“A Colonizing Peace: The Quaker Struggle for Gospel Order in Early America” (book manuscript in progress)
My book project advances a novel conceptualization of peace as a process of “right ordering” that involved the careful regulation of violence, the legitimation of colonial authority, and the creation of racial and gendered hierarchies. Pennsylvania Quakers, like other Anglo-Americans, viewed household governance as a metaphor for the state. As Quakers colonized Pennsylvania, their distinctive method of religious discipline, which they called “gospel order,” became the primary means by which they negotiated their complicity in slavery, colonialism, and imperial warfare. Peace was central to how colonial Pennsylvanians, indigenous peoples, and people of African descent negotiated violence and the colonization of the mid-Atlantic frontier. My research reveals how Native Americans and enslaved African-Americans played a critical role in pushing Friends toward humanitarianism, redefining what peace meant for all in the process.
The Specter of Peace: Rethinking Violence and Power in the Colonial Atlantic, eds. Michael Goode and John Smolenski (Brill, forthcoming)
Specter of Peace highlights the many paths of peacemaking that otherwise have gone unexplored in early American and Atlantic World scholarship and challenges historians to take peace as seriously as violence. The volume originated as a national conference that I co-organized in 2015 with John Smolenski (Associate Professor of History, University of California, Davis). Our contention is that historians underappreciate the importance of peace to understanding how colonial Americans confronted violence as a moral problem; how ideologies of peace informed popular and political debates about violence, warfare, and colonialism; and how peace was woven through the myriad interactions between and among settlers, Native Americans, and people of African descent. Dr. Wayne Lee, professor of history and chair of the Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, contributed a foreword.