Hilary 2018 Termcard: War in the Early American Republic, 1772-1820

Happy New Year, and welcome back to the Oxford Early American Republic Seminar! This term, OxEARS welcomes four young scholars whose work explores the varied experiences and meanings of war in the early republic. We hope historians from Oxford and elsewhere will be able to join us to explore this exciting new scholarship.

Week 2: Wednesday 23rd January, 5pm

Nicolas Bell-Romero (University of Cambridge)

‘Growing Pains: Epithets and the Problem of American Nationhood, 1776-1782’

Week 4: Wednesday 6th February, 5pm

Adam McNeil (University of Delaware)

‘Fear of a Negro Revolt: Southern Patriot Fears of Black Rebellion, 1772-1776’

Week 6: Wednesday 20th February, 5pm

Jack Campbell Tracey (University of Kent)

‘Loyalism in Motion: The Cultural Rituals of Georgia Loyalists, 1779-1782’

Week 8: Wednesday 6th March, 5pm

Sveinn Jóhannesson (Institute for Historical Research)

‘Science, the War of 1812, and the Hidden Transformation of America’s Central State, 1812-1820’

All of our events this term will take place at the Rothermere American Institute. Some of our papers will be pre-circulated: if you would like to read these papers but are not yet on our mailing list, please send an email to grace.mallon@univ.ox.ac.uk.

Michaelmas 2018 Termcard

We are very proud to present our inaugural termcard! Seminars will generally take place at 5.30pm every other Wednesday at the Rothermere American Institute on South Parks Road in Oxford.

Wednesday 17th October (Week 2)

Andrew Edwards (University of Oxford): ‘Making Revolutionary Money; Making Money Revolutionary: 1775-1776’

Wednesday 31st October (Week 4)

Meg Roberts (University of Cambridge): ‘Work, Manufacturing, and Disability in the Early Republic’

Wednesday 14th November (Week 6)

Liz Barnes (University of Reading): ‘Navigating Authorities in the Reconstruction South: Freedwomen and Community-Based Sexual Violence’

Wednesday 28th November (Week 8)

Don Ratcliffe (University of Oxford): ‘Henry Storrs and New Light on the Missouri Crisis’

Pre-circulated papers will be circulated via our mailing list a week in advance of the seminar: if you are not already on the mailing list and would like to be added, please email grace.mallon@univ.ox.ac.uk or stephen.symchych@sant.ox.ac.uk.

Two-Minute Review: Stephen Symchych on ‘New England Federalists’

Stephen Symchych, University of Oxford, reviews Dinah Mayo-Bobee, New England Federalists: Widening the Sectional Divide in Jeffersonian America (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2017)


Professor Mayo-Bobee’s work offers a fresh perspective on a somewhat under-followed area. By analyzing Federalists’ radicalism as a response to Republican policies beginning with the Haiti crisis of 1805–6, she effectively allows a re-thinking of the path of dissent that reached its anti-climax after the Hartford Convention. In addition, she provides a framework for enhancing our understanding of the role of slavery in the sectional divisions that eventually led to secession and Civil War. By extending the narrative beyond the death of Federalism and before the first Embargo bill, she has left room for additional work to be done in the decades after 1815, as well as before the Jeffersonian ascent in 1800. For these reasons, New England Federalists will doubtless hold interest to scholars and students. Readers in search of a less-concentrated writing style may also find that her original dissertation, which is more expansively and clearly written, remains well worth a look.


This is an extract from a longer piece published in Reviews in History in May 2018. Read the original review in full here.

Two-Minute Reviews by OxEARS

Read a book recently that you really loved – or a book that you really didn’t? OxEARS wants to know! Our series of two-minute reviews will provide a resource for students and teachers around the world to advise each other on the best texts to set and the most important books to read in early American studies, whether hot off the press or well-established on library shelves. Unlike academic journals, we aren’t looking for anything discursive – the shorter the better! Just identify your book and use these questions as a guide:


  • Does it answer the question it says it’s going to answer?
  • Is the thesis actually original, or can you get the same argument from a classic text?
  • Is it clear and easy to read?
  • Would it be a good text to set for a seminar/tutorial?


No need to conform to a strict word limit, but a guide length might be 300-400 words. Successful submissions will be published on our blog and shared by our Twitter account. Please do conform to our conflict-of-interest policy, and don’t submit a review if the author of the book is your best friend/graduate advisor/just wrote a glowing review of your own recent book! We look forward to reading your submissions, publishing your work, and building a useful resource for other researchers in the field. Send your reviews to grace.mallon@univ.ox.ac.uk or stephen.symchych@sant.ox.ac.uk.


Call for Papers

The Oxford Early American Republic Seminar will offer the opportunity for junior researchers to share and discuss their work on America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in depth with students and lecturers from other universities. The seminar would like to invite graduate students and early career researchers working in the United Kingdom to present at our Michaelmas Term sessions.



Following the example of the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford, where the seminar is based, we aim to promote an interdisciplinary approach to American studies. We therefore welcome submissions from disciplines across the humanities and social sciences including – but not limited to – history, geography, literature, political science, and economics.



It is expected that most sessions will involve discussion of projects that are currently in-progress. Presenters may pre-circulate a paper for an in-depth workshop-style session, or give a conference-style presentation on their research. Meetings will be held in Oxford at 5pm on Wednesday evenings in the autumn of 2018, with exact dates depending on availability of presenters. Thanks to generous funding from the Rothermere American Institute, the seminar is able to reimburse presenters for train fares when necessary, and invite them to dinner after the session.



All submissions should make their way to us by Sunday 30th September 2018 to be considered for this term’s seminar. Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words, a 100-word biography, and a preference to present or pre-circulate, to grace.mallon@univ.ox.ac.uk or stephen.symchych@sant.ox.ac.uk.