University Lecturer in the History of Early America and the Atlantic World and Fellow, Robinson College
Cambridge CB3 9AN
Sarah Pearsall holds degrees from Yale, Cambridge, and Harvard, where she completed her PhD in Nov. 2001. She was the Mellon Fellow in American History and a Junior Research Fellow at Clare College, Cambridge from 2000-2001. She has held teaching positions at St Andrews University, Northwestern University, and Oxford Brookes University (where she was a Reader in American History). Her research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the British Academy, the American Historical Association, the Huntington Library, and the Newberry Library, among others. She joined the Cambridge Faculty in 2012.
Subject groups/Research projects
Departments and Institutes
Her research specializes in the history of North America in the early modern era, especially the colonial and revolutionary periods of what is now the United States. Her work probes the intersections of gender, households, and sexuality with the development, maintenance, and end of colonies in a North Atlantic world. She also has interests in Atlantic and Caribbean history, broadly conceived.
Sarah Pearsall is happy to supervise MPhil and PhD dissertations on most aspects of American, Atlantic, and Caribbean history for the period 1500-1815.
In Part I, Paper 22 (North American History from 1607 to 1865).
In Part II, Dissertations.
Other Professional Activities
She serves on the editorial collective of Gender and History, as well as the editorial board of History (Journal of the Historical Association). She is North American Editor for History Compass. She is a member of the Committee on the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize in American History, Organization of American Historians. She has co-organized several conferences, most recently (with Julie Hardwick and Karin Wulf), “Centering Families in Atlantic Worlds, 1500-1800,” Institute for Historical Studies, University of Texas, Austin-Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture (March 2011). She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
- Beyond One Man and One Woman: A History of Early American Polygamy (in progress)
- Atlantic Families: Lives and Letters in the Later Eighteenth Century (Oxford University Press, 2008, Paperback, 2010). Winner, Women’s History Network Prize.
Articles and Chapters (Selected)
- "'Having Many Wives' in Two American Rebellions: The Politics of Households and the Radically Conservative," American Historical Review (October 2013)
- with Julie Hardwick and Karin Wulf, “Centering Families in Atlantic Worlds, 1500-1800” William and Mary Quarterly (April 2013)
- “Women in the Revolutionary War” in Jane Kamensky and Edward G. Gray, eds. Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2012)
- “Polygamy and Bigamy,” Oxford Bibliographies Online: Atlantic History, ed. Trevor Burnard, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)
- “Letters and Letter-Writing,” Oxford Bibliographies Online: Atlantic History, ed. Trevor Burnard, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)
- “Citizens of the World: Men, Women, and Country in the Age of Revolution,” in Old World, New World: America and Europe in the Age of Jefferson, eds. Leonard J. Sadosky, Peter Nicolaisen, Peter S. Onuf, and Andrew J. O’Shaughnessy (University of Virginia Press, 2010)
- “Gender” in The British Atlantic, 1500-1800, eds. David R. Armitage and Michael Braddick (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2002, revised edition, 2009)
- “Hume—and Others—on Marriage” in Impressions of Hume, eds. P. J. E. Kail and Marina Frasca-Spada (Oxford University Press, 2005)
- “‘The late flagrant instance of depravity in my Family’: The Story of an Anglo-Jamaican Cuckold,” William and Mary Quarterly 60:3 (July 2003)