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Emeritus Faculty
Ph.D., UW Madison, 1972

Richard B. Latner specializes in Jacksonian America; Sectionalism and Civil War; Salem Witchcraft, and Digital Humanities.

Research Interests
Research interests are primarily in 19-century U.S. political and social history. My research has explored the nature of Jacksonian politics and political ideology as well as the later sectional crises that culminated in the Civil War. I have been particularly interested political ideology and decision-making. In recent years, I have focused attention on the Salem witchcraft trials, considering questions of religion, psychology, social violence, and other concerns. Finally, I have a continuing interest in relating research and teaching to technology, and I have developed two historical websites, one about the crisis at Fort Sumter and the other about the Salem witchcraft episode.

Teaching Interests
Broadly speaking, my teaching interests parallel my research interests. My courses in Jacksonian America and the Coming of the Civil War explain the political, economic, social, and cultural changes that occurred in the United States from the War of 1812 to the Civil War. I have also developed an interest in Thomas Jefferson, as a person and as a representative figure in American history from the late colonial period into the early national era. I am especially interested in Jefferson’s political thinking and concepts of a viable American republic. I also regularly teach a class on the Salem witchcraft episode.

The Salem Witchcraft Site    
An interactive teaching, learning, and research program about Salem Witchcraft. May 2011.

Crisis at Fort Sumter    
Website winner of MERLOT Classics and Editors’ Choice Awards 2004.

"Salem Witchcraft, Factionalism and Social Change Reconsidered: Were Salem’s Witch-Hunters Modernization’s Failures"    
William and Mary Quarterly, 65 (2008): 423-48.

"The Long and Short of Salem Witchcraft: Chronology and Collective Violence in 1692"    
Journal of Social History, 42 (2008): 137-56.

"‘Here are no Newters’: Witchcraft and Religious Discord in Salem Village and Andover"    
The New England Quarterly, 79 (2006): 92-122.

"TeaSearch: Research That Can Also Teach"    
H-Net: H-Teach 11 November 2002

"Preserving 'The Natural Equality of Rank and Influence': Liberalism, Republicanism, and Equality of Condition in Jacksonian Politics"    
in The Culture of the Market, eds. Thomas L. Haskell and Richard F. Teichgraeber, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993. Pp. 189-230.

The Presidency of Andrew Jackson: White House Politics, 1829-1837    
Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1979.

Jefferson & His Times (HISU 335)      [more...]

Salem Witchcraft (HISU 345)      [more...]

Coming of the Civil War (HISU 349)      [more...]

Jacksonian America, 1815-1848 (HISU 645)      [more...]

Salem and Sumter Websites    
Continuing work to revise and enhance both the Salem Witchcraft Site and Crisis at Fort Sumter.

Slavery, race, and republican society in Jeffersonian thought.    

Richard B. Latner, Curriculum Vitae    
Click here to download



"The practice of kindness in early modern elite society"  
Past and Present, 2011, number 211, pp. 121-58.

Ruth Landes Memorial Fellowship, 2010  
Awarded to write a book on emotions and values in early modern England.

"The moral economy of thanking: the culture of gratitude in early modern England"  
Part of the panel on "The moral economy of emotions", to be presented at the American Historical Association, Boston, January, 2011.

Department of History
Tulane University
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