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C.V. Starr Center for the

Study of the American Experience

Past Fellows

Daniel Mark Epstein

Patrick Henry Writing Fellow, 2013-2014

imageDaniel Epstein’s extraordinary literary career has encompassed poetry, drama, and historical nonfiction.  During his residency at Washington College, Epstein drafted portions of his current work-in-progress, “Patriots and Renegades: The War in Ben Franklin’s House”  and taught a seminar entitled, “The Muse of History.”  Epstein’s poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New Republic, and his plays have been performed in regional theater and Off-Broadway. An award-winning author, he has written biographies of Aimee Semple McPherson, Nat King Cole, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Bob Dylan, as well as a book on the Lincolns.

Neal Gabler
Patrick Henry Writing Fellow, Spring 2013

imageNeal Gabler, is one of America’s most accomplished biographers. During his residency at Washington College, he taught a course on “The Art of Biography.” Gabler is an author, cultural historian, screenwriter, producer, film and media critic, and commentator who has been called “one of America’s most important public intellectuals.” He has written prizewinning biographies of Walt Disney, Walter Winchell, and early Hollywood movie moguls and is now at work on a book about the late Senator Edward Kennedy and modern American politics. He is the winner of an Emmy, two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Holly Brewer
Patrick Henry Writing Fellow, Fall 2012

imageHolly Brewer was in full-time residence at the Starr Center throughout the fall semester of 2012, working on a book that promises to dramatically reshape our understanding of how slavery took root in America. A prize-winning author and the Burke Chair of American History at the University of Maryland, she has done remarkable research challenging the traditional idea that slavery began here as a product of economic necessity.

Peter Silver
Hodson Trust – John Carter Brown Fellow, 2011-2012

imagePeter Silver teaches early American history at Rutgers University. He is the author of Our Savage Neighbors: How Indian War Transformed Early America, which was awarded the Bancroft Prize and Mark Lynton History Prize in 2008. He was educated at Harvard College and Yale University, and devoted his Hodson-Brown Fellowship to the writing of a new book about the eighteenth-century empires of Britain and Spain and their violent collision in the Americas during the 1730s and 1740s. 

Peter Manseau
Patrick Henry Writing Fellow, 2011-2012

imagePeter Manseau is a historian, novelist, journalist and memoirist whose work on religion and society spans a number of genres. During his year at Washington College, he worked to finish a major new narrative history of the United States, told through the prism of the diverse religious traditions that have shaped the nation.



Lorena S. Walsh 
Hodson Trust – John Carter Brown Fellow, 2010-2011

imageHistorian Lorena Walsh devoted her Hodson-Brown fellowship to work on the second volume of a sweeping history of Chesapeake plantations. Tentatively titled “To Labour for Profit”: Plantation Management in the Revolutionary and Early National Chesapeake, 1764-1820, the project follows up on her 2010 publication, Motives of Honor, Pleasure, and Profit: Plantation Management in the Chesapeake, 1607-1763. Walsh is a 27-year veteran of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Ned Sublette 
Patrick Henry Writing Fellow, 2010-2011

imageHistorian, musicologist and author Ned Sublette spent the academic year in residence at Washington College, continuing work on a groundbreaking history of what he has labeled the “American slave coast:” the mid-Atlantic port cities that supplied a steady flow of laborers to the slave markets of the Deep South. Sublette’s book will be the first to explore this region as an actual slave coast, similar in character and function, if not in scale, to the West African coast. While in Chestertown, Sublette gave two public performances and co-taught a course, “Cuba and Its Music,” with Assistant Professor of Music Kenneth Schweitzer.

David O. Stewart 
Hodson Trust – John Carter Brown Fellow, 2009-2010
Historian, author, and constitutional lawyer David O. Stewart was Washington College’s inaugural Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellow. Stewart devoted his time at Washington College and the John Carter Brown Library to pursuing his book project on former Vice President Aaron Burr’s trial for conspiracy and treason.

Marla R. Miller 
Patrick Henry Writing Fellow, 2009-2010
During her residency at Washington College, Marla Miller, director of the Public History Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, completed a groundbreaking biography of the famed flag-maker Betsy Ross. Published to rave reviews in 2010, Betsy Ross and the Making of America was lauded by the Wall Street Journal as “a gem of a book that gives us Betsy Ross as a complete person, not just a colonial character with a one-sentence claim on our attention.”

Marla Miller’s Flag Day interview on WYPR Baltimore - Dan Rodricks Show.

Henry Wiencek 
Patrick Henry Writing Fellow, 2008–2009
Historian Henry Wiencek was Washington College’s inaugural Patrick Henry Writing Fellow. Wiencek devoted his year in Chestertown to completing a substantial portion of his book on Thomas Jefferson and his slaves, published in 2012 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. During the spring semester, he taught a popular American Studies course, “The Enigma of Slavery,” which drew students from many different majors.

Fredrika Teute
C.V. Starr Center Fellow, 2007–2008
Dr. Fredrika Teute dedicated her year at Washington College to writing a book on early Washington, D.C. “The Spectacle of Washington” uses the career of the novelist, journalist, and saloniste Margaret Bayard Smith, a little-known figure in the rough-and-tumble world of Jeffersonian-era politics, to explore residents’ attempts to transform the nation into a political – not just geographical – community. Teute is the Editor of Publications at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.