• Jack Bouchard
  • Jack Bouchard
  • Assistant Professor of History
  • Degree: Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • Rutgers : At Rutgers since 2020
  • Specialty: Environmental history, Atlantic history, Early Modern European History
  • Office: 002G Van Dyck Hall



I am an historian of maritime environments, food, and island geographies in the late medieval and early modern Atlantic world. I received my PhD from the History Department of the University of Pittsburgh in 2018. In addition, I hold an M.A. in history from McGill University, and a B.A. in Classical Studies and History from Brandeis University. My main research has been on the sixteenth-century fisheries at Newfoundland, but I am more broadly interested in the earliest years of European expansion into the Atlantic basin during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In addition to the history of fishwork I am interested in the study of global foodways in the premodern world. From 2018-2020 I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Folger Institute of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. I worked as part of an interdisciplinary team for the Before “Farm to Table”: Early Modern Foodways and Culture project, and have since continued research on global and Atlantic foodways in the premodern period.

My first book project, Terra Nova: Food, Water and Work in an Early Atlantic World, is a study of the earliest years of European fishing and colonization in the northwest Atlantic. It tells the story of how, in the first decades of the sixteenth century, largely anonymous groups of mariners from across Europe forged a vast, seasonal fishery around what is today the island of Newfoundland, a space they knew as Terra Nova. I aim to contextualize this transformation within a much broader history of the Atlantic, connecting it to colonization in Hispaniola and fishwork in Saharan Africa, and to show how consumer tastes and maritime labour intersected to create one of the largest food enterprises in history. I have also published on various topics related to Terra Nova, food and maritime history, and early Canada.  

At Rutgers I teach environmental history, with an emphasis on global, premodern, and maritime perspectives.


Peer Reviewed:

  • Manuscript in Progress: Terra Nova: Food, Water, and Work in an Early Atlantic World (Yale UP, forthcoming)
  • “Beyond Bacalao: Newfoundland and the Caribbean in the Sixteenth Century.” The William & Mary Quarterly. 3rd ser, 80, no2. April 2023.
  • “Litus Ignotus: Lost coasts of Terra Nova in the sixteenth century.” Coastal Studies & Society, Special issue in honor of John Gillis. 2(1), 14–37.
  • “Casting the Net: Early Atlantic Fisheries and Colonial Expansion, 15-16th centuries.” Special issue of Tempo, Spring 2022.
  • “Making the Leap: commodity chains and the potential for global environmental histories of capitalism.” Esboços: histórias em contexto globais. v.28 no.49. December, 2021.
  • “Shetland Sheep and Azorean Wheat: Atlantic Islands as Provisioning Centers, 1400–1550.” Global Food Studies.  Vol. 6, no.3. August, 2020. pp. 169-193.
  • “‘Gens sauvages et estranges’: Amerindians and the early fishery in the sixteenth century Gulf of St. Lawrence" in The Greater Gulf: Essays on the Environmental History of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, edited by Ed Macdonald, Brian Paine and Claire Campbell. McGill-Queens University Press, February, 2020.
  • “One British Thing: An Anonymous Recipe Manuscript, 18th century” for Journal of British Studies. Vol. 59, no. 2, April 2020, pp.396-399. Co-authored with Amanda Herbert.
  • “Seasonal Migrations and Material Culture in the Sixteenth-century North Atlantic" in World History Connected. Forum: Studies in Migration Worldwide. Volume 11, No. 3. October 2014.

Other Publications:

  • “Presentism in Environmental History: The View from the Sixteenth Century” for Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE), June 2018

Courses Taught


  • The Seas Around Us: Ocean History in Global Perspective
  • Living on the Edge: Histories of Humans in Extreme Environments
  • Food in the US and the World
  • The Age of European Global Expansion
  • Climate Politics: A Deep History
  • Maps and History
  • World History I


  • Colloquium in Environmental History
  • Readings in Early Modern European History

Professional Affiliations

  • World History Association (WHA)
  • American Society for Environmental History (ASEH)
  • Forum on Early-Modern Empires and Global Interactions (FEEGI)
  • American Historical Association (AHA)