Fellow Reflections with Kirsten Fischer

A Fellow’s Experience: Kirsten Fischer We asked Kirsten Fischer, associate professor of history at the University of Minnesota and a former AAS Peterson Fellow (2016 –17), to discuss how her research at the Society helped shape her recently published book, American Freethinker: Elihu Palmer and the Struggle for Religious Freedom in the New Nation (2020). How did ...

An Interview with the Librarian

At the end of August 2018, long-time Marcus A. McCorison Librarian and Curator of Manuscripts Thomas G. Knoles will be retiring from AAS. After almost twenty-nine years at the Society, we wanted to be sure to tap Tom’s long institutional knowledge and his experiences in the library world. There was none better to do this ...

Interview with Gregory Nobles

Gregory Nobles is professor emeritus in the School of History and Sociology at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia, where he first started teaching in 1983. He just finished a term as Mellon Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the American Antiquarian Society. He has published and lectured widely on everything from early and revolutionary American politics to the American frontier to John James Audubon. His current work is tentatively titled “Betsey Stockton’s Mission: From Slavery to Freedom, From Princeton to the Pacific.” In this interview, Greg talks about this newest project, tells us a bit about the history of social history, and discusses how his work as a historian has affected his personal life.

Interview with Susanna Blumenthal

In this interview, Susanna Blumenthal, a professor in the law school and the Department of History at the University of Minnesota and AAS-NEH Fellow at the Society during the 2016-17 academic year, discusses everything from her early years as a graduate student in the law school and History Department at Yale, where she worked with David Brion Davis, to the philosophical foundations of her first book. She also talks about the important role AAS played in her efforts to understand critical legal cases having to do with fraud in the nineteenth-century U.S.

Interview with Chris Phillips

In this interview Chris Phillips, associate professor of English at Lafayette College, discusses his own epic adventures searching in libraries and archives for material that formed the foundation of his newest book, The Hymnal Before the Notes: A History of Reading and Practice, which Chris began working on at AAS several years ago. He also talks about his early years as a graduate student working with Jay Fliegelman, the nature of epic in America, libraries and reading, and even reads a little Milton poetry for us.

A new podcast from Past is Present!

Last year on Past is Present we featured a series of interviews with American Antiquarian Society fellows in order to showcase their thoughts about writing history and work with the Society's collections. This year we’ve decided that, instead of transcribing those interviews, we will make them available as podcasts. This will let our readers (and ...

Meet AAS Fellow Linford Fisher

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Linford Fisher is associate professor of history at Brown University, where he studies and teaches the religious history of colonial America and the history of Indian and African slavery and servitude. His first book, The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America, was published by Oxford University Press in ...

Richard and Claudia Bushman, AAS Distinguished Scholars in Residence


Richard and Claudia Bushman are the AAS Distinguished Scholars in Residence for the 2014-2015 academic year. Richard is Gouverneur Morris professor emeritus of history at Columbia University and the recipient of many honors, including the Bancroft Prize. His new book, which he plans to finish while at AAS, is on American farming in the eighteenth century. Claudia ...

Meet AAS Fellow Cole Jones


Trenton Cole Jones received his PhD in History from Johns Hopkins University in 2014 and is presently a Hench Post-Dissertation Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society. Cole was just awarded an NEH fellowship at the New York Historical Society for next year and has also been hired as an assistant professor of early American history at Purdue University. While on fellowship at AAS, ...

Meet AAS Fellow Melanie Kiechle


Melanie Kiechle is assistant professor of history at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and is presently an American Antiquarian Society-National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Society. Her current project is entitled “Smell Detectives: An Olfactory History of Nineteenth-Century America" and she recently sat down with us to discuss her work and research ...

Meet AAS Fellow Sean Moore


Sean Moore is Associate Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire and recently completed an American Antiquarian Society-National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship at the Society. His work has received support from a variety of institutions, including the John Carter  Brown Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Fulbright program, and he has just ...