Three Professors of the History Department Thrive at the Omohundro Institute

By Elizabeth Romero Student Intern of CHASS College Computing
January 13, 2009

The Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture is known for its esteemed Fellowships, resulting in publications related to the colonial, revolutionary, and early national periods of American history. The Institute also focuses on the interrelated history of the British Isles, Europe, West Africa, and the Caribbean. The main criterion for selection for an Institute Fellowship is the strength of the individual's dissertation or book manuscript. The Institute only publishes four or five books a year through the University of North Carolina Press.

Three professors, all from the History department, have been (or are currently) recipients of Fellowships at the Omohundro Institute. Three professors from one history department is a record unparalleled by any other university.

Jonathan Eacott will be a postdoctoral fellow with the Institute from 2009-2011; He will be revising his first book manuscript for publication which will explore "the far-reaching economic, industrial, social, and political importance of decisions made by Britons, colonists, and Americans to assimilate the production and consumption of such India goods as cotton cloth and umbrellas into their local economies and societies, while they associated other India goods, such as hookah pipes and palanquins, with the East."

Alexander Haskell spent 2006-2008 at the Institute. His book, Commonwealth Virginia: Rhetoric and the Creation of an Early-Modern Atlantic Polity, currently being readied for publication, "offers a new model for interpreting colonial British American politics by exploring the relationship between political rhetoric and the problem of polity-formation in one characteristic colonial society." 

Steven Hackel's research specializes on the Spanish Borderlines, colonial California, and California Indians. Hackel had his first book, Children of Coyote, Missionaries of Saint Francis: Indian-Spanish Relations in Colonial California, 1769-1850, published by the Instititute in 2005. A reviewer  commented on Hackel's book, stating: "Steven Hackel reminds us that the colonial history of North America did not begin in 1607 or end in 1776, nor was it limited to the Atlantic seaboard. This richly detailed study addresses major themes in the American experience, including religion, historical demography, and sexuality, and forcefully inserts the history of Spanish colonial America into the larger historical world of early America.

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