Joseph Ward, Dean of the USU College of Humanities and Social Sciences, is the editor of a new book titled “European Empires in the American South: Colonial and Environmental Encounters,” which examines the process of European expansion into a region that has come to be known as the American South. After Europeans began to cross the Atlantic with confidence, they interacted for three hundred years with one another, with the native people of the region, and with enslaved Africans in ways that made the South a significant arena of imperial ambition. As such, it was one of several similarly contested regions around the Atlantic basin.
"In this volume, Ward has collected a group of scholars who profoundly rethink the American South, the American colonies, and imperialism. Reading these essays, one will never think of the South as the land of cotton and slaves, or of the most important colonial action taking place far in the New England colonies, or of the imperial project as a well-oiled machine. Indeed, European Empires in the American South puts these myths to bed, finally."
--Robbie Ethridge, professor of anthropology at University of Mississippi, author of “From Chicaza to Chickasaw: The European Invasion and the Transformation of the Mississippian World, 1540-1715,” and co-editor of “The Transformation of the Southeastern Indians, 1540-1760”
For those who are curious about how the broad processes of historical change influenced particular people and places, the contributors to “European Empires in the American South” offer key examples of colonial encounter. This volume includes essays on all three imperial powers, Spain, Britain, and France, and their imperial projects in the American South. Engaging profitably--from the European perspective at least--with Native Americans proved key to these colonial schemes. While the consequences of Indian encounters with European invaders have long remained a principal feature of historical research, this volume advances and expands knowledge of Native Americans in the South amid the Atlantic World.
Joseph P. Ward is a historian of England, and especially of London, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. His books include “Culture, Faith, and Philanthropy: Londoners and Provincial Reform in Early Modern England” and, with Robert O. Bucholz, “London: A Social and Cultural History, 1550-1750.” Prior to joining Utah State University in 2016, he was Professor and Chair of History at the University of Mississippi. He is currently Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Utah State University.