Associate Professor in the Department of English; Director, The Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture; Associate Faculty
Ph.D. (Stanford University)
Prof. Slauter's scholarship focuses chiefly on transformations in political thought and behavior in the eighteenth century. His first book, The State as a Work of Art: The Cultural Origins of the Constitution, examined the relation of culture to politics in revolutionary America, with a special interest in how the emergent state was challenged in its effort to sustain inalienable natural rights alongside slavery and to achieve political secularization at a moment of growing religious expression. In another book project, Natural Rights: A Cultural History, 1689-1789, he hopes to explain how and why ordinary people came to believe they had rights before and through the Revolution. Prof. Slauter specializes in early American cultural, intellectual, and literary history, with additional research and teaching interests in a range of fields and methods: legal history; the history of political thought; book history; visual and material culture studies; quantitative analysis; the history of slavery, abolition, and emancipation; labor history; environmental history; and Atlantic history.