- Peter Silver
- Associate Professor of History
Ph.D., Yale, 2001
- Additional Degree(s):
M.A., Yale, 1995
A.B., Harvard, 1993
- Rutgers :
At Rutgers since 2008
Early America and the Atlantic World: Native American, Religious and Political History
223B Van Dyck Hall
Peter Silver is an early American historian, with special interests in American Indian history, comparative colonial and imperial histories, and religious history. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and brought up mostly in Richmond, Indiana. He was educated at Harvard College, where he studied English and American history and literature, and at Yale University. He was an assistant professor at Princeton University, and since fall 2008 he has been an associate professor of history at Rutgers. He offers graduate and undergraduate courses in colonial and revolutionary North American history, Native history, and the history of the Atlantic world. His first book, Our Savage Neighbors: How Indian War Transformed Early America (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2007) was awarded the Bancroft Prize and the Mark Lynton History Prize for 2008.
Our Savage Neighbors examines the impact of Indian wars on the deeply divided European societies of the middle Atlantic region, before and during the American Revolution. As religious revivals, war scares, and unease over immigration unsettled the quarrelsome middle colonies--probably the most diverse societies that Europeans had ever known, with squatters and new arrivals from all nations and religions crowding chaotically into each other, and into the region's Native inhabitants--their divisions grew rapidly sharper. The book arges that the Seven Years' War remade the middle colonies, first sending thousands of country people fleeing in helpless fear from Indian attack and then supplying the matter for a new kind of politics. Activists carted scalped corpses into city squares and cried out for action. Writers, too, seized on the horror of Indian war, recycling its gruesome images to celebrate the commonplace rural people who were depicted as its victims, and to lay into a series of governments and public figures for being careless of those people, or even complicit in Indian warmaking. Although the country people could not often subdue their fears enough to put up much of a fight, in print their bravery, and supposed passion for killing Indians, became the stuff of legend. With the Revolution, a new sort of sovereignty rose to replace monarchy--the democratic sovereignty of these ordinary people, in a country always seen as suffering under attack--and Natives' fate grew steadily worse. By the Revolution's end, with most European Americans no longer distrusting each other very much, many believed they could see two all but unbridgeable white and Indian worlds.
The working title for Professor Silver's second project is A Rotten Colossus: Spanish and British America in the War of Jenkins's Ear. It seeks to provide a single integrated analysis of the remarkable flurry of events--from nearly uncontrolled immigration and real and fancied slave revolts, to invasion panics and widespread religious revival--that unfolded in and around North America during what might be called the era of the War of Jenkins's Ear, between 1735 and 1745.
This was a period that has not, so far, usually been imagined as a period. But many of the reasons for the eighteenth-century British empire's being conceived and run in the ways that it was, as well as the Spanish empire's unexpectedly outstripping it in durability, were laid bare during these years, as the British-American world traveled through a bumpy, frightening transition from a set of Atlantic settlements into an increasingly genuine empire. English-speakers found themselves humiliated by the war's events: starved of specie, and wrangling endlessly among themselves, they had been much worse prepared than their own sphere of printed publicity persuaded them they must be to revolutionize and topple the Spanish empire--it proved impossible, most notably, to find oppressed Indians, maroons, or creoles to 'liberate'--or even to pass intact through the empire's protective barriers of weather, disease, and distance. That practically no one, Spanish- or English-speaking, would have predicted this result suggests how imperfectly the hemispheric power system of the Americas (whose last geographic corner was only pinned down in 1741, by Vitus Bering) was still understood. Emphasizing areas where the two powers' settlements bordered one another--Georgia and Florida, Belize and New Spain, Jamaica and the south coast of Cuba--and drawing on source material in both languages, this project hopes to provide a better account of how the Americas really worked, and of what sorts of interactions between Africans, Europeans, and Natives made for the most sustainable empires.
Publications / Books
- Our Savage Neighbors: How Indian War Transformed Early America (W. W. Norton & Co., 2007; paperback forthcoming 2008)
- Bancroft Prize in American History, trustees of Columbia University, 2008
- Mark Lynton History Prize, J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project of the Nieman Foundation, Harvard University, and Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, 2008
- Richard Allen Lester University Preceptorship, Princeton University, 2004-2007
- John Addison Porter Prize for best dissertation in the humanities and George Washington Egleston Historical Prize for best dissertation in American history, Yale University, 2001
- Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation Fellowship in the Humanities, 1998-1999
- A. Bartlett Giamatti Fellowship in the Humanities, Yale University, 1994-1996
- Toby C. Jones
- Associate Professor of History; and Director, Global and Comparative History Master's Degree Program
Ph.D., Stanford University, 2006
- Additional Degree(s):
M.A., Auburn University, 1998
B.A., Auburn University, 1994
- Rutgers :
At Rutgers since 2007
Modern Middle East: History of Environment and Technology
116 Van Dyck Hall
Toby C. Jones is associate professor of history at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. He teaches courses on global environmental history, energy, and the modern Middle East. During 2008-2009 he was a fellow at Princeton University's Oil, Energy, and the Middle East project. From 2004 to early 2006 Jones worked as the Persian Gulf political analyst for the International Crisis Group. His research interests focus on the environment, energy, and the history of science and technology. He is the author of Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia (Harvard University Press, 2010), Running Dry: Essays on Energy, Water and Environmental Crisis (Rutgers University Press, 2015), and is currently working America's Oil Wars (under contract at Harvard University Press). He has written for the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Journal of American History, Middle East Report, Raritan Quarterly Review, The Nation, The Atlantic, the London Review of Books, the New York Times, and elsewhere. In 2015 Jones was recognized as a Rutgers Chancellor’s Scholar for distinguished scholarship.
COURSES REGULARLY TAUGHT
- 508:205 Modern Middle East
- 508:300 Arab-Israeli Conflict
- 508:392 Historical Studies: An Environmental History of the Middle East
- 506:401 Seminar: Oil and Empire in the Middle East
- 506:401 Seminar: Diplomacy and Politics in the Modern Middle East
- Running Dry: Essays on Energy, Water, and Environmental Crisis (Rutgers University Press, 2015)
- "America, Oil, and War in the Middle East," Journal of American History (2012) 99 (1): 208-218.
- Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia (Harvard University Press, 2010).
- "Crude Ecology: Technology and the Politics of Dissent in Saudi Arabia," forthcoming in Gabrielle Hecht, ed., The Technopolitical Shape of Cold War Geographies, (MIT Press).
- “Embattled in Arabia: Shi‘is and the Politics of Confrontation in Saudi Arabia,” Occasional Paper Series, Shi‘a Militancy Program, Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, June 3, 2009.
- “Saudi Arabia’s Silent Spring,” Foreign Policy online magazine, February 2009.
- “Saudi Arabia’s Not so New Anti-Shi‘ism,” Middle East Report, 242, Spring 2007, pp 29-32.
- “Rebellion on the Saudi Periphery: Modernity, Marginalization and the Shi’a Uprising of 1979,” International Journal of Middle East Studies. 38:2. May (2006), 213-233.
- “Shifting Sands: The Future of U.S.-Saudi Relations,” Foreign Affairs, Volume 85, Number 2, March/April, 2006.
- “The Iraq Effect in Saudi Arabia.” Middle East Report. 237. Winter 2005, pp 20-25.
- “The Clerics, the Sahwa and the Saudi State.” Strategic Insights. Volume IV, Issue 3, March 2005.
- “Violence and the Illusion of Reform in Saudi Arabia.” Middle East Report Online. November 13, 2003.
- “Seeking a ‘Social Contract’ for Saudi Arabia.” Middle East Report, 228, Fall 2003, pp 42-48.
- Bahrain’s Sectarian Challenge. International Crisis Group Middle East/North Africa Report N°40. May 6, 2005.
- The Shiite Question in Saudi Arabia. International Crisis Group Middle East/North Africa Report N°45. September 19, 2005.
- Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Swarthmore College
- Fulbright-Hays to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, 2003-2003
- American Historical Association
- Society for History of Technology
- Middle Eastern Studies Association
- Gulf/2000 Project