Taylor Sig.gif




Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Early American History

Department of History, University of New Mexico

Email: tspence@unm.edu




2018-19 Academic Affairs Core Curriculum Faculty Fellow, University of New Mexico

2013 and 2014 Dean’s Commendation for Excellence in Teaching, Monash University  

2011 Lauréat, Association Internationale des Etudes Québécoises

1995 Fulbright Fellowship




2012 Ph.D., American History, Yale University

2008 M. Phil. with distinction, American History, Yale University

·         Orals Fields:

o   American History, 1492 – 1872

o   American Western History/ Environmental History

o   Social and Political History of Latin America

2008, MA, American History, Yale University

1998 Masters of Fine Arts, Painting, School of Visual Arts

1990 B.A., cum laude, History, Clark Honors College, University of Oregon


Supplemental Training


2018 Community of Practice, Community- and Service-Learning, Provosts Office, University of New Mexico

2012 Certificate of College Teaching Preparation, Graduate Teaching Center, Yale University

2012 Certificate: Teaching Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences Certification, Graduate Teaching Center, Yale University

2012 Course: “Why the Humanities Matter,” Graduate Teaching Center, Yale University

2012 Summer Seminar on Indigenous Studies, Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois,

2010-2012 Tutorial: Geographic Information System (GIS), Map Collection, Yale University



Books Contracted and Forthcoming

Endless Commons: Land Taking in Early America, 1783-1848

Expected, Fall 2020, University of Virginia Press, Jeffersonian America Series

Series Editors: Jan Ellen Lewis, Peter S. Onuf, Andrew O’Shaughnessy 

Advisory Editors: Frank Cogliano, Annette Gordon-Reed, David Konig, James Oakes, Alan Taylor

Book Chapters Forthcoming


“Historical Trauma and Early North America,” A Companion to Indigenous Global History, Lynette Russell and Anne McGrath, Editors, Routledge (2019)


“Agriculture in Colonial America,” A Companion to Agricultural History, R. Douglas Hurt Editor, Wiley-Blackwell (2021)


Refereed Articles Forthcoming


“Naming Violence in United States Colonialism,” The Journal of Social History, 51:3 (Fall 2019)


Refereed Articles Published



“The Trauma Consensus: History Method in the ‘Age of Trauma,’” Special Issue, “Rethinking Trauma: Witnessing Across History, Culture, and Time,” Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Vol. 31, No. 5 (October 2017) 671-681


“The Canada Thistle: The Pestilence of American Colonialisms and the Emergence of an Exceptionalist Identity, 1783-1837,” Agricultural History, Vol. 90, No.3 (Fall, 2016) 511-544


“Jeffersonian Jews: The Jewish Agrarian Diaspora and the Assimilative Power of the

Western Land, 1882-1930,” Western Historical Quarterly (Fall 2010), 327-353


Other Published Writings


Review of William S. Kiser’s Borderlands of Slavery: The Struggle Over Captivity and Peonage in the American Southwest, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 122, Number 2, October 2018, 228-229


Review of Laurie Arnold’s Bartering with the Bones of Their Dead: The Colville Confederated Tribes and Termination, New Mexico Historical Review, 89:1, Winter, 2014, 115-115


 “Pre-emption Act of 1841” in David Bernstein and Chris Magoc, Eds. Imperialism and Expansionism in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia, 4 volumes, (ABC-CLIO, 2014), co-authored with Zachary Quaratella


“Shays’s Rebellion,” Encyclopedia of the American Enlightenment, Mark. G. Spencer, Ed., (Bloomsbury, 2014), co-authored with Claire Priest


“Frontier,” “Land Policy,” and “Honor,” The Encyclopedia of United States Political

History, CQ Press, 2010



FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS                                                                                                


2018 Academic Affairs Core Curriculum Faculty Fellow, University of New Mexico

2016 Franklin Research Fellowship, American Philosophical Society, Pennsylvania

2014 McColl Fellowship, American Geographical Society, Wisconsin

2013 Research Fellowship, the Lewis Walpole Library, Connecticut

2013 Filson Fellow, Filson Historical Society, Kentucky

2011-2012 Visiting Research Fellow, McGill University, Quebec, Canada

2011 Doctoral Student Research Award, Canadian Government

2011 John F. Enders Award, Yale University

2009 Lamar Center for the Study of Frontiers and Borders Fellowship, Yale University

2008-09 Macmillan Pre-Dissertation Fellowship, Yale University

2008 Research Fellowship, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

2007 Pre-Prospectus Fellowship, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

2006-2008 Dominick Fellow, Yale University

2006 Agrarian Studies Fellowship, Yale University

2006 Ganzfreid Family Foundation Research Fellowship, Yale University





$57,800 USD external funds

$83,600 USD internal funds






August 2016 – Present, Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in Early American History, History Department, University of New Mexico

·         The United States History Survey, 1491-1898

o   lecture-based class with an emphasis on narrative and core history skills for freshmen

·         The Early American “Cycle:” Colonial America, The American Revolution, Early National America

o   mixed-format classes with a balance of lectures, in-depth discussions of monographs, and primary-source research for intermediate and advanced undergraduates

·         The Age of Revolutions in the Atlantic World

o   comparative history of revolutions that includes Native America, the United States, Haiti, and Latin America for intermediate undergraduates

·         Women, Race, and Power in Early America

o   comparative social history of Indigenous, European, and African women in Early America for intermediate undergraduates

·         United States Environmental History

o   an upper-level survey of the field from the late eighteenth-century to the present adaptable to graduate students

·         Research and Writing Early American Histories

o   methods and practices seminar for advanced undergraduates

·         History of the University of New Mexico

o   service-learning course for freshmen, where students researched, wrote, and helped design a website highlighting the diverse history of the University of New Mexico

o   http://timeline.unm.edu/index.html

o   advised undergraduate and graduates informally


July 2013 – July 2016, Lecturer Level B (Assistant Professor), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

·         Nations at War

o   eighteenth and nineteenth-century social and political history of nationalism in the Americas and Europe

·         Race and Rights in Twentieth-Century America

o   social, cultural, and political history of American Civil Rights from the Civil War to Reagan

·         Colonial America: From Puritans to Revolutionaries

o   history of European colonialism in North and South America from 1492-1800

·         American Empire: The United States from Colonies to Superpower

o   traces the cultural and political origins of U.S. global power in the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Century U.S. and Latin America

·         The American Civil War and Reconstruction Era

o   social and cultural history of the American Civil War from African-American, Native-American, and settler colonial perspectives

·         Advised ten honors students in American history and International Studies to the successful completion of their honors theses

2012 – 2013, Visiting Assistant Professor, University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee




2018 Lead Scholar, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Tempe, Arizona

2016 – 2020 Adjunct Research Fellow, Monash Indigenous Centre, Monash University

2016 – 2019 Editorial Board, Agricultural History

2015 Co-Chair, Australian New Zealand American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Monash University

2015 Thesis Examiner, David Reiss, Unseen Commons: Natives, Newcomers and Ideas of the Land in the Atlantic World, 1783-1870, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia

2013-2106 Everett E. Edwards Award Committee, Agricultural History Association

2014 Comment for the Panel: The Contemplative Planter: Antebellum Southern Agricultural Reform and the Inward Gaze, Agricultural History Association Annual Meeting, Provo, Utah

2012-2014 Membership Committee, Western History Association

2010 Co-Chair The Past’s Digital Presence: Database, Archive, and Knowledge Work in the Humanities, Symposium, Yale University

1999-2005 New York City Licensed Historical Tour Guide




2018-2019 Co-Creator (with Dr. Fred W. Gibbs) of UNM’s Certificate in Digital Cultural Heritage (available Fall Semester, 2020)


2018-2019 Member of the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Section, Department of History, University of New Mexico


2018 Guest Educator, Institute for Community Identity & Leadership, Global Education Office, University of New Mexico


2017-2018 Co-Convener, Spatial Humanities Working Group (SHWG), Department of History, University of New Mexico


2016-2015 Convener, Monash Indigenous Theory Reading Exchange (MITRE)


2015 Name Reader, Graduation Ceremony. Monash University


2015 American History Curriculum Review Committee, Monash University


2013-2015 Research Committee, School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies, Monash University


2014 Website Committee, History Program, Monash University


2013 Member, University Choir, University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee


2013 Faculty Liaison, Gay-Straight Alliance, University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee


2010-2011 Co-Convener (with Adam Tooze) Historical Theory Reading Colloquium, Yale University


2009-2010 Convener, Western History Luncheon, Yale University





2019 Selected Participant, “’Mexico-Texas-Canada’: Continental Networks of Coercion, 1835-1838,” “The Power of Borders: Historical Perspectives on Unity and Division in Global Borderlands” -- 1st Biennial Symposium of Texas A&M University-San Antonio's Global Borders & Borderlands History Program, April 19-20, 2019


2017 Selected Participant, Identities in Translation International Workshop, “’What’s in a name?’ How Tipidutawiŋ became “Scarlet House” during the Dakota-US War (1862-1878): A cross-disciplinary study,” co-authored with Dr. Angela Tiziana Tarantini (Translation Studies) and Dr. Ruben Benatti (Linguistics)


2017 Selected Participant, “The Translation Encounter: Using Translation Studies and Linguistics to reconstruct the ‘Violence of Translation’ during the Dakota-US war (1862-1878); A cross-disciplinary study” (jointly with Drs. Ruben Benatti and Angela Tiziana Tarantini), Transcollaborate, Monash University, Prato Centre 


2016 Invited Participant, “The Canadian Revolution and the American People Workshop,” the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


2016 Selected Participant, “The Translation Encounter: using Cultural Linguistics to Reconstruct the “Violence of Translation” during the Dakota-US war (1862-1878); A Cross-Disciplinary Study,” Applied Linguistics Association of Australia Annual Meeting, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, co-authored with Angela Tiziana Tarantini and Dr. Ruben Benatti.


2016 Panelist, Naming as an Act of Colonial Violence: One Case Study from the Nineteenth-Century Northern Great Plains, for symposium Connecting Indigenous Histories – Scholarship in and on Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, Latrobe University, Melbourne, Australia


2015 Panelist, Jewish Diasporas and the “Other” in the Global West, the Western Historical Association Annual Meeting, Portland, Oregon


2015 Panelist, Commons in Comparison: The Transnational Culture of Customary Rights to Land in Nineteenth Century France and the United States and Animal Pathways in the Making of a North American Borderland, 10,000 BCE to 1534, Agricultural History Association Annual Meeting, Lexington, Kentucky


2015 Panelist, Haudenosaunee Survivance, Australian New Zealand American Studies Association, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

2014 Selected Participant, Symposium: Researching and Documenting Histories of Trauma, Australian Centre for Jewish Civilization, Monash University


2013 Panelist, Women at the Crossroads: The Legal and Political Fight to Reverse Indian Removal in Seneca,1838-1887, Organization of American Historians, San Francisco, California


2013 Selected Participant, On Our Own Grounds: The Legacy of William Apess, a Pequot – A Symposium, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts


2011-2012 Participant, Yale School of Law Indigenous Law and Legal Theory Reading Group, Yale University


2012 Panelist, Border Crossing and Rituals of Return: Haudenosaunee Land-Right Culture in the Diasporic Period, 1848-Present, Western Historical Association Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado


2012 Selected Participant, Summer Institute “Territory, Commemoration, and Monument: Indigenous and Settler Histories of Place and Power,” Newberry Consortium in American Indian Studies, Summer Institute, Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois


2011 Panelist, Exiled from Niobrara: The Fall of Samuel Hinman and the Process of Greater Reconstruction in Sioux Country, Western History Association Annual Meeting, Oakland, California


2011 Public Lecture: Exiled from Niobrara: The Fall of Samuel Hinman and the Civil War in Sioux Country, 1862-1930, Tesoro Cultural Center, Morrison, Colorado

2010 Selected Participant, Comparative History Workshop, The Harriet Tubman Institute for

Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples, York University, Toronto


2010 Panelist, “Indian Storytelling in Making Community and Resisting Conquest in North American History,” paper title, The Stretched Longhouse: An Alternate Map of Iroquoia during the Period of the Bordering of British Canada and the United States, 1800-1850, a paper given for the panel, Western History Association Annual Meeting, Lake Tahoe


2010 Panelist, Transnational Values: The Panic of 1837 in that ‘Other North American Country,’ British and French Canada, Agricultural History Association Annual Meeting, Winter Park, Florida

2010 Panelist, Progress and Power in State Policy: New York and the Canadas, 1791-1850, paper title: The Canada Thistle: Progress and the Pestilence of Liberalism across the Northern Borderland, Society for the Historians of the Early American Republic Annual Meeting, Rochester, New York


2009 Panelist, The Canada Thistle: the Pestilence of Liberalism and the Blowing Currents of Empire across the Iroquois Borderland, Agricultural History Society Annual Meeting, Little Rock, Arkansas


2008 Panelist, A Home for the Wandering Jew: Diasporic Jews on the Land of North America, Western History Association Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah





“Reporting from the Edges of Exceptionalism: Early American History in Oceania in 2016,” Op-Ed, Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History, May 27, 2016,  https://earlyamericanists.com/tag/taylor-spence/


Interviewed Expert, “Animals in History,” WildBear Productions, Canberra, Australia, May 12, 2016





French (advanced), Spanish (reading knowledge)






Agricultural History Association

American Historical Association

American Society for Environmental History

Coalition for Western Women’s History

Western Historical Association





After graduating from the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon with a degree in the history of Late Antiquity in 1990, I became a watercolor and oil painter, and lived in New Orleans and Wyoming.  In 1995 I won a Fulbright Fellowship and studied fresco in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  In 1998 I earned my Masters of Fine Arts in Painting at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.  I attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1998. As a muralist I completed seven major public fresco projects including on the 91st Floor of World Trade Center One in 2000. In 2005 I returned to graduate school at Yale University where I earned my doctorate in American History in 2012, specializing in Early America, Western American History, Indigenous Histories, and Environmental History.


As an historian, I have lectured in both public and academic settings. I have published several peer-reviewed articles on Early American history, Native American history, and Historical Trauma, and the University Press of Virginia will publish my first book. I have taught and advised ungraduated and graduate students in a small liberal arts college, and three major universities in three states and on two separate continents. I have been a postdoctoral fellow in Early American history at the University of New Mexico since 2016. I continue to hold an Adjunct Research affiliation with the Monash Indigenous Centre at Monash University, in Melbourne, Australia.







The Chinese Massacre of 1885, Community Fine Arts Center, Rock Springs, WY



Theory and History at Yale http://theoryandhistory.yale.edu





Melissa Bokovoy, Professor and Chair Department of History

University of New Mexico

MSC-06 3760, 302 Cornell NE

1 University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: +1 (505) 277-2451

Email: mbokovoy@unm.edu


John Mack Faragher, Howard R. Lamar Prof of History & American Studies

Director Howard R. Lamar Center

Yale University

P.O. Box 208324

New Haven, CT 06520-8324

Phone: +1 (203) 432-3311, 432-2328 (Lamar Ctr.)

Email: john.faragher@yale.edu


Claire Priest, Professor of Law

Yale Law School

P.O. Box 208215

New Haven, CT 06520

Phone: +1 (203) 432-4851

Email: claire.priest@yale.edu


Lynette Russell, Professor and Director, Monash Indigenous Centre

Monash University

Room S812, Menzies Building
20 Chancellors Walk
3800 Clayton, Victoria, Australia

Phone: +61 (03) 9905 3812

Email: lynette.russell@monash.edu


Paul Sabin, Associate Professor of History & 

Director, Undergraduate Studies, Environmental Studies
Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8324

Phone: +1 (203)-436-2516
Email: paul.sabin@yale.edu


Dr. Carolyn James, Associate Professor and Convener of History, Acting Director Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, School of Philosophical, Historical, and International Studies, Monash University

Menzies Building, 20 Chancellors Walk, West Wing

3800 Clayton, Victoria, Australia

Phone: +61 (03) 9905 3267

Email: carolyn.james@monash.edu