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e_randolph

Early Americanists!

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While we wait to hear back from the schools we've applied, and per an earlier suggestion in the Fall 2019 applicants thread, I thought it would be nice to have a place for early Americanists to congregate.  If you fall into this category, I'd like to know what your research is -- or will be!  What are you reading right now?  Whose work have you learned from the most?

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I work on the intersection of the early American and French Atlantic. My most recent project was a comparative analysis of American local declarations of independence and French Cahiers de Doleances. In the most basic terms, I looked at both as lists of grievances at the onset of revolution to try and get in the mindset of how common citizens on both sides of the Atlantic viewed the potential changes to society that were at hand. I also wanted to see if common Americans influenced common French citizens via their conception of rights, liberties, etc. My research grew from a frustration with the fact that seemingly all history comparing the American and French Revolutions focuses on elites. 

For my next project I'd like to study French Azilum (an area that remarkably has little to no scholarship) from an Atlantic lens.

Oh, and I'm currently reading Apostles of Revolution by John Ferling which is quite good, despite my desire for my own research to move away from the comparative study of revolutionary elites.

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29 minutes ago, villageelliot said:

I work on the intersection of the early American and French Atlantic. My most recent project was a comparative analysis of American local declarations of independence and French Cahiers de Doleances. In the most basic terms, I looked at both as lists of grievances at the onset of revolution to try and get in the mindset of how common citizens on both sides of the Atlantic viewed the potential changes to society that were at hand. I also wanted to see if common Americans influenced common French citizens via their conception of rights, liberties, etc. My research grew from a frustration with the fact that seemingly all history comparing the American and French Revolutions focuses on elites. 

For my next project I'd like to study French Azilum (an area that remarkably has little to no scholarship) from an Atlantic lens.

Oh, and I'm currently reading Apostles of Revolution by John Ferling which is quite good, despite my desire for my own research to move away from the comparative study of revolutionary elites.

Your research sounds fascinating!  Both spotlighting understudied experiences and focusing on understudied areas are such valuable tendencies.  I'm trying to do something similar -- studying early American borderlands and urban centers through a political lens, especially focusing on the slaves, women, freedmen, farmers, and Indigenous people who bore the brunt of American expansion, both physically and ideologically.

Right now, I'm reading Joanne Freeman's The Field of Blood, which I got my hands on this fall but am only tearing into now.  As expected, it's amazing.

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1 hour ago, e_randolph said:

Your research sounds fascinating!  Both spotlighting understudied experiences and focusing on understudied areas are such valuable tendencies.  I'm trying to do something similar -- studying early American borderlands and urban centers through a political lens, especially focusing on the slaves, women, freedmen, farmers, and Indigenous people who bore the brunt of American expansion, both physically and ideologically.

Right now, I'm reading Joanne Freeman's The Field of Blood, which I got my hands on this fall but am only tearing into now.  As expected, it's amazing.

Your research sounds fascinating as well! Border regions are such a hot topic right now and there are so many questions just begging to be answered. Especially when you focus on people left out of the traditional narrative as you are.

I haven't heard of The Field of Blood but I'll have to check it out. Next on my list is either The Days of the French Revolution or The Expanding Blaze. I also just finished 1789 which was an incredible read.

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2 minutes ago, villageelliot said:

Your research sounds fascinating as well! Border regions are such a hot topic right now and there are so many questions just begging to be answered. Especially when you focus on people left out of the traditional narrative as you are.

I haven't heard of The Field of Blood but I'll have to check it out. Next on my list is either The Days of the French Revolution or The Expanding Blaze. I also just finished 1789 which was an incredible read.

You would enjoy Freeman's earlier book: Affairs of Honor. 

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1 hour ago, e_randolph said:

Your research sounds fascinating!  Both spotlighting understudied experiences and focusing on understudied areas are such valuable tendencies.  I'm trying to do something similar -- studying early American borderlands and urban centers through a political lens, especially focusing on the slaves, women, freedmen, farmers, and Indigenous people who bore the brunt of American expansion, both physically and ideologically.

Right now, I'm reading Joanne Freeman's The Field of Blood, which I got my hands on this fall but am only tearing into now.  As expected, it's amazing.

We have similar interests, although your focus is a fair bit broader than my own. I look forward to reading your work one day ?

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2 minutes ago, Dark Paladin said:

We have similar interests, although your focus is a fair bit broader than my own. I look forward to reading your work one day ?

That's very kind!  Yes, I suspect I'll have to to narrow my interests down quite a bit in advance of my dissertation.  If you don't mind me asking, what're your primary interests? 

Affairs of Honor is WONDERFUL -- My first major project in undergraduate was roughly modeled after the way Freeman marries violence and politics in the book.  She is such a skilled historian and I was lucky enough to meet her in the fall when she was giving book talks :) 

 

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2 hours ago, e_randolph said:

Your research sounds fascinating!  Both spotlighting understudied experiences and focusing on understudied areas are such valuable tendencies.  I'm trying to do something similar -- studying early American borderlands and urban centers through a political lens, especially focusing on the slaves, women, freedmen, farmers, and Indigenous people who bore the brunt of American expansion, both physically and ideologically.

Right now, I'm reading Joanne Freeman's The Field of Blood, which I got my hands on this fall but am only tearing into now.  As expected, it's amazing.

Also interested in borderlands and contested spaces. In particular, mutually influencing legal cultures and practice / territorial jurisprudence and land rights + acquisition. Right now, I'm rereading The Divided Ground by Alan Taylor. Offhand, some scholars on the intellectual trajectory have been Jack Rackove, Peter Onuf, Paul Finkelman, Carl Ekberg, William Blume, Eliga Gould, Robert Cover, Saul Cornell among many others.    

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These are all very interesting research interests! My interests are primarily in intellectual history from the colonial through the early national periods (although I generally tend to focus on the Revolution in my research). I'm currently reading The Second Creation by Jonathan Gienapp. Some of the scholars who have influenced me most (besides the usual suspects, like Bailyn, Wood, Appleby, et al.) are Craig Yirush, Max Edling, John Phillip Reid, Daniel Walker Howe, Alison LaCroix, Douglas Bradburn, and Eliga Gould.

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6 hours ago, federalist51 said:

Pardon the redundancy in my post. "Interesting" probably isn't the best adjective to use in describing "interests." ?

This is a judgment-free zone! Americanists supporting Americanists.

So far we have a great array of interests! How’s everyone doing with the wait? I’m maintaining sanity solely by the grace of good American whisky, just like GW would have wanted.

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11 hours ago, e_randolph said:

So far we have a great array of interests! How’s everyone doing with the wait? I’m maintaining sanity solely by the grace of good American whisky, just like GW would have wanted.

Trying to focus on my work but it's SO hard. And my early American drink of choice is madeira.

Speaking of whiskey, have you had Washington's whiskey brewed at the Mount Vernon estate? They use his recipe and 18th century tools and it's quite good (albeit quite expensive).

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20 hours ago, e_randolph said:

That's very kind!  Yes, I suspect I'll have to to narrow my interests down quite a bit in advance of my dissertation.  If you don't mind me asking, what're your primary interests? 

Affairs of Honor is WONDERFUL -- My first major project in undergraduate was roughly modeled after the way Freeman marries violence and politics in the book.  She is such a skilled historian and I was lucky enough to meet her in the fall when she was giving book talks :) 

 

Broadly speaking, my interest is in how the "ideology(s)" of the American Revolution informed the logic and infrastructure of American expansion from the perspective of "frontier" actors in the early national period. 

Joanne Freeman is amazing indeed! 

If you haven't already read it, I strongly suggest Robert Parkinson's recent book The Common Cause. 

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1 hour ago, Dark Paladin said:

Broadly speaking, my interest is in how the "ideology(s)" of the American Revolution informed the logic and infrastructure of American expansion from the perspective of "frontier" actors in the early national period. 

Joanne Freeman is amazing indeed! 

If you haven't already read it, I strongly suggest Robert Parkinson's recent book The Common Cause. 

Sounds like there may be some similarities between our research. I'm interested in the emergence and trajectory of differing conceptions of the nature of the Revolution, especially as they related to political and constitutional debates. I'm looking at divisions within the Patriot cause, but mostly from an ideological (as opposed to a socially or economically-focused) vantage.

I agree with both you and @e_randolph--Freeman is a tremendous scholar!

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9 hours ago, villageelliot said:

Trying to focus on my work but it's SO hard. And my early American drink of choice is madeira.

Speaking of whiskey, have you had Washington's whiskey brewed at the Mount Vernon estate? They use his recipe and 18th century tools and it's quite good (albeit quite expensive).

Madeira is an ICONIC choice. Unfortunately, when I was most recently at Mount Vernon, I was oppressively hungover and barely made it through his distillery and gristmill,  to say nothing of drinking his whiskey.

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Hello! I'm hoping to study religious life, Euro-Wabanaki encounters, and material culture in Early Maine. I'm particularly interested in envisioning the area as a spiritual borderlands/contested space, and I'm currently reading Homelands and Empires by Jeffers Lennox. I hope to meet some of you this year!

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So nice to read about everyone's research, all of this sounds fascinating! I'm embarrassed to stay I had to look up what French Azilum was, but that is so interesting. I'll look into it more if I find the time! 

Very rough summary of my own interests: right now, I'm focusing on French settler-colonialism in 18th-century lower French Louisiana (roughly, present day Louisiana and Mississippi) and on Franco-Indian relations, especially in terms of sexual behaviors. I'm generally focusing on the many aspects of the sexual component of colonization (ie imposed sexual norms, sexual violence, etc). I've also been looking into Spanish settler-colonialism lately and I'm hoping to expand on that a lot more during my PhD. Like many of you, I'm very interested in issues of perspective (whose 'side of the story' are we focusing on? whose voices have been left out of traditional narratives? etc). Generally, in the context of these interests, I've really enjoyed the works of Jennifer Spear, Juliana Barr, and Patricia Galloway.

At the moment, I'm doing research for an essay about declension narratives, as it relates to indigenous history. I have a bunch of articles and book chapters lined up, but I think I will pick up David Weber's Bárbaros: Spaniards and Their Savages in the Age of Enlightenment next.

(Also Homelands and Empires by Jeffers Lennox sounds really interesting, adding it to my reading list!)

 

 

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