Department of History

  • Portrait (head shot photo)
  • Camilla Townsend
  • Distinguished Professor of History
  • Degree: Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1995
  • Rutgers : At Rutgers Since 2006
  • Specialty: Early Native American and Latin American History; Early America
  • Email:
  • Office: 222 Van Dyck Hall
  • Phone: 848-932-8368



I am interested in indigenous peoples—and in relations between natives and newcomers—throughout the Americas. My publications have spanned Mexico, the Andean Region and the Chesapeake. I am deeply immersed in the study of Nahuatl, the Aztec language, and my most intense focus is now on the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century writings left to us by Native American historians. Through the historical annals they produced, we catch a glimpse of indigenous conceptualizations of history as they existed at first contact.



  • 508:280 Early Native American History
  • 508:282 Modern Native American History


  • Early American History
  • Latin American History
  • Borderlands and Comparative History



  • Indigenous Life After the Conquest: The De la Cruz Family Papers of Colonial Mexico (2021)
  • Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs (2019)
  • Annals of Native America: How the Nahuas of Colonial Mexico Kept Their History Alive (2016)
  • Here in This Year: Seventeenth-Century Nahuatl Annals of the Tlaxcala-Puebla Valley (Stanford, 2010)
  • American Indian History: A Documentary Reader (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009)
  • Malintzin’s Choices: An Indian Woman in the Conquest of Mexico (New Mexico, 2006)
  • Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma (Hill & Wang, 2004)
  • Tales of Two Cities: Race and Economic Culture in Early Republican North and South America (Texas, 2000)


  • Of the People: A History of the United States, Volume I (Oxford University Press, four editions)


Listen to Camilla Townsend on CBC public radio HERE! 

Other appearances can be found on such venues as Native America Calling, BYU Radio, KTLA Podcasts, History Hits, NPR and BBC.


  • The Cundill Prize to Fifth Sun (2020)
  • The Beveridge Prize, the Howard Cline Award and the Arthur Whittaker Prize to Annals of Native America (2017-18)
  • National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar Fellowship (2017)
  • Guggenheim Fellowship (2010)

Upcoming Events

Mon Sep 26 @ 3:00PM - 05:00PM
Digital Humanities Lab Mixer
Tue Sep 27 @11:00AM - 01:00PM
Ethel Brooks: RCHA Seminar
Wed Sep 28 @ 4:00PM - 05:30PM
Thomas Lindenberger: Center for European Studies
Tue Oct 04 @11:00AM - 01:00PM
Alex Hinton: RCHA Seminar
Tue Oct 04 @ 5:30PM - 07:00PM
Pablo Gomez Book Talk: Caribbean Working Group of CLAS
Thu Oct 06
Undergraduate Public History Tour of J&J Museum


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