Lamar Center Alumni
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Taylor Spence

My work focuses on the origins, processes, and legacies of North American colonialism. In projects which span the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and which integrate history, the visual arts, and performance, I examine how American individuals reimagined and recreated their communities amidst the diaspora caused by colonialism as well show how these new colonial polities at turns became the means of resistance to and the expansion of colonial endeavors.

In my current book manuscript, The Endless Commons: The Borderland of North American Empires and the Origins of American Expansion, 1783-1848, I tell the stories of five rebellions, dozens of invasions, and one successful Indigenous revolution which took place along the conduit of commerce and culture stretching from the Atlantic ports of New York and Montréal to the Great Lakes between 1835-1850. As the McColl Fellow of the American Geographical Society (2013-2104), I painted nine original maps illustrating this transforming borderland. A second book project chronicles the never-before-told saga of the worldwide diaspora of Jewish agrarians out of Russia into contested zones of so-called “pioneer states” – Australia, Argentina, Israel, Canada and the United States. Other on-going research projects uncover the working-class origins of 19th century American utopianism, trace the durability of Seneca culture through the nineteenth century and up to the present by means of Google and Global Information Systems (GIS), and reveal the intimate contestations by Dakota people against U.S. domination in the Northern Great Plains in the post-1862 era.

I have been a Fulbright Fellow (1995), a Lauréat of the Association Internationale des Etudes Québécoises (2011), and a Filson Fellow (2013), and currently hold a Lecturership in American History at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.