University at Buffalo Department of History


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Erik R. Seeman, Professor
office: 534 Park Hall
phone: (716) 645-5648


Education: PhD, Michigan, 1995

Courses Regularly Taught:
HIS 161: U.S. History to 1865
HIS 215: Death in America
HIS 452: Indians: Africans: and Europeans in Colonial America
HIS 533: Readings in Early American History
HIS 534: The Atlantic World: 1400-1800

Field(s): America, North and South Atlantic

Hub(s): Culture and Society, Transnational

Research Interests: colonial North America: religion, Indians, African-Americans, death

Current Research: Speaking with the Dead in the Early Modern Anglo-Atlantic World: A Prehistory of Organized Spiritualism

Selected Publications:



The Huron-Wendat Feast of the Dead: Indian-European Encounters in Colonial North America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011)

Death in the New World: Cross-Cultural Encounters, 1492-1800 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010)

The Atlantic in Global History, 1500-2000, co-edited with Jorge Canizares-Esguerra (Prentice-Hall, 2007)

Pious Persuasions:   Laity and Clergy in Eighteenth-Century New England (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999)



“Death in the Atlantic World,” in Oxford Bibliographies in Atlantic History, edited by Trevor Burnard (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013) (9000-word online publication)

“Piety and Practice in North America to 1800,” Cambridge History of Religions in America, edited by Stephen J. Stein, 3 vols. (New York:  Cambridge University Press, 2012): 1:686-707

"Reassessing the 'Sankofa Symbol' in New York's African Burial Ground," William and Mary Quarterly, vol 67 (January 2010): 101-22 (JSTOR)

     *Recipient of the Herbert H. Lehman Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in New York    

       History for the Years 2010-2012, New York Academy of History

"Jews in the Early Modern Atlantic:   Crossing Boundaries, Keeping Faith," in The Atlantic in Global History, 1500-2000, edited by Jorge Canizares-Esguerra and Erik R. Seeman (Prentice-Hall, 2007), 39-59.

"Spooky Streets:   Spirits of the Past Haunt Ghost Tours," Common-Place: The Interactive Journal of Early American Life , vol. 3, no. 1 (October 2002)

"Reading Indians' Deathbed Scenes:   Ethnohistorical and Representational Approaches," Journal of American History , vol. 88 (June 2001): 17-47 (JSTOR)

“‘It Is Better To Marry Than To Burn’: Anglo-American Attitudes Toward Celibacy, 1600-1800,'” Journal of Family History, vol. 24 (October 1999): 397-419

"'Justise Must Take Plase':   Three African Americans Speak of Religion in Eighteenth-Century New England," William and Mary Quarterly , vol. 56 (April 1999): 395-416 (JSTOR)


Fulbright Research and Teaching Fellowship, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados, January to May 2005

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers, August 2001 to July 2002



Last updated: Monday, October 20, 2014

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