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Bright Professor & Chair of History
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401-4999
Bright Institute Participants
Catherine Johnson Adams earned her M.A. in American Studies from Michigan State University and her Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She has been a member of the SUNY Geneseo faculty since 2007. Her research interests and teaching specialties are Early American History, African American History, United States Women's History, Local and Public History, and Material Culture. She is the co-author (with Elizabeth H. Pleck) of Love of Freedom: Black Women in Colonial and Revolutionary New England, Oxford University Press, (2010).
Courtney Pierre Joseph is an Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies at Lake Forest College. She teaches classes on African American History, African diaspora studies, and the history of hip hop. Her research interests include social activist movements and black immigrant identity and community, with her forthcoming book focused on the Haitian community in Chicago.
Christian Ayne Crouch is Associate Professor of Historical Studies and Director of American Studies at Bard College, where she teaches American, Native American, and Atlantic history. She is the author of Nobility Lost: French and Canadian Martial Cultures, Indians, and the End of New France (Cornell University Press 2014) which received the 2015 Mary Alice and Philip Boucher Prize of the French Colonial Historical Society for the best book in French colonial history, 1600-1815. As a scholar of the Atlantic world, borderlands, and intercultural exchange, she has also written about Native American-African American exchanges and memory and family during and after the Seven Years' War. Her current book project, Queen Victoria's Captives: A Story of Ambition, Empire, and a Stolen Ethiopian Prince, looks at the human consequences of a 19th century Ethiopian-British conflict. This work also brings East African history into dialogue with Atlantic and Native American Studies and explores the impact of early modern North American imperial interactions on the era of "high" colonialism.
Lori J. Daggar is Assistant Professor of History at Ursinus College near Philadelphia. She is a scholar of early American and Native American history and the author of "The Mission Complex: Economic Development, ‘Civilization,' and Empire in the Early Republic" in the Journal of the Early Republic, 36 (Fall 2016 ). Her book manuscript in progress, Cultivating Empire: Philanthropy, Profit, and the Negotiation of American Imperialism in Indian Country, traces the development of American empire by exploring the ideas, politics, and consequences of mission work, emerging capitalism, and philanthropy in Indian Country during the early nineteenth century. Daggar's work demonstrates that historians should not understand missions and "civilizing" policies simply as tools for assimilation. Rather, it shows that missions were hinges for economic and political development that offered Native peoples an additional discourse and means to negotiate for power.
At Ursinus College, Daggar teaches courses ranging from Early American History to 1877, Native North America, American Indian Activism and Red Power, and a course on the history of Philadelphia. In the classroom, she encourages students to contemplate difficult questions of gender, race, and class by emphasizing interdisciplinary thinking, active learning strategies, and discussion.
Jonathan Hancock is Assistant Professor of History at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. A graduate of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Public Schools, Dartmouth College, and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, he teaches courses on early North American and Native American history. His work has appeared in the Journal of the Early Republic, The Princeton Companion to Atlantic History, and Warring for America: Cultural Contests in the Era of 1812. He is currently completing Convulsed States: Earthquakes, Prophecy, and the Making of Nations in Early America, a book manuscript based on his dissertation research, which examines how people sought to explain the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12 at a time when prophets, politicians, and other authorities offered competing visions of nationhood in Native and Euro American polities. His new projects include an essay on Native Americans and the Declaration of Independence and a history of tribal communities in the South Carolina Lowcountry near Charleston.
Michael Hughes currently teaches early American history at Augustana College. Recently joining the faculty, he has taught courses on the Revolutionary era and Native American history and surveys on early American history. His research interests include Native American and legal history, as well as histories of race and empire. His current work investigates the process of empire building in the continental interior during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He looks at the formation of indigenous political alliances at a time when British and American traders and government agents sought greater political, legal, and economic control. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016.
Carl Robert Keyes is an Associate Professor of History and Director of the Women's Studies Program at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is in the process of revising Advertising in Early America: Marketing Media and Messages in the Eighteenth Century. His chapter on advertising in America before the Civil War will appear in the forthcoming U.S. Popular Print Culture to 1860, the fifth volume of The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture.
Keyes publishes two digital humanities projects devoted to the history of advertising. The Adverts 250 Project, a daily research blog, examines an advertisement published in an American newspaper 250 years ago that day. The Slavery Adverts 250 Project republishes every advertisement for slaves published in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago that day.
Keyes has received fellowships from the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Program in Early American Economy and Society at the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library. In 2015 he was elected to membership of the American Antiquarian Society. Keyes earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan, an M.A. from The American University in Washington, DC, and a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.
Angela Keysor is an Assistant Professor of History at Allegheny College where her teaching and research focus on the histories of race, gender and healthcare in colonial and revolutionary-era New England. Currently, she is working on a manuscript entitled, Community Health Care Before the Rise of the Welfare State: Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1730-1820. Her project focuses on the changing healthcare networks and care institutions of eighteenth-century Massachusetts and the roles that needy women, African-Americans and the laboring poor inhabited within care relationships. Angela received a B.A. in History from The Ohio State University, a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in History from the University of Iowa.
When she is not focused on the lives of others in early American history, Angela's energies are centered on making her own histories with her family—her husband Brian and her daughter Olive.
Will B. Mackintosh is Associate Professor of History at the University of Mary Washington, where he teaches and writes about early American history, cultural and intellectual history, the history of travel and tourism, the history of the book, and the history of capitalism. He is the author of Selling the Sights: The Invention of the Tourist in American Culture (NYU Press, 2018), and is currently working on The Loomises of Central New York: The Rise, Fall, and Rise of a Gang and Their Region. He is also editor of The Panorama. For more information, please visit his website.
Tamika Nunley is an Assistant Professor of American history at Oberlin College. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in U.S. History from the University of Virginia, M.A. in African American Studies from Columbia University, and B.A. in Black World Studies and History at Miami University of Ohio (Oxford). Her research and teaching interests include slavery, race, gender, nineteenth-century legal history, digital history, and the American Civil War. Her book manuscript, At the Threshold of Liberty: Women, Slavery, and the Boundaries of Freedom in Washington, D.C. examines how black women strategically navigated the nation's capital and its borders during the Civil War era. The project focuses on the experiences of both enslaved and free black women to show how they interacted with the social, geographical, and legal demarcations of slavery and freedom. While at Oberlin, she started a Digital History Lab that invites undergraduates to gain experience with digital archiving and curating practices. The Woodrow Wilson and Mellon foundations have supported her work.
Monica Rico is Associate Professor of History at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where she has taught since 2001 and received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Research in 2014. Her research interests include early American history, environmental history, gender history, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. She published her book Nature's Noblemen: Transatlantic Masculinities and the Nineteenth-century American West in 2013 with Yale University Press. Her current research concerns the relationship between art, science, and gender in the early United States. Rico served as President of the Board of Directors of the Outagamie Country Historical Society for seven years, is active in numerous community organizations, and was named one of the Fox Cities' "Future Fifteen" emerging leaders in 2014. She recently returned from her fourth trip to China and enjoys classical music and spending time with her elderly Shiba Inu, Niko.
Bryan Rindfleisch is an Assistant Professor of History at Marquette University, where he teaches courses on Native American and Early American history. His book manuscript—which focuses on the intersection of colonial, Native, imperial, and Atlantic histories, peoples, and places in eighteenth-century North America—is under contract with the University of Alabama as part of its new series, Indians and Southern History. This work has been funded by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture, Newberry Library, David Library of the American Revolution, William L. Clements Library, and more. His work has also been featured in the journals of Early American Studies, Ethnohistory, Native South, The American Historian, New Hibernia Review, History Compass, George Historical Quarterly, among others. In addition, he serves as one of the co-editors of the interdisciplinary forum, H-AmIndian.
Bryan's second book project will focus on the "entangled histories" of Creek and Cherokee peoples in Early America. His hope is to demonstrate the complex, multi-dimensional intersections of Native American peoples and societies in the South, involving kinship and clan systems, politics and warfare, trade and economics, language and culture, ceremony and spirituality, space and mobility, sex and gender, and more.
Douglas C. Sackman (B.A. Reed College, Ph.D. UC Irvine) is a Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Puget Sound. He is the author of Orange Empire: California and the Fruits of Eden, Wild Men: Ishi and Kroeber in the Wilderness of Modern America, and the editor of A Companion to American Environmental History. He is currently working on two book projects: American Panorama: Rediscovering the History of the North American West, which aims to paint a new, broad history of the West, at once sweeping and intimate, beginning in the deep past of the region, and Pacific World Passages: Trafficking Nature & Culture across the Waterways of the Pacific Ocean, an exploration of nature, transpacific exchange, and the making of a Pacific World in the late eighteenth and nineteenth century, focusing on the trade in otters, whales, and trees. His teaching and research areas include the history of the North American West, environmental history, and Native American history. Recent public lectures include ones on art and the North American West at the Tacoma Art Museum and the California Gold Rush for the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle.
Bridgett Williams-Searle is an Associate Professor of History and Department Chair of the History and Political Science Department at the College of Saint Rose, Albany, NY. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, her M.A. from Youngstown State University, and her B.A. from Hiram College. Her research and teaching interests include colonial and revolutionary U.S. history, constitutional development and state formation in the American interior, indigenous history of the Americas, and race, sexuality, and households in the construction of imperial legalities. Her current research project examines the dynamic, contingent, and reciprocal relationship between individuals, households, and the state in lands north of the Ohio River and east of the Wabash River during an era of sustained imperial flux, 1760-1830. She plans to rethink the ways in which households and the bodies within them negotiated this extraordinarily fluid society at the edge of multiple intersecting imperial legalities (French, British, and American). While it's definitely a history from the bottom up, it is even moreso a history from the center out—placing reproductive and coerced labor of households in the North American interior at the center of her interpretation of the rising American state.
More than 6,600 alumni, faculty, staff, and friends made gifts to Knox during FY2019. Gifts to the Knox Fund totaled more than $3.7 million, while another $7.6 million went toward campus facility improvements, including the Phase I renovation of the Umbeck Science-Mathematics Center.