Erik R. Seeman


Erik Seeman.

Erik R. Seeman


Erik R. Seeman



Early American History; History of Colonial North America; History of Religion; Social and Cultural History; Transnational History; History of Death; Indigenous History


  • PhD, Michigan, 1995

Courses Regularly Taught

HIS 161: U.S. History to 1865
HIS 215: Death in America
HIS 452: Indians: Africans: and Europeans in Colonial America
HIS 533: Readings in Early American History
HIS 534: The Atlantic World: 1400-1800
HIS 580: Radical Religion in the Anglo-Atlantic World

Research Interests

Colonial North America: religion, Indians, African-Americans, death

Current Research

Boston's Pox of 1721: A People's History (book in progress)

Selected Publications


Speaking with the Dead in Early America  (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019)

  • Winner of the 2020 Lawrence W. Levine Award from the Organization of American Historians, for the best book in American cultural history

The Atlantic in Global History, 1500-2000second edition, co-edited with Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra (Routledge, 2018)

The Huron-Wendat Feast of the Dead: Indian-European Encounters in Colonial North America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011)

Death in the New World: Cross-Cultural Encounters, 1492-1800 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010)

Pious Persuasions: Laity and Clergy in Eighteenth-Century New England (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999)

Selected Articles and Chapters

“Corpses and the Protestant Cult of the Dead,” Body and Religion 4 (May 2022): 151-72

"The Presence of the Dead among U.S. Protestants, 1800-1848," Church History 88 (June 2019): 381-408

“Native Spirits, Shaker Visions: Speaking with the Dead in the Early Republic,” Journal of the Early Republic 35 (Fall 2015): 347-73

“Death in the Atlantic World,” in Oxford Bibliographies in Atlantic History, edited by Trevor Burnard (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013) (9000-word online publication)

“Piety and Practice in North America to 1800,” Cambridge History of Religions in America, edited by Stephen J. Stein, 3 vols. (New York:  Cambridge University Press, 2012): 1:686-707

“Reassessing the ‘Sankofa Symbol’ in New York’s African Burial Ground,” William and Mary Quarterly, vol 67 (January 2010): 101-22.

  • Recipient of the Herbert H. Lehman Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in New York History for the Years 2010-2012, New York Academy of History

“Jews in the Early Modern Atlantic:   Crossing Boundaries, Keeping Faith,” in The Atlantic in Global History, 1500-2000, edited by Jorge Canizares-Esguerra and Erik R. Seeman (Prentice-Hall, 2007), 39-59.

“Reading Indians’ Deathbed Scenes:   Ethnohistorical and Representational Approaches,” Journal of American History , vol. 88 (June 2001): 17-47.

“‘Justise Must Take Plase’:   Three African Americans Speak of Religion in Eighteenth-Century New England,” William and Mary Quarterly , vol. 56 (April 1999): 395-416.


  • Fulbright Research and Teaching Fellowship, University of Erfurt, Germany, April to July 2023
  • Lawrence W. Levine Award for best book in American cultural history, Organization of American Historians, April 2020
  • Herbert H. Lehman Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in New York History, New York Academy of History, 2010 to 2012
  • Fulbright Research and Teaching Fellowship, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados, January to May 2005
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers, August 2001 to July 2002