Early America

Michigan’s Early America cluster commands a wide range of specialties and methodologies. Nationally renowned for its cultural and trans-regional approaches, it also embraces those who work on social, economic, religious, and intellectual aspects of Native American, White, and African American experience between 1485 and 1850 – on the ocean, along the coast, and deep into the interior.  The cluster’s twelve professors generally work at the intersections of several sub-fields:  some merge legal and intellectual or scientific and medical investigation, some combine cultural and gender history, while still others join social and economic analysis.  In the Early group, transnational exchanges are critical, whether they be Euro-American commercial and intellectual transfers, circum-oceanic evangelical religious movements, complex institutions intertwining African American and Native American lives, or different understandings and experiences of freedom circulating around the Caribbean and Atlantic basins.  Significant synergy occurs in the areas of women and gender, race and slavery, science and medicine, economic and material life, and the Atlantic World.  Enhancing our faculty’s work are the unique collections of the William L. Clements Library; this rare book and manuscript library on the central campus is particularly strong in the intellectual, cultural, political and military history of the Discovery era and the late colonial period, the Early Republic and the decades leading up to and including the Civil War.   Extensive use of its manuscript, print, and visual holdings is made in the training of graduate students.

Click here for a listing of faculty currently associated with this program area.

Click here for a listing of students currently associated with this program area.