Karen Kupperman

Silver Professor; Professor of History

Cambridge, PhD 1978

Areas of Research/Interest: 

Early modern Atlantic world; American colonization; American Indian history


Karen Ordahl Kupperman, who holds a PhD from Cambridge University, is Silver Professor of History at New York University. Her scholarship focuses on the Atlantic world in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, particularly contacts and ventures between Europe and America and the ways that participants interpreted each other. The Jamestown Project was published by Harvard University Press early in 2007. The second edition of her book Roanoke: The Abandoned Colony was also published in 2007. Her book, Indians and English: Facing Off in Early America (Ithaca, 2000), won the American Historical Association's Prize in Atlantic History, and Providence Island, 1630-1641: The Other Puritan Colony (Cambridge, 1993) won the AHA's Albert J. Beveridge Award for the best book in American History. She has edited Captain John Smith: A Select Edition of His Writings (1988) and America in European Consciousness (1995). Her article "Apathy and Death in Early Jamestown," published in the Journal of American History, won the Organization of American Historians' Binkley-Stephenson Award. Her critical edition of Richard Ligon's A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbadoes (1657, 1673) was published in 2011 and The Early Modern Atlantic World will be published in 2012 as part of the Oxford New World History series by Oxford University Press.

Silver Dialogues Essay

Historians have recently been adopting an Atlantic model for the history of the founding period of American history and this approach is transforming our understanding. Colonization has always been an Atlantic subject, of course; it is by definition the transportation of European people and institutions westward across the ocean and the import of people, goods, and influences eastward into the Old World. In older paradigms, this field was configured as imperial history, focusing on institutional relationships between capitals in Europe and settlers in America, or economic history that dealt with the production, procurement, and organization of trade and tradegoods across and around the Atlantic and beyond. Sometimes culture was the formulating principle, looking at the flow of religious, political, artistic, and other ideas and influences. Read More...

Updated on 08/15/2014