Interview with Zachary M. Bennett, 2023 Murrin Prize Winner

Zachary M. Bennett’s article, “‘Canoes of Great Swiftness’: Rivercraft and War in the Northeast” EAS 21, No. 2 (Spring 2023), won the 2023 Murrin Prize. The Murrin Prize is named for John Murrin (1936-2020), Professor Emeritus of History at Princeton University, who was a scholar of early American history and an active member of the McNeil Center community. The prize is awarded annually for the best article in EAS. The prize…

“Native Copper”: Exhibiting Anishinaabe Wealth at the U.S. National Museum – Gustave Lester, 2023 Murrin Prize Honorable Mention

Gustave Lester’s article, “Land, Fur, and Copper: The Union of Settler Colonialism and Industrial Capitalism in the Great Lakes Region, 1815–1842,” EAS 21, No. 1 (Winter 2023), received an honorable mention for the 2023 Murrin Prize. The Murrin Prize is named for John Murrin (1936-2020), Professor Emeritus of History at Princeton University, who was a scholar of early American history and an active member of the McNeil Center community. The prize…

Interview with Peter Olsen-Harbich, Associate Director, MCEAS

As the spring semester winds down, Peter J. Olsen-Harbich is also finishing up his first year as the McNeil Center’s new Associate Director with the remit of Academic Affairs. It’s an exciting time for MCEAS, and we at EAS Miscellany wanted to learn more about his work at the Center and in the field of early American studies more generally. Peter graciously took the time to answer some questions posed…

Call for Submissions: Reconceptualizing Religion in Early African American Literature

For a special guested-edited issue on early African American literature and religion, Early American Studies seeks article-length contributions on how 18th and 19th century Black writers reconceptualized religion beyond the telos of the nation-state. The roles of religion and religious thought in early Black culture have often been understood within the dualistic frame of resistance whereby Christianity, the dominant religion of colonial and antebellum American society, is both employed by…

Contemporaneous and Contemporary French Perspectives on the American Revolution: Revisiting the French-American Connection? – Carine Lounissi

The American Revolution was a world event. All of Europe and its colonies were interested in what happened in the North American colonies. French authors and journalists published extensively on the conflict. Consequently, there is a huge corpus of printed materials and archives in continental Europe that scholars are currently exploring to better understand the intellectual, political, economic, and diplomatic aspects of American Independence. In addition, the presence in France…

Roundtable: The American Revolution in France – Kevin Butterfield and Bertrand Van Ruymbeke

The histories of France and the United States are closely intertwined, to say the least. Since 1778, the very existence of the two nations has more than once hinged on the willingness of one nation to come to the aid of the other. But the histories of the two nations have been more interconnected than the historiographies – the way historians have written about those histories. Scholars in both countries…

French Scholars on the American Revolution: Bridging Horizons? – Emilie Mitran

Prior to commencing my journey to a Ph.D., I spent a semester in 2013 studying history at MIT with the remarkable Pauline Maier. While discussing my doctoral project centered on Gouverneur Morris, her audible gasp punctuated our conversation, “Ah! The Gouv!” She then quipped: “Well, it will be a good thing to have a French perspective on Morris’s affairs in France.” It marked the first time I was pleasantly reminded…

Reading French Sources for a Better Understanding of the American Revolution – Leïla Tnaïnchi

Seeing the American Revolution through French eyes allows historians to have a more global understanding of this major event. The French correspondence of Benjamin Franklin and the archives of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs offer us many details about launching the United States as a sovereign state. These sources help us to understand the difficulties American commissioners Benjamin Franklin, Arthur Lee, John Adams, and John Jay faced, their strategies,…

Our Shared Legacy – Hugo Toudic & Céline Spector

Self-knowledge sometimes requires complete distance from the familiar. Such is the famous method used in the Persian Letters, the epistolary novel that was a landmark of the Enlightenment and brought fame to the young Montesquieu. In this tale, two young Persians travel to Paris and observe, half amused, half dismayed, the delights of life in an already decadent capital. Their outsider’s view enables the European reader to take a lucid…

The French-American Alliance through the Eyes of Chastellux and Vioménil – Iris de Rode

As the author of a doctoral dissertation and two books exploring French participation in the American Revolution, my examination of this historical epoch unfolds from a unique vantage point – the French perspective. A pivotal aspect of my research involves delving into untapped source material from private French collections. Foremost among these are the private papers of French Major General François-Jean de Chastellux (1734-1788), who served directly under General Rochambeau.…