By Tiana Wilson After reading this book in three different graduate seminar courses, I can confidently argue that Marisa Fuentes’ Dispossessed Lives: Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive is one of the most important texts of our time, and a must read for anyone interested in overcoming the limitations of archival research. For many scholars […]
By Isabelle Headrick The Isle Bourbon and the Isle de France lie in the southern Indian Ocean, 1,200 miles off the southeast coast of Africa. France acquired the islands in 1638 and 1715, respectively, and developed Isle Bourbon as a provisioning stop for grain and livestock for ships traveling between Europe and India. Although these islands […]
By Horus T’an The opium myth is one of the most important pillars of the conventional narrative of modern Chinese history. According to the myth, opium is presumed to be a highly addictive narcotic and highly harmful to its users’ health, and Great Britain used its military superiority to impost the shameful opium trade on China […]
By Sumit Guha Empires ancient and modern are large, hierarchical organizations, structurally founded on deep inequalities of risk and reward. The British Empire in Asia was no exception. At the front lines of imperial power were, all too often, common men (and some women) who were tricked, cozened, misled, coerced, and whipped into serving as […]
by A. G. Hopkins Whether commentators assert that the United States is resurgent or in decline, it is evident that the dominant mood today is one of considerable uncertainty about the standing and role of the “indispensable nation” in the world. The triumphalism of the 1990s has long faded; geopolitical strategy, lacking coherence and purpose, […]
by Diana Heredia López A biography of an English scientist during the early Enlightenment may not seem like cutting edge scholarship.. In Collecting the World, James Delbourgo tells the multifaceted story of Hans Sloane, an Englishman who amassed a collection of nearly eighty thousand natural objects and curiosities through his work in natural history, commerce, […]
By Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra How can the life of an artisan who specialized in punchcutting and engraving help us shed light on “the idea of the Spanish Enlightenment”? Donahue-Wallace offers an illuminating perspective on the Enlightenment through the biography of an expert medal caster, Jerónimo Antonio Gil, whose career took him from provincial Zamora to Madrid […]
As we come to the end of the school year, we end our series of monthly features on teaching history with a creative assignment devised by one of our US History professors. Instead of assigning only written or oral work, Robert Olwell was one of a handful of History faculty who asked their students to make video essays on specific topics related to the course.
The Constitution’s ban on religious tests prompted the nation’s first debate in 1788 about whether a Muslim – or a Catholic or a Jew – might one day become president of the United States. William Lancaster, a delegate to the North Carolina convention to ratify the Constitution, worried: “But let us remember that we form a government for millions not yet in existence.