Kate Grandjean

Katherine Grandjean
(781) 283-2613
B.A., Yale University; Ph.D., Harvard University

Katherine Grandjean

Associate Professor of History

Historian of early American and Native American history, English colonialism and cultural encounters, environmental history, and violence in American history.

Katherine Grandjean holds a B.A. in History from Yale University and a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University. Her research explores early English colonization and the encounter with Native peoples, as well as the origins of American violence. Her work has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the American Historical Association, and the Charles Warren Center for American History, and has appeared in such journals as the William and Mary Quarterly, American Quarterly, and Early American Studies. A recent essay, “New World Tempests: Environment, Scarcity, and the Coming of the Pequot War,” won the American Society for Environmental History's 2012 Alice Hamilton Prize for Best Article and the William and Mary Quarterly’s 2014 Douglass Adair Memorial Award.

She recently published her first book, American Passage: The Communications Frontier in Early New England.  The book retells the story of early New England's settling, through the dark, confused world of communication.  Who could travel where, who controlled the routes winding through the woods, who dictated what news might be sent—These questions, in American Passage, reveal a new dimension of contest and conquest in early America. Upcoming articles will explore Native resistance to European colonization, as well as the folklore and artifacts surrounding American memory of the colonial period. She is also at work on a new book on violence and murder in eighteenth-century North America.

At Wellesley, Professor Grandjean teaches courses on colonial American history, Native American history, the history of American food, and the history of violence and terror in early America.


HIST114   First Year Seminar: American Hauntings

HIST203   Out of Many: American History to 1877

HIST253   First Peoples: An Introduction to Native American History

HIST256   Brave New Worlds: Colonial American History and Culture

HIST260   Pursuits of Happiness: America in the Age of Revolution

HIST262   The Life and Political World of Alexander Hamilton

HIST319   Seminar: Fear and Violence in Early America

HIST320   Seminar: The Hand that Feeds: A History of American Food

HIST321   Seminar: Convicted: Crime and Punishment in Early America