Missouri Regional Seminar on Early American History

Launched with the Kinder Institute in 2014, the Missouri Regional Seminar on Early American History (MRSEAH) provides scholars working on topics related to American history before 1900 with an opportunity to share research-in-progress with colleagues from around the Midwest in a constructive and convivial workshop setting. We welcome work on all aspects of American history, broadly defined Missouri-style to extend geographically throughout the Americas and Atlantic World, and chronologically from pre-colonial times forward through the 19th century.

Drawing its core members from faculty, graduate students, and public historians of the greater St. Louis area and Missouri River Valley, the MRSEAH meets twice per academic semester, once each in St. Louis and Columbia, with plans in the works for a fifth seminar in Kansas City.

A call-for-presenters for 2023-24 MRSEAH meetings will be issued in Summer 2023 to everyone on our list of regular invitees. Any questions can be sent to MRSEAH co-convener and Kinder Institute Chair in Early American History Jeff Pasley,

Seminar Logistics

For each meeting, presenters pre-circulate an article- or chapter-length manuscript-in-progress a few weeks prior to the seminar. MRSEAH proceedings commence with opening remarks from an interlocutor—typically a seminar regular—who then leads a discussion with all attendees. Presenters have travel expenses and accommodations (if necessary) paid for, and both the presenter and interlocutor receive a modest honorarium.

St. Louis meetings of the MRSEAH are held at a bar or restaurant in the metro area, and Columbia meetings are held in the Kinder Institute’s seminar room on the fourth floor of Mizzou’s Jesse Hall, followed by a dinner out on the town. In addition to fall and spring meetings, a summer gathering in the Kansas City area is currently being considered.

MRSEAH meetings are by invitation. Anyone who would like to be added to the list of people who receive e-vites in the weeks prior to the meetings should contact Thomas Kane,

Past MRSEAH Presenters

Since its inaugural event in 2014 the MRSEAH has built a reputation as one of the most constructive and convivial such history seminars in the country. Works-in-progress that have been presented at the seminar have subsequently appeared as chapters in a number of prominent books, and as articles in many journals, including in The William and Mary Quarterly, Slavery and Abolition, Modern Intellectual History, and The Journal of the Early Republic. See below for a full roster of past MRSEAH presenters and papers (since 2015).


David Waldstreicher, CUNY-Graduate Center, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Amistad: John Quincy Adams, the Shutdown, and the Restart of Antislavery Politics, 1787-1836”

Micah Alpaugh, University of Central Missouri, “The Sons of Liberty and the Making of Modern Social Movements”

David Robertson, University of Missouri-St. Louis, “State and Landscape”

Lily Santoro, Southeast Missouri State University, “‘An apt emblem’: Natural Sciences and Devotion among the Laity in the Early Republic”


Sung Yup Kim, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, “The Five Pounds Act and Its Enemies”

Robert Paulett, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, “Florida, the Proclamation of 1763, and the Idea of a Beautiful America”

Jessica Roney, Temple University, “Rogue State Making”

David Konig, Washington University, “Thomas Jefferson: How a Real Estate Lawyer Became Philosopher of the American Revolution”


Alan Taylor, University of Virginia, “Continental Revolutions”

Jay Sexton, University of Missouri, from A Nation Forged by Crisis

Johann Neem, Western Washington University, “From Polity to Exchange: The Fate of Democracy in Early American Historiography”

Sarah L. H. Gronningsater, University of Pennsylvania, “‘Expressly recognized by our election laws’: Certificates of Freedom and the Multiple Fates of Black Citizenship in the Early Republic”


Michael Blaakman, Princeton University, “The Marketplace of American Federalism: Land Speculation across State Lines in the Early Republic”

Reeve Huston, Duke University, “The Other 1828”

Dael Norwood, University of Delaware, “Destabilizing Entanglements: How the Flow of Opium, Cotton, and Capital Restructured Americans’ Relationships with China, Britain, and their Own Government during the Jacksonian Era”

Al Zuercher Reichardt, University of Missouri, “To Feed the Empire: Pennsylvania Settlement Schemes, the Walking Purchase, and Visions of British Political Economy”


Matt Mason, Brigham Young University, “The Constitutional Politics and Legacy of the Somerset Decision”

Nathan Marvin, University of Arkansas-Little Rock, “‘Few families here are free of black blood’: Negotiating Whiteness in France’s Indian Ocean Colonies, 1767-1790”

Katlyn Carter, University of Notre Dame, “Debating State Secrecy during the American Revolution”

Gareth Davies, University of Oxford (St. Anne’s College), “Dealing with Disaster before Disaster Politics, 1789-1850”


Katrina Thompson Moore, Saint Louis University, “The Wench: White Male Caricaturization of Black Women in the Jacksonian Age”

Gautham Rao, American University, “Slavery National: The Futigive Slave Law of 1850 and the Remaking of the American State”

Andrew J. B. Fagal, Papers of Thomas Jefferson, and Craig Hollander, College of New Jersey, “‘A terror to others’: Thomas Jefferson’s Quiet Campaign against the Slave Trade, 1801-1807”

Rebeccah Bechtold, Wichita State University, “‘My ears flop in your favor’: Early American Plantation Novels and the Sounds of Slavery”


Matthew Crow, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, “The Constitutions of Herman Melville”

Alyssa Penick, University of Virginia Postdoctoral Research Fellow, “Church, State, and Property Confiscation”

Mackenzie Tor, MU Ph.D. Candidate, “Temperance, Abolition, and Antebellum Black Reform Thought, 1820-1860) / Evan Turiano, CUNY-Graduate Center Ph.D. Candidate, “‘This National Crime’: Kidnapping and Interstate Comity in the 1820s)

Dan Mandell, Truman State University, “Indian Sovereignty and Rights in the U.S., 1780-1830”


Sarah B. Snyder, American University, “The Significance of American Expatriates, Identity, and Overseas Institutions on U.S. Foreign Relations”

Kenneth Owen, University of Illinois-Springfield, “Reinventing the West: The State of Franklin, Secessionism, and the New Constitution”

Anne Twitty, 2021-23 Kinder Institute Distinguished Visiting Professor of Legal History, “Reviving Constitutional Ratification”

Jordan Pellerito, University of Missouri History Ph.D. Candidate, “‘The Want of Associations’: Early American Travel, Tourism, and Transatlantic Belonging”; and Kendyl M. Schmidt, Saint Louis University American Studies Ph.D. Candidate, “Columns of Corpses: Resistance to Dissection and Short Stories in Antebellum American Newspapers”