Karen Kupperman

Professor of History; Silver Professor

Cambridge, PhD 1978

Field of Study: 

Atlantic World

Research Interests: 

Early modern Atlantic world; American colonization; American Indian history


Karen Ordahl Kupperman, who holds a PhD from Cambridge University, is Silver Professor of History at New York University. Her scholarship focuses on the Atlantic world in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, particularly contacts and ventures between Europe and America and the ways that participants interpreted each other. The Jamestown Project was published by Harvard University Press early in 2007. The second edition of her book Roanoke: The Abandoned Colony was also published in 2007. Her book, Indians and English: Facing Off in Early America (Ithaca, 2000), won the American Historical Association's Prize in Atlantic History, and Providence Island, 1630-1641: The Other Puritan Colony (Cambridge, 1993) won the AHA's Albert J. Beveridge Award for the best book in American History. She has edited Captain John Smith: A Select Edition of His Writings (1988) and America in European Consciousness (1995). Her article "Apathy and Death in Early Jamestown," published in the Journal of American History, won the Organization of American Historians' Binkley-Stephenson Award. Her critical edition of Richard Ligon's A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbadoes (1657, 1673) was published in 2011 and The Early Modern Atlantic World will be published in 2012 as part of the Oxford New World History series by Oxford University Press.

Selected Works:


PlaceholderBook.pngThe Early Modern Atlantic.  (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2012) 





BarbadosBOOK.jpgA critical edition of Richard Ligon's A True & Exact History of the Island of  Barbados (1657, 1673).  (Hackett Publishers, 2011)    






JamesTownBOOK.jpgThe Jamestown Project (Cambridge, MA, 2007)






RoanokeBOOK.jpgRoanoke: The Abandoned Colony, 2nd edition (Lanham, MD, 2007)






IndiansEnglishBOOK.jpgIndians and English: Facing Off in Early America (Ithaca, 2000)






PlaceholderBook.pngConsulting Editor, CD-ROM of Calendar of State Papers, Colonial: North America and the West Indies, 1574-1739 (Routledge, 2000)





MajorProblemsBOOK.jpgMajor Problems in American Colonial History, 2nd ed. (Boston, 2000, 1st ed. 1992)






EuropeanConscBOOK.jpgAmerica in European Consciousness (Chapel Hill, 1995)







ProvidenceIslandBOOK.jpgProvidence Island, 1630-1641: The Other Puritan Colony (Cambridge, 1993)





JohnSmithBOOK.jpgCaptain John Smith: A Select Edition of His Writings (Chapel Hill, 1988)






Settling With the Indians: The Meeting of English and Indian Cultures in America, 1580-1640 (London and Totowa, 1980)


"The Love-Hate Relationship with Experts in the Early Modern Atlantic," Early American Studies, 9, No. 2 (2011), 248-267.   

"International at the Creation:  Early Modern American History," in Thomas Bender, ed., Rethinking American History in a Global Age. Berkeley:  University of California Press, 2002,   103-23. 

"Presentment of Civility:  English Response to American Self-Presentation, 1580-1640," William and Mary Quarterly , 3rd ser., LIV (1997), 193-228. 

"Definitions of Liberty on the Eve of Civil War: Lord Saye and Sele, Lord Brooke, and the American Puritan Colonies,"  Historical Journal, 32 (1989), 17-33.   

"Errand to the Indies:  Puritan Colonization from Providence  Island through the Western Design," William and Mary Quarterly,  3rd Ser., XLV (1988), 70-99. 

"The Puzzle of the American Climate in the Early Colonial Period," American Historical Review, 87 (1982), 1262-1289.   

"Apathy and Death in Early Jamestown," Journal of American History, 66 (1979), 24-40.

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Updated on 09/27/2013