Historian Robert DuPlessis Named NHC Fellow
by Katie Becker '10
Robert DuPlessis, Isaac H. Clothier Professor of History and International Relations, is one of 42 National Humanities Center (NHC) Fellows for the 2008-2009 academic year. Each year, the Center, a privately incorporated independent institute for advanced study in the humanities, awards grants for humanities research to a few dozen scholars out of an applicant pool of hundreds.
DuPlessis will focus on a project titled "Atlantic Stuff: Histories of Consumption in the Early Modern, South Atlantic World," in which he analyzes the preferences and practices of 17th- and 18th-century consumers in South American and African ports in comparison to North American, Caribbean, and European developments. "The fellowship at the National Humanities Center will allow me to complete a project that I began to research more than 10 years ago," he says. "Together with a companion volume that focuses on North America and the Caribbean, 'Atlantic Stuff' will provide an interpretive overview of the birth of consumer societies across imperial, geographical, and social frontiers during the period and in places that first experienced globalization in the modern sense."
DuPlessis teaches courses and seminars on Europe and the Atlantic world between the 15th and 18th centuries, including courses on the Italian Renaissance, witchcraft, and the development of capitalist economies. His wife, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, an English professor at Temple University, also received an NHC fellowship for 2008-2009 and will join him at the Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C.