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Phyllis W. Hunter

Dr. Phyllis W. Hunter

Link to Dr. Hunter's Web Page

Contact Information

Email: pwhunter@uncg.edu
Office: 2119 MHRA
Office Phone: 336-334-4012


Ph.D., College of William and Mary, 1996
M.A., University of South Florida, 1990
B.A., Harvard, 1965

Teaching Experience

Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2002-
Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1996-2001
Instructor, College of William and Mary, 1994-96
Instructor, Christopher Newport University, 1993
Guest Lecturer, University of South Florida, 1989-90

Research Interests

Phyllis Hunter explores broadly the historical relationship between capitalism and culture. Her first book, Purchasing Identity in the Atlantic World: Massachusetts Merchants, 1670-1780 published by Cornell University Press in 2001 explored the development of a transatlantic polite and commercial culture based on fashionable goods that could be purchased and social manners that could be learned in the mid-eighteenth-century and how during the revolutionary era, the meanings ascribed to imported goods became politicized and transformed.

Current Projects

Dr. Hunter is presently (2005-06) a fellow at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, working on a book called "Imagining Asia in Early America" that situates American developments from early English settlement to the mid-nineteenth century in a global circulation of goods and people. She also has another book under way called Sailing East: The Empress of China and the New Nation that tells the story of the first American vessels to reach China in 1784/85. This book will be published by Oxford University Press as part of the Pivotal Moments in American History series edited by David Fischer and James McPherson.

Courses Taught

  • HIS 211: Survey of U.S. History to 1865
  • HIS 328: Women in American History, Part I - A history of women in the U.S. from colonial times through the Civil War. Topics include roles, status, image, family, work, and racial and class differences in experience.
  • HIS 335: The American Colonial Period, 1607-1763 - "The Peopling of Colonial America, 1492 to 1776." Selected topics pertaining to development of colonies to eve of American Revolution.
  • HIS 522: Early American History: Selected Topics - "'Marvelous Possessions:'" How Europeans 'Produced' the Americas." Varying topics in early American history including settlement, economic development, Puritanism, the Great Awakening, slavery, ethnicity, and pre-Revolutionary politics.
  • HIS 552: History and Theories of Material Culture - Material culture as it has been defined and interpreted in the past by scholars from the disciplines of History, Anthropology, Geography, Art History, Psychology, Linguistics, and Archaeology.
  • HIS 701: Colloquium in U.S. History to 1865
  • HIS 715: Atlantic World: Selected Topics - "'Marvelous Possessions:'" How Europeans 'Produced' the Americas"

Recent Publications

Book cover: Purchasing Identity in the Atlantic World: Massachusetts Merchants, 1670-1780, by Dr. Phyllis Hunter

Grants and Awards

  • National Humanities Center fellowship, 2005-2006
  • National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship
  • Massachusetts Historical Society fellowship
  • Library Company of Philadelphia fellowship
  • Historical Society of Pennsylvania fellowship
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