I specialize in the history of early America and the American West. My current book project, tentatively-titled Rivers of Power: Indians and Colonists at the Crossroads of America (under contract with Harvard University Press), combines social and environmental history to present a new view of colonialism in early America. Rivers of Power embeds intertwined Native and imperial histories in the physical landscape of Middle America, a vast region encompassing much of the central Mississippi River valley. In the centuries between the collapse of the ancient metropolis of Cahokia around A.D. 1300 and the rise of the imperial United States in the early 1800s, power flowed through the kinship-based alliances and social networks that controlled travel and communication along the many rivers of the midcontinent. Drawing on a range of English-, French-, and Spanish-language sources, as well as ethnographies, oral histories, and the archaeological record, this book reveals the power of personal relationships and the environment to shape the course of empires and nations.
Assistant Professor, Department of History
Department of History