Department of History
College of Liberal Arts
The scholarship of historian Evan Haefeli concentrates on the colonial period of American History. He has studied the North American frontier between New France and New England, early Native American history, the Salem witchcraft trials, political revolts in seventeenth-century New York, captivity narratives and the nature of book publishing in colonial America, and the politics of religious toleration in the Dutch empire, especially in New Netherland. His latest book, Pluralism by Accident: English Expansion and the Failure of American Religious Unity, 1497-1662, will be published next year by the University of Chicago Press.
His Arts & Humanities Fellowship will support research toward completing a new book, Anti-popery: The First Bias of American Freedom, which will examine the importance of anti-Catholicism in American politics and culture by interpreting it through the broader lens of anti-popery: an ideology of liberty dating back to the Protestant Reformation that defined itself against the tyranny and corruption reformers associated with the papacy. Taking a long view from colonial America into the 20th century, Haefeli will reveal the surprising and unpredictable ways that anti-popery ideology has shaped the American experience of freedom. Haefeli has already conducted extensive research on this subject as the editor of a volume on anti-popery, which is now under consideration for publication with the University of Virginia Press. He will use the Arts & Humanities funding to support additional archival research. He plans to finish a manuscript draft by summer 2021 and to secure a contract and publish the book through an academic press in 2022.