Joanne B. Freeman, Professor of History, specializes in the politics and political culture of the revolutionary and early national periods of American History. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. Her most recent book, Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic (Yale University Press), won the Best Book award from the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic, and her edited volume, Alexander Hamilton: Writings (Library of America) was one of the Atlantic Monthly’s “best books” of 2001. Her current project, The Field of Blood: Congressional Violence in Antebellum America, explores physical violence in the U.S. Congress between 1830 and the Civil War, and what it suggests about the institution of Congress, the nature of American sectionalism, the challenges of a young nation’s developing democracy, and the longstanding roots of the Civil War.
A fellow of the Society of American Historians, Freeman has won fellowships from, among others, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, the Dirkson Congressional Research Center, the American Historical Association, and the Library of Congress. She is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, and was rated one of the nation’s “Top Young Historians” in 2005.
Freeman’s articles have appeared in a wide range of academic journals including William and Mary Quarterly, Journal of the Early Republic, Journal of Policy History, and Yale Law Journal, among others. She has written op-ed pieces for the New York Times, and appeared in a host of documentaries on PBS and the History Channel, and in a number of radio programs for NPR and the BBC. She has done extensive work in the realm of public history, including co-curating museum exhibitions, acting as a historical consultant for documentary filmmakers, and giving frequent public lectures at venues such as the Smithsonian Museum of American History, the National Gallery of Art, and Colonial Williamsburg, among other places. She has also worked extensively with high school history teachers and students in workshops, lectures, and symposia around the nation. In the last two years, she has worked as a historical consultant for the National Park Service in the reconstruction of the Alexander Hamilton Grange National Memorial.
Freeman teaches graduate reading and research courses in early national American history, and undergraduate seminars on early national politics and political culture, as well as lecture courses on the American Revolution and early national America.