Joyce E. Chaplin

James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History


Joyce E. Chaplin is the James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History. A graduate of Northwestern University and the Johns Hopkins University, she is a former Fulbright Scholar. She has taught at five universities on two continents and an island, and in a maritime studies program on the Atlantic Ocean. She is most interested in topics where humans and nature meet.

Please visit Professor Chaplin’s site at

Dissertation Committees

“Found at Sea: Mapping Ships’ Locations on the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic” (John Dixon)

“Snowshoe Country: Indians, Colonists, and Winter Spaces of Power in the Northeast, 1620-1727″ (Thomas Wickman)

“The Inward Fire: A History of Cruelty in Marriage in the Northeastern United States, 1800-1860” (Eliza Clark)

“The Pirate Nest; The Impact of Piracy on Newport, Rhode Island and Charles Town, South Carolina, 1670-1730” (Mark G. Hanna)

Selected Publications

  • Chaplin - First Scientific American

    The First Scientific American: Benjamin Franklin and the Pursuit of Genius (Basic Books, 2006), by Joyce Chaplin

  • SubjectMatter

    Subject Matter: Technology, the Body, and Science on the Anglo-American Frontier, 1500-1676 (Harvard University Press, 2001), by Joyce Chaplin

  • RoundAboutTheEarthChaplinSized

    Round about the Earth: Circumnavigation from Magellan to Orbit (Simon & Schuster, 2012), by Joyce Chaplin