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I am mainly an early American historian and to date my research has focused on the history of early America’s towns during the eighteenth century and their place in a larger British Atlantic world.
This research has led me to a wider interest in urban history and urban studies, and during 2015 and 2016 I am the Principal Investigator of the AHRC funded International Research Network The Global City: Past and Present (http://globalcities.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/). Created by Professor Mariana Dantas of Ohio University, USA, and Dr. Jaap Jacobs, also at the University of St Andrews, and myself, this network aims to develop a discussion that will bridge the gap between scholars of the contemporary city in its global context and past cities that were already at the center of globalizing processes. We hope to extend this conversation backwards to at least 1450, when cities first emerged as global hubs and vehicles of colonization.We are also hoping to facilitate a public discussion of cities as places with rich pasts that have bearing on their current realities; and urban development as a non-linear historical process that should not aim to reproduce the perceived trajectory towards global connectivity of a few, mainly western, cities.
In addition to these urban interests, my work also touches on issues relating to southern history, material culture, and the history of the consumer and industrial revolutions. My current research project, “Trading Spaces”, is a history of marketing spaces in pre-revolutionary America. Early modern people encountered the market as a physical space entangled in local social and economic relationships. I argue that it is only by investigating the early American market place on these terms that we can grasp the foundational role of the colonial era in the long-term formation of an American market economy.
My teaching reflects my research interests and I currently offer courses on colonial and Revolutionary America, American Slavery, the American Metropolis, and the history of the Georgian city.
Dr Hart participates in teaching and lecturing on MO2008, MO1007, HI2001 and MO1008 at sub-honours leve and offers the following modules at Honours level.
Also participates in teaching the MLitt in Early Modern History and the MLitt in Modern History
Dr Hart would be happy to supervise students working on any aspect of American history before 1865, as well as those with interests in colonial America, the British Atlantic world, material culture in Britain and America in the early modern era, and urban history in Britain and its American colonies.