtue, the uses of identity, and the experience of time.

City at the Edge of Forever by Peter Lunenfeld
City at the Edge of Forever: Los Angeles Reimagined
Peter Lunenfeld (Dornsife Fellow, 2015–16)

How did Los Angeles start the 20th century as a dusty frontier town and end up a century later as one of the globe's supercities—with unparalleled cultural, economic, and technological reach? In City at the Edge of Forever, Peter Lunenfeld constructs an urban portrait, layer by layer, from serendipitous affinities, historical anomalies, and uncanny correspondences. In its pages, modernist architecture and lifestyle capitalism come together via a surfer girl named Gidget; Joan Didion's yellow Corvette is the brainchild of a car-crazy Japanese-American kid interned at Manzanar; and the music of the Manson Family segues into the birth of sci-fi fandom.

Dangerous Intimacy: The Untold Story of Mark Twain’s Final Years
Karen Lystra (NEH Fellow, 1999-00)

The last phase of Mark Twain's life is sadly familiar: Crippled by losses and tragedies, America's greatest humorist sank into a deep and bitter depression. It is also wrong. This book recovers Twain's final years as they really were—lived in the shadow of deception and prejudice, but also in the light of the author's unflagging energy and enthusiasm.

Hakluyt’s Promise: An Elizabethan’s Obsession for an English America
Peter Mancall (NEH Fellow, 2004-05)

Richard Hakluyt the younger, a contemporary of William Shakespeare, advocated the creation of English colonies in the New World at a time when the advantages of this idea were far from self-evident. This book describes in detail the life and times of Hakluyt, a trained minister who became an editor of travel accounts. Hakluyt's Promise demonstrates his prominent role in the establishment of English America as well as his interests in English opportunities in the East Indies.

The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire 1713-1763
Paul Mapp (Thom Fellow, 2005-06)

A truly continental history in both its geographic and political scope, The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire, 1713-1763 investigates eighteenth-century diplomacy involving North America and links geographic ignorance about the American West to Europeans' grand geopolitical designs. Breaking from scholars' traditional focus on the Atlantic world, Paul W. Mapp demonstrates the centrality of hitherto understudied western regions to early American history and shows that a Pacific focus is crucial to understanding the causes, course, and consequences of the Seven Years' War.

Renaissance Meteorology: Pomponazzi to Descartes
Craig Martin (Dibner Fellow, 2008-09)

Craig Martin takes a careful look at how Renaissance scientists analyzed and interpreted rain, wind, and other natural phenomena like meteors and earthquakes and their impact on the great thinkers of the scientific revolution. Martin argues that meteorology was crucial to the transformation that took place in science during the early modern period.

Genealogical Fictions: Limpieza de Sangre, Religion, and Gender in Colonial Mexico
Maria-Elena Martinez (Thom Fellow, 2003-04)

María Elena Martínez's Genealogical Fictions is the first in-depth study of the relationship between the Spanish concept of limpieza de sangre (purity of blood) and colonial Mexico's sistema de castas, a hierarchical system of social classification based primarily on ancestry. Specifically, it explains how this notion surfaced amid socio-religious tensions in early modern Spain, and was initially used against Jewish and Muslim converts to Christianity.

Literary Impressionism and Modernist Aesthetics
Jesse Matz (Thom Fellow, 1999-00)

Matz examines the writing of such modernists as James, Conrad and Woolf, who used the word "impression" to describe what they wanted their fiction to present. Matz argues that these writers did not favor immediate subjective sense, but rather a mode that would mediate perceptual distinctions. Just as impressions fall somewhere between thought and sense, impressionist fiction occupies the middle ground between opposite ways of engaging with the world. This study addresses the problems of perception and representation that occupied writers in the early decades of the twentieth century.

Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era
Elaine Tyler May (Mellon Fellow, 2004-05)

  When Homeward Bound  first appeared in 1988, it altered the way we understood Cold War America. The post-World War II era was thought of as a time when Americans turned away from politics to enjoy the fruits of peace and prosperity, while their leaders remained preoccupied with the dangers of the Atomic Age. Elaine Tyler May demonstrated that the Cold War infused life on every level from the boardroom to the bedroom.

Poetry and Ecology in the Age of Milton and Marvell
Diane McColley (Mellon Fellow, 1999-00)

The focus of this study is the perception of nature in the language of poetry and the languages of natural philosophy, technology, theology, and global exploration, primarily in seventeenth-century England. Its premise is that language and the perception of nature vitally affect each other and that seventeenth-century poets, primarily John Milton, Andrew Marvell, and Henry Vaughan, but also Margaret Cavendish, Thomas Traherne, Anne Finch, and others, responded to experimental proto-science and new technology in ways that we now call 'ecological' - concerned with watersheds and habitats and the lives of all creatures.

The Spread of Novels: Translation and Prose Fiction in the Eighteenth Century
Mary Helen McMurran (NEH Fellow, 2001-02)

Fiction has always been in a state of transformation and circulation: how does this history of mobility inform the emergence of the novel? The Spread of Novels explores the active movements of English and French fiction in the eighteenth century and argues that the new literary form of the novel was the result of a shift in translation.

For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War
James McPherson (Avery Distinguished Fellow, 1995-96)

McPherson draws on more than 25,000 letters and nearly 250 private diaries from men on both sides. Civil War soldiers were among the most literate soldiers in history, and most of them wrote home frequently, as it was the only way for them to keep in touch with homes that many of them had left for the first time in their lives. Significantly, their letters were also uncensored by military authorities, and are uniquely frank in their criticism and detailed in their reports of marches and battles, relations between officers and men, political debates, and morale.

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A Business of State: Commerce, Politics, and the Birth of the East India Company
Rupali Mishra (Thom, 2013-14)

At the height of its power around 1800, the English East India Company controlled half of the world's trade and deployed a vast network of political influencers at home and abroad. Rupali Mishra's account of the East India Company's formative years sheds new light on one of the most powerful corporations in the history of the world.

A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community
Natalia Molina (NEH Fellow, 2020-21)

The hidden history of the Nayarit, a neighborhood restaurant that nourished its community of Mexican immigrants with a sense of belonging as they made their own places in Los Angeles.

Faces of Perfect Ebony: Encountering Atlantic Slavery in Imperial Britain
Catherine Molineux (Thom Fellow, 2009-10)

Though blacks were not often seen on the streets of seventeenth-century London, they were already capturing the British imagination. For two hundred years, as Britain shipped over three million Africans to the New World, popular images of blacks as slaves and servants proliferated in London art, both highbrow and low. Catherine Molineux assembles a surprising array of sources in her exploration of this emerging black presence, from shop signs, tea trays, trading cards, board games, playing cards, and song ballads to more familiar objects such as William Hogarth's graphic satires.

Enlightenment in the Colony: The Jewish Question and the Crisis of Postcolonial Culture
Aamir Mufti (ACLS Fellow, 2004-05)

Aamir Mufti identifies the Hindu-Muslim conflict in India as a colonial variation of what he calls "the exemplary crisis of minority"—Jewishness in Europe. He shows how the emergence of this conflict in the late nineteenth century represented an early instance of the reinscription of the "Jewish question" in a non-Western society undergoing modernization under colonial rule.

How the World Moves: The Odyssey of an American Indian Family
Peter Nabokov (Mellon Fellow, 2007-08)

Born in 1861 in New Mexico's Acoma Pueblo, Edward Proctor Hunt lived a tribal life almost unchanged for centuries. But after attending government schools he broke with his people's ancient codes to become a shopkeeper and controversial broker between Indian and white worlds. Nabokov narrates the fascinating story of Hunt's life within a multicultural and historical context.

Love’s Wounds: Violence and the Politics of Poetry in Early Modern Europe
Cynthia N. Nazarian (Thom Fellow, 2012-13)

Love's Wounds takes an in-depth look at the widespread language of violence and abjection in early modern European love poetry.

The Union Divided: Party Conflict in the Civil War North
Mark Neely (Avery Distinguished Fellow, 1997-98)

In The Union Divided, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Mark E. Neely, Jr., vividly recounts the surprising story of political conflict in the North during the Civil War. Examining party conflict as viewed through the lens of the developing war, the excesses of party patronage, the impact of wartime elections, the highly partisan press, and the role of the loyal opposition, Neely deftly dismantles the argument long established in Civil War scholarship that the survival of the party system in the North contributed to its victory.

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Newton the Alchemist: Science, Enigma, and the Quest for Nature's "Secret Fire"
William Newman (Searle, 2014-15)

Newton the Alchemist unlocks the secrets of Newton's alchemical quest, providing a radically new understanding of the uncommon genius who probed nature at its deepest levels in pursuit of empirical knowledge.

Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting
Sianne Ngai (Thom Fellow, 2005-06)

The zany, the cute, and the interesting saturate postmodern culture, dominating the look of its art and commodities as well as our ways of speaking about the ambivalent feelings these objects often inspire. In this study Ngai offers an aesthetic theory for the hypercommodified, mass-mediated, performance-driven world of late capitalism.

Mothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right
Michelle Nickerson (Fletcher Jones Fellow, 2005-06)

Mothers of Conservatism tells the story of 1950s Southern Californian housewives who shaped the grassroots right in the two decades following World War II. Michelle Nickerson describes how red-hunting homemakers mobilized activist networks, institutions, and political consciousness in local education battles, and she introduces a generation of women who developed political styles and practices around their domestic routines.

Separated by Their Sex: Women in Public and Private in the Colonial Atlantic World
Mary Beth Norton (Los Angeles Times Distinguished Fellow, 2008-09)

In Separated by Their Sex, Mary Beth Norton offers a bold genealogy that shows how gender came to determine the right of access to the Anglo-American public sphere by the middle of the eighteenth century.

Rival Queens: Actresses, Performance, and the Eighteenth-Century British Theater
Felicity Nussbaum (NEH Fellow, 2004-05)

In eighteenth-century England, actresses were frequently dismissed as mere prostitutes trading on their sexual power rather than their talents. Yet they were, Felicity Nussbaum argues, central to the success of a newly commercial theater. Urban, recently moneyed, and thoroughly engaged with their audiences, celebrated actresses were among the first women to achieve social mobility, cultural authority, and financial independence.

Citizen Explorer: The Life of Zebulon Pike
Jared Orsi (Billington/Occidental Fellow, 2008-09)

It was November 1806. The explorers had gone without food for one day, then two. Their leader, not yet thirty, drove on, determined to ascend the great mountain. Waist deep in snow, he reluctantly turned back. But Zebulon Pike had not been defeated. His name remained on the unclimbed peak-and new adventures lay ahead of him and his republic. In Citizen Explorer, historian Jared Orsi provides the first modern biography of this soldier and explorer, who rivaled contemporaries Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

Ireland, Enlightenment and the English Stage, 1740–1820 edited by David O’Shaughnessy
Ireland, Enlightenment and the English Stage, 1740–1820
David O’Shaughnessy (Marie Curie Fellow, 2017–18)

The theatre was a crucial forum for the representation of Irish civility and culture for the 18th-century English audience. Irish actors and playwrights, operating both as individuals and within networks, were remarkably popular and potent during this period, especially in London. As ideas of Enlightenment percolated throughout Britain and Ireland, Irish theatrical practitioners—actors, managers, playwrights, critics, and journalists—exploited a growing receptivity to Irish civility, and advanced a patriot agenda of political and economic autonomy.

Laughter: Notes on a Passion
Anca Parvulescu (Thom Fellow, 2008-09)

Most of our theories of laughter are not concerned with laughter. Rather, their focus is the laughable object, whether conceived of as the comic, the humorous, jokes, the grotesque, the ridiculous, or the ludicrous. In Laughter, Anca Parvulescu proposes a return to the materiality of the burst of laughter itself. She sets out to uncover an archive of laughter, inviting us to follow its rhythms and listen to its tones.

The Politics of Reproduction: Race, Disease, and Fertility in the Age of Abolition
Katherine Paugh (Thom Fellow, 2012-13)

The fertility of Afro-Caribbean women's bodies was at the crux of visions of economic success elaborated by many British politicians, planters, and doctors during the age of abolition. Reformers hoped that a home-grown labor force would obviate the need for the Atlantic slave trade. By establishing the ubiquity of visions of fertility and subsequent economic growth during the age of abolition, The Politics of Reproduction sheds fresh light on the oft-debated question of whether abolitionism was understood by contemporaries as economically beneficial to the British Empire.

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The Poverty of Disaster: Debt and Insecurity in Eighteenth-Century Britain
Tawny Paul (NEH, 2015-16)

Tawny Paul examines the role that debt insecurity played within society and the fragility of the credit relations that underpinned commercial activity, livelihood, and social status.

Consuming Splendor
Linda Levy Peck (Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellow, 1996-97)

A fascinating study of the ways in which the consumption of luxury goods transformed social practices, gender roles, royal policies, and the economy in seventeenth-century England. Linda Levy Peck charts the development of new ways of shopping; new aspirations and identities shaped by print, continental travel, and trade to Asia, Africa, the East and West Indies; new building, furnishing, and collecting; and the new relationship of technology, luxury and science.

Rhetoric, Politics, and Popularity in Pre-Revolutionary England
Markku Peltonen (Mellon Fellow, 2006-07)

Rhetoric, Politics and Popularity in Pre-Revolutionary England provides a completely new account of the political thought and culture of Elizabethan and early Stuart England. It examines the centrality of humanist rhetoric in the pre-revolutionary educational system and its vital contribution to the political culture of the period.

Jews and Gentiles in Early America, 1654-1800
William Pencak (Mellon Fellow, 2002-03)

Jews and Gentiles in Early America offers a uniquely detailed picture of Jewish life from the mid-seventeenth century through the opening decades of the new republic. Though the first national census in 1790 counted barely three thousand Jews, the Jewish community was nevertheless far more important in the history of early America than their numbers suggest, author William Pencak reveals in this fascinating chronicle of an often-overlooked aspect of American Jewish history.

The English Atlantic in an Age of Revolution, 1640-1661
Carla Pestana (NEH Fellow, 1996-97)

Between 1640 and 1660, England, Scotland, and Ireland faced civil war, invasion, religious radicalism, parliamentary rule, and the restoration of the monarchy. Carla Gardina Pestana offers a sweeping history that systematically connects these cataclysmic events and the development of the infant plantations from Newfoundland to Surinam.

The Treasure of the San José: Death at Sea in the War of the Spanish Succession
Carla Rahn Phillips (Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellow, 2005-06)

Sunk in a British ambush in 1708, the Spanish galleon San José was rumored to have one of the richest cargos ever lost at sea. Though treasure hunters have searched for the wreck's legendary bounty, no one knows exactly how much went down with the ship or exactly where it sank. Here, Carla Rahn Phillips confronts the legend of lost treasure with documentary records of the San José's final voyage and suggests that the loss of silver and gold en route to Spain paled in comparison to the loss of the six hundred men who went down with the ship.

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The Four Deaths of Acorn Whistler: Telling Stories in Colonial America
Joshua Piker (NEH Fellow, 2006-07)

Who was Acorn Whistler, and why did he have to die? A deeply researched analysis of a bloody eighteenth-century conflict and its tangled aftermath, The Four Deaths of Acorn Whistler unearths competing accounts of the events surrounding the death of this Creek Indian.

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Okfuskee: A Creek Indian Town in Colonial America
Joshua Piker (Thom Fellow, 2002-03)

A work of original scholarship and compelling sweep, Okfuskee is a community-centered Indian history with an explicitly comparativist agenda. Joshua Piker uses the history of Okfuskee, an eighteenth-century Creek town, to reframe standard narratives of both Native and American experiences.

Left in the Dust: How Race and Politics Created a Human and Environmental Tragedy in L.A.
Karen Piper (Thom Fellow, 2000-01)

An intensely personal story crossed with a political potboiler, Left in the Dust is a unique and passionate account of the city of Los Angeles's creation, cover-up and inadequate attempts to repair a major environmental catastrophe.

Incest and Agency in Elizabeth’s England
Maureen Quilligan (Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellow, 1999-00)

Maureen Quilligan explores the remarkable presence in the Renaissance of what she calls "incest schemes" in the books of a small number of influential women who claimed an active female authority by writing in high canonical genres and who, even more transgressively for the time, sought publication in print.

Identity, Crime, and Legal Responsibility in Eighteenth-Century England
Dana Rabin (Thom Fellow, 2000-01)

During the eighteenth century English defendants, victims, witnesses, judges, and jurors spoke a language of the mind. With their reputations or lives at stake, men and women presented their complex emotions and passions as grounds for acquittal or mitigation of punishment. Inside the courtroom the language of excuse reshaped crimes and punishments, signalling a shift in the age-old negotiation of mitigation. Outside the courtroom the language of the mind reflected society's preoccupation with questions of sensibility, responsibility, and the self.

Painting the Heavens: Art and Science in the Age of Galileo
Eileen Reeves (NEH Fellow, 1995-96)

The remarkable astronomical discoveries made by Galileo with the new telescope in 1609-10 led to his famous disputes with philosophers and religious authorities, most of whom found their doctrines threatened by his evidence for Copernicus's heliocentric universe. In this book, Eileen Reeves brings an art historical perspective to this story as she explores the impact of Galileo's heavenly observations on painters of the early seventeenth century.

The Science of the Soul in Colonial New England
Sarah Rivett (NEH Fellow, 2007-08)

The Science of the Soul challenges long-standing notions of Puritan provincialism as antithetical to the Enlightenment. Sarah Rivett demonstrates that, instead, empiricism and natural philosophy combined with Puritanism to transform the scope of religious activity in colonial New England from the 1630s to the Great Awakening of the 1740s.

Mayhem: Post-War Crime and Violence in Britain, 1748-53
Nicholas Rogers (Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellow, 2009-10)

After the end of the War of Austrian Succession in 1748, thousands of unemployed and sometimes unemployable soldiers and seamen found themselves on the streets of London ready to roister the town and steal when necessary. In this fascinating book Nicholas Rogers explores the moral panic associated with this rapid demobilization.

The Rush to Gold: The French, and the California Gold Rush, 1848-1854
Malcolm Rohrbough (NEH Fellow, 2004-05)

The California Gold Rush began in 1848 and incited many "wagons west." However, only half of the 300,000 gold seekers traveled by land. The other half traveled by sea. And it's the story of this second group that interests Malcolm Rohrbough in his authoritative new book, The Rush to Gold.

New Netherland Connections: Intimate Networks and Atlantic Ties in Seventeenth-Century America
Susanah Shaw Romney (Fletcher Jones Fellow, 2010-11)

Susanah Shaw Romney locates the foundations of the early modern Dutch empire in interpersonal transactions among women and men. As West India Company ships began sailing westward in the early seventeenth century, soldiers, sailors, and settlers drew on kin and social relationships to function within an Atlantic economy and the nascent colony of New Netherland.

Mysteries of Sex: Tracing Women and Men through American History
Mary Ryan (Avery Distinguished Fellow, 2001-02)

In a sweeping synthesis of American history, Mary Ryan demonstrates how the meaning of male and female has evolved, changed, and varied over a span of 500 years and across major social and ethnic boundaries. She traces how, at select moments in history, perceptions of sex difference were translated into complex and mutable patterns for differentiating women and men.

Beyond Alliances: The Jewish Role in Reshaping the Racial Landscape of Southern California
George Sanchez (NEH Fellow, 2002-03)

This volume focuses on the special role that Jews played in reshaping the racial landscape of southern California in the twentieth century. Rather than considering this issue in terms of broad analyses of organizations or communities, each contribution instead approaches it by examining the activity of a single Jewish individual, and how he or she navigated the social terrain of a changing southern California.

See America First: Tourism and National Identity, 1880-1940
Marguerite Shaffer (Mellon Fellow, 1999-00)

In See America First, Marguerite Shaffer chronicles the birth of modern American tourism between 1880 and 1940, linking tourism to the simultaneous growth of national transportation systems, print media, a national market, and a middle class with money and time to spend on leisure.

Trying Biology: The Scopes Trial, Textbooks, and the Antievolution Movement in American Schools
Adam Shapiro (Dibner Fellow, 2009-10)

In Trying Biology, Adam R. Shapiro convincingly dispels many conventional assumptions about the 1925 Scopes "monkey" trial. Most view it as an event driven primarily by a conflict between science and religion. Countering this, Shapiro shows the importance of timing: the Scopes trial occurred at a crucial moment in the history of biology textbook publishing, education reform in Tennessee, and progressive school reform across the country.

Selling the Tudor Monarchy: Authority and Image in Sixteenth-Century England
Kevin Sharpe (Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellow, 2001-02)

In this book a leading historian reveals how Tudor kings and queens sought to enhance their authority by presenting themselves to best advantage. Kevin Sharpe offers the first full analysis of the verbal and visual representations of Tudor power, embracing disciplines as diverse as art history, literary studies, and the history of consumption and material culture.

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The World that Fear Made: Slave Revolts and Conspiracy Scares in Early America
Jason Sharples (NEH, 2012-13)

From the Stono Rebellion in 1739 to the Haitian Revolution of 1791 to Nat Turner's Rebellion in 1831, slave insurrections have been understood as emblematic rejections of enslavement, the most powerful and, perhaps, the only way for slaves to successfully challenge the brutal system they endured. In The World That Fear Made, Jason T. Sharples orients the mirror to those in power who were preoccupied with their exposure to insurrection. 

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Herbs and Roots: A History of Chinese Doctors in the American Medical Marketplace,
Tamara Venit Shelton (ACLS, 2017-18)

In this intricately crafted history, Tamara Venit Shelton chronicles the dynamic systems of knowledge, therapies, and materia medica crossing between China and the United States from the eighteenth century to the present.

A Strange Likeness: Becoming Red and White in Eighteenth-Century North America
Nancy Shoemaker (NEH, 1998-99)

The histories told about American Indian and European encounters on the frontiers of North America are usually about cultural conflict. This book takes a different tack by looking at how much Indians and Europeans had in common. In six chapters, this book compares Indian and European ideas about land, government, recordkeeping, international alliances, gender, and the human body.

A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx
Elaine Showalter (Avery Distinguished Fellow, 2004-05)

An unprecedented literary landmark: the first comprehensive history of American women writers from 1650 to the present. In a narrative of immense scope and fascination, here are more than 250 female writers, including the famous—Harriet Beecher Stowe, Dorothy Parker, Flannery O'Connor, and Toni Morrison, among others—and the little known, from the early American bestselling novelist Catherine Sedgwick to the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Susan Glaspell.

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Permanent Revolution: The Reformation and the Illiberal Roots of Liberalism
James Simpson (Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellow, 2013-14)

A brilliant assault on many of our deepest assumptions, Permanent Revolution argues that far from being driven by a new strain of secular philosophy, the British Enlightenment is a story of transformation and reversal of the Protestant tradition from within.

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Hippies, Indians, and the Fight for Red Power
Sherry L. Smith (Los Angeles Times Distinguished Fellow, 2009-10)

Through much of the 20th century, federal policy toward Indians sought to extinguish all remnants of native life and culture. That policy was dramatically confronted in the late 1960s when a loose coalition of hippies, civil rights advocates, Black Panthers, unions, Mexican-Americans, Quakers and other Christians, celebrities, and others joined with Red Power activists to fight for Indian rights. In Hippies, Indians and the Fight for Red Power, Sherry Smith offers the first full account of this remarkable story.

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City Water, City Life: Water and the Infrastructure of Ideas in Urbanizing Philadelphia
Carl Smith (Avery Distinguished Fellow, 2009-10)

A city is more than a massing of citizens, a layout of buildings and streets, or an arrangement of political, economic, and social institutions. It is also an infrastructure of ideas that are a support for the beliefs, values, and aspirations of the people who created the city. In City Water, City Life, celebrated historian Carl Smith explores this concept through an insightful examination of the development of the first successful waterworks systems in Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago between the 1790s and the 1860s.

Friends and Strangers: The Making of a Creole Culture in Colonial Pennsylvania
John Smolenski (Thom Fellow, 2003-04)

In Friends and Strangers, John Smolenski argues that Pennsylvania's early history can best be understood through the lens of creolization—the process by which Old World habits, values, and practices were transformed in a New World setting. Unable simply to transplant English political and legal traditions across the Atlantic, Quaker leaders gradually forged a creole civic culture that secured Quaker authority in an increasingly diverse colony.

Brabbling Women: Disorderly Speech and the Law in Early Virginia
Terri Snyder (Thom Fellow, 1996-97)

By examining women's use of language, Terri L. Snyder demonstrates how women resisted and challenged oppressive political, legal, and cultural practices in colonial Virginia. Contending that women's voices are heard most clearly during episodes of crisis, Snyder focuses on disorderly speech to illustrate women's complex relationships to law and authority in the seventeenth century.

The Culture of Translation in Anglo-Saxon England
The Culture of Translation in Anglo-Saxon England
Robert Stanton (Thom Fellow, 1998–99)

Translation was central to Old English literature as we know it. Most Old English literature, in fact, was either translated or adapted from Latin sources, and this is the first full-length study of Anglo-Saxon translation as a cultural practice. This 'culture of translation' was characterized by changing attitudes towards English: at first a necessary evil, it can be seen developing increasing authority and sophistication.

The Gentlewoman’s Remembrance: Patriarchy, Piety, and Singlehood in Early Stuart England
Issac Stephens (NEH Fellow, 2013-14)

A microhistory of a never-married English gentlewoman named Elizabeth Isham, this book centres on an extremely rare piece of women's writing - a recently discovered 60,000-word spiritual autobiography held in Princeton's manuscript collections that she penned around 1639.

Popular Fiction and Brain Science in the Late Nineteenth Century
Anne Stiles (Thom Fellow, 2009-10)

This book examines the cultural impact of neurological experiments on late-Victorian Gothic romances by Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker, H. G. Wells and others. Novels like Dracula and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde expressed the deep-seated fears and visionary possibilities suggested by cerebral localization research, and offered a corrective to the linearity and objectivity of late Victorian neurology.

American Aristocrats
American Aristocrats: A Family, a Fortune, and the Making of American Capitalism
Harry S. Stout (Rogers Distinguished Fellow, 2011–12)

American Aristocrats is a multigenerational biography of the Andersons of Kentucky, a family of strivers who passionately believed in the promise of America. Drawing on a vast store of Anderson family records, Stout reconstructs their journey to great wealth as they rode out the cataclysms of their time, from financial panics to the Civil War and beyond.

The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth-Century England
John Styles (Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellow, 1995-96)

John Styles reveals that ownership of new fabrics and new fashions was not confined to the rich but extended far down the social scale to the small farmers, day laborers, and petty tradespeople who formed a majority of the population. The author focuses on the clothes ordinary people wore, the ways they acquired them, and the meanings they attached to them, shedding new light on all types of attire and the occasions on which they were worn.

Inglorious Revolution: Political Institutions, Sovereign Debt, and Financial Underdevelopment in Imperial Brazil
William Summerhill (ACLS Fellow, 2006-07)

Nineteenth-century Brazil's constitutional monarchy credibly committed to repay sovereign debt, borrowing repeatedly in international and domestic capital markets without default. Yet it failed to lay the institutional foundations that private financial markets needed to thrive. This study shows why sovereign creditworthiness did not necessarily translate into financial development.

Cover of Competing Visions of Empire
Competing Visions of Empire: Labor, Slavery, and the Origins of the British Atlantic Empire
Abigail Swingen (Thom, 2011-12)

Abigail L. Swingen’s insightful study provides a new framework for understanding the origins of the British empire while exploring how England’s original imperial designs influenced contemporary English politics and debates about labor, economy, and overseas trade.

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The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832
Alan Taylor (Ritchie Distinguished Fellow, 2012-13)

Frederick Douglass recalled that slaves living along Chesapeake Bay longingly viewed sailing ships as "freedom's swift-winged angels." In 1813 those angels appeared in the bay as British warships coming to punish the Americans for declaring war on the empire. Over many nights, hundreds of slaves paddled out to the warships seeking protection for their families from the ravages of slavery. The runaways pressured the British admirals into becoming liberators. As guides, pilots, sailors, and marines, the former slaves used their intimate knowledge of the countryside to transform the war.

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William Cooper’s Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic
Alan Taylor (Mead Foundation Fellow, 1993-94)

An innovative work of biography, social history, and literary analysis, this Pulitzer Prize-winning book presents the story of two men, William Cooper and his son, the novelist James Fennimore Cooper, who embodied the contradictions that divided America in the early years of the Republic. Taylor shows how Americans resolved their revolution through the creation of new social forms and new stories that evolved with the expansion of our frontier.

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American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804
Alan Taylor (Ritchie Distinguished Fellow, 2012-13)

The American Revolution is often portrayed as a high-minded, orderly event whose capstone, the Constitution, provided the ideal framework for a democratic, prosperous nation. Alan Taylor, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, gives us a different creation story in this magisterial history of the nation's founding.

Catching Nature in the Act: Réaumur and the Practice of Natural History in the Eighteenth Century
Mary Terrall (Dibner Fellow, 2009-10)

At the center of Terrall's study is René-Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur (1683–1757)—the definitive authority on natural history in the middle decades of the eighteenth century—and his many correspondents, assistants, and collaborators. Through a close examination of Réaumur's publications, papers, and letters, Terrall reconstructs the working relationships among these naturalists and shows how observing, collecting, and experimenting fit into their daily lives.

Devices and Desires: A History of Contraceptives in America
Andrea Tone (NEH Fellow, 1997-98)

In Devices and Desires, Andrea Tone breaks new ground by showing what it was really like to buy, produce, and use contraceptives during a century of profound social and technological change. A down-and-out sausage-casing worker by day who turned surplus animal intestines into a million-dollar condom enterprise at night; inventors who fashioned cervical caps out of watch springs; and a mother of six who kissed photographs of the inventor of the Pill -- these are just a few of the individuals who make up this riveting story.

Shades of Hiawatha: Staging Indians, Making Americans, 1880-1930
Alan Trachtenberg (Times Mirror Distinguished Fellow, 1998-99)

A century ago, U.S. policy aimed to sever the tribal allegiances of Native Americans, limit their ancient liberties, and coercively prepare them for citizenship. At the same time millions of arriving immigrants sought their freedom by means of that same citizenship. In this subtle, eye-opening new work, Alan Trachtenberg argues that the two developments were, inevitably, juxtaposed: Indians and immigrants together preoccupied the public imagination, and together changed the idea of what it meant to be American.

Fugitive Landscapes: The Forgotten History of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands
Samuel Truett (Mellon Fellow, 2004-05)

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Mexicans and Americans joined together to transform the U.S.–Mexico borderlands into a crossroads of modern economic development. This book reveals the forgotten story of their ambitious dreams and their ultimate failure to control this fugitive terrain.

Indian Work: Language and Livelihood in Native American History
Daniel Usner (Los Angeles Times Distinguished Fellow, 2003-04)

Representations of Indian economic life have played an integral role in discourses about poverty, social policy, and cultural difference but have received surprisingly little attention. Daniel Usner dismantles ideological characterizations of Indian livelihood to reveal the intricacy of economic adaptations in American Indian history.

A World Transformed: Slavery in the Americas and the Origins of Global Power
James Walvin (Los Angeles Times Fellow, 2019-20)

A comprehensive study of how slavery and enslaved people shaped the modern world.

U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth
Joan Waugh (NEH Fellow, 2001-02)

At the time of his death, Ulysses S. Grant was the most famous person in America, considered by most citizens to be equal in stature to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Yet today his monuments are rarely visited, his military reputation is overshadowed by that of Robert E. Lee, and his presidency is permanently mired at the bottom of historical rankings. In an insightful blend of biography and cultural history, Joan Waugh traces Grant's shifting national and international reputation, illuminating the role of memory in our understanding of American history.

Bárbaros: Spaniards and Their Savages in the Age of Enlightenment
David Weber (Times Mirror Distinguished Fellow, 2000-01)

This landmark book explores how Spain tried to come to terms with independent Indians on the frontiers of its American empire in the late 1700s.

The Last Indian War : The Nez Perce Story
Elliot West (Times Mirror Distinguished Fellow, 2002-03)

This newest volume in Oxford's acclaimed Pivotal Moments series offers an unforgettable portrait of the Nez Perce War of 1877, the last great Indian conflict in American history. It was, as Elliott West shows, a tale of courage and ingenuity, of desperate struggle and shattered hope, of short-sighted government action and a doomed flight to freedom.

The Politicians and the Egalitarians
The Politicians and the Egalitarians: The Hidden History of American Politics
Sean Wilentz (Los Angeles Times Fellow, 2010–11)

“There are two keys to unlocking the secrets of American politics and American political history.” So begins The Politicians & the Egalitarians, Princeton historian Sean Wilentz's bold new work of history.

The Capital of Free Women: Race, Legitimacy, and Liberty in Colonial Mexico
Danielle Terrazas Williams (Thom Fellow, 2018–19)

A restoration of the agency and influence of free African-descended women in colonial Mexico through their traces in archives.

Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815
Gordon Wood (Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellow, 1997-98)

The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. Now, in the newest volume in the series, one of America's most esteemed historians, Gordon S. Wood, offers a brilliant account of the early American Republic, ranging from 1789 and the beginning of the national government to the end of the War of 1812.

Prospero’s America: John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676
Prospero’s America: John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676
Walter Woodward (NEH Fellow, 2002-03)

In Prospero's America, Walter W. Woodward examines the transfer of alchemical culture to America by John Winthrop, Jr., one of English colonization's early giants. Winthrop participated in a pan-European network of natural philosophers who believed alchemy could improve the human condition and hasten Christ's Second Coming.

The Sound of Virtue: Philip Sidney’s Arcadia and Elizabethan Politics
The Sound of Virtue: Philip Sidney’s Arcadia and Elizabethan Politics
Blair Worden (Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellow, 1994-95)

Written around 1580, Philip Sidney's 'Arcadia' is a romance, a love story, a work of wit and enchantment set in an ancient and mythical land. But, as Blair Worden now startlingly reveals, it is also a grave and urgent commentary on Elizabethan politics. Under the protective guise of pastoral fiction, Sidney produced a searching reflection on the misgovernment of Elizabeth I and on the failings of monarchy as a system of government.

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Aesthetic Science: Representing Nature in the Royal Society of London, 1650-1720
Alexander Wragge-Morley (Fellow in the Caltech-Huntington Program for the Study of Materialities, Texts, and Images, 2013-14)

The scientists affiliated with the early Royal Society of London have long been regarded as forerunners of modern empiricism, rejecting the symbolic and moral goals of Renaissance natural history in favor of plainly representing the world as it really was. In Aesthetic Science, Alexander Wragge-Morley challenges this interpretation by arguing that key figures such as John Ray, Robert Boyle, Nehemiah Grew, Robert Hooke, and Thomas Willis saw the study of nature as an aesthetic project.

Attempts: In the Philosophy of Action and the Criminal Law
Attempts: In the Philosophy of Action and the Criminal Law
Gideon Yaffe (ACLS Fellow, 2008-09)

Gideon Yaffe presents a ground-breaking work which demonstrates the importance of philosophy of action for the law. Many people are serving sentences not for completing crimes, but for trying to. So the law governing attempted crimes is of practical as well as theoretical importance. Questions arising in the adjudication of attempts intersect with questions in the philosophy of action, such as what intention a person must have, if any, and what a person must do, if anything, to be trying to act.